Before there was Thorn, there was Sylbrac, and before him there was Fish. But before each of them, there was Geoffrey Truehelm, son of the lord chance...moreBefore there was Thorn, there was Sylbrac, and before him there was Fish. But before each of them, there was Geoffrey Truehelm, son of the lord chancellor, and after a terrible incident in his youth, he swore he would never let his father use him in such a manner again and fled. He became known as Fish, and over the years he made his way on the cruel streets and eventually found himself a position on a ship, where he later discovered the blessings of being a Pilot--a rare and highly prized person to navigate the seas. Without them, ships have no chance surviving all the dangers that lie in wait. And on that day, Fish died and Sylbrac was born.
Now finding himself betrayed and sold by, Sylbrac can only assume, his own fellow Pilots, Sylbrac leaves that name behind and calls himself Thorn. Now the Pilot aboard the Eidolon, along with a motley crew who have been given another chance at the open sea, risk their lives in order to see a ship filled with unknown cargo to its destination. At first Thorn sees his kidnapping as a curse, but later sees it only as a gift as he makes friends from the most unlikeliest of people. And friends are something Thorn never thought he needed or wanted. Of course, that is what got him in this predicament in the first place, never making any alliances within the Pilots Guild, and realizing too late the error of his ways.
Brilliantly crafted and fully realized world, Diana P. Francis excels at writing a believable and highly engaging fantasy. I found myself immersed and lost aboard the Eidolon, for which Thorn was kidnapped to Pilot this illegal ship, otherwise known as a Black Ship. The crazy amount of research she had to do in order to make the scenes come to life aboard the ship was astonishing in my eyes.
The Black Ship is fraught with perilous adventure, raging sea storms, and the dangers that lie within the depths of the water, as well as a need to learn what it is exactly this black ship is transporting. The vivid characters drove this story. Thorn is such a great character. At first you think him rather selfish, but that's just the way of Pilots. But then you see that he is different from the rest of his ilk. He actually cares, and is quite an honorable guy. There is much fantastical things to sink your teeth into within the pages of The Black Ship, and I found it to be quite an experience, full of action and adventure! This is an amazing author whom I've grown quite fondly of since reading the two books I've read--This one and The Cipher (Book one in the Crosspointe Chronicles.)
So put on your majicked boots and clothes to keep yourself dry and hop aboard the Eidolon for a sweeping adventure on the Inland Sea. But watch out for the silvery majickal substance known as sylveth, for it could turn you into spawn, a hideous and evil type of creature! (less)
I was rather surprised with this book. I knew I would enjoy it, or at least I had high expectations that I would, and I did, more so than I expected....moreI was rather surprised with this book. I knew I would enjoy it, or at least I had high expectations that I would, and I did, more so than I expected. I have read two other Bujold books, The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, and while both of them had a subtle romance in them, neither of them were to the extent of this one. The Sharing Knife: Beguilement turned out to be a fantasy romance, rather than a fantasy with some romantic elements! The building of the relationship between Dag and Fawn was pretty much the main focus of the book. And being the romance reader that I am, I fell in love with these characters, faults and all. And Dag sure does have some physical flaws :).
There was very little action as you learn about the world and who the Lakewalkers and farmers are. Dag is a patroller with a dark and sorrowful past for the Lakewalkers. Lakewalkers have patrol groups that track the land for malices--evil creatures that wreak havoc on the land and the people. Dag encounters Fawn, a farmer girl, being abducted by mud-men, which are malice controlled people. However, Dag leaves her to continue his tracking of the malice, and once again Fawn finds herself captured and taken to the malice. A strange thing occurs when Dag arrives just in time to save Fawn from eminent death when he tosses Fawn his Sharing Knives, the only thing able to kill a malice, and uses one of them to destroy the evil thing. The incident binds the two together until they can travel back to Dag's home in order to make sense of this strangeness.
During their time together, the two begin to form an attraction for one another, but there is much prejudice between the two people, Lakewalkers and farmers, causing you to wonder how will the two persevere, enabling them to explore the feelings growing between them.
I found the concept of the Sharing Knives and the story behind them to be some fabulously cool bit of imaginative thinking. The world and the people were simple enough to follow, nothing too overly detailed. This book streamed steadily along as you journey with Dag and Fawn. You learn the world as you learn about them through dialogue. Highly engaging and fascinating. I am eager to pick up the next book, Legacy (The Sharing Knife, Book 2) to see what more is awaiting Dag and Fawn, as they continue their journey together.
I would definitely recommend this book to those that love a good fantasy romance. This is a five star book, in my opinion! And there are actually 4 books out in The Sharing Knife series. After Legacy, there is Passage and then Horizon, that continue the journey of Dag and Fawn. Some reviews I've read think that the pacing is slow in these books, but my experience reading Beguilement was that it was the perfect flow for my tastes. If you want action, then maybe this isn't such a great choice for you. But if you like a good character driven book, then give this one a try!(less)
Yarrow was my first foray in to the world of Charles de Lint, and it certainly won't be my last. What an amazing mind he has. When I first began readi...moreYarrow was my first foray in to the world of Charles de Lint, and it certainly won't be my last. What an amazing mind he has. When I first began reading, numerous characters were introduced, all going about daily things. A page for this one, a page for that one. I wondered who they all were and what their relevance was to the main plot. As I read, I was drawn into each of these people and found myslef amazed how they intertwined together. Some had small roles, and others larger, but what I loved was even though you didn't really NEED to know the little tid bits of information about this or that character, the fact that the author did give it in the simplest way made those characters stand out and become three dimensional.
This isn't normally the type of book I enjoy reading. I'm not a big fan of creepy, but I have to say that I did not want to put this book down until I finished the last page. The fantasy element in it was rather subtle, yet profound. I almost immediately found myself connecting with the main protagonist, Cat. She's withdrawn, shy and a writer. When she sleeps she dreams of an Otherworld, with strange creatures. A place that is just as real as the wolrd she lives in in her waking life. But something terrible happens. She stops dreaming of her Otherworld. Something is hunting her. Something evil. Eventually Cat begins to doubt her sanity and if this Otherworld isn't really just her imagination.
It's this evil that is hunting Cat that brings all the characters together in one way or another. I loved the execution of this tale. The vileness of the villain made this one creepy story and gave me the heebie geebies. But what really made this book for me was the relationship that formed slowly between Cat and Ben and the sense of a happily ever after for them.
I have a huge back list of Charles de Lint to get through, but I am looking forward to reading many, many more of his books.(less)