Sounds like any number of fantasy books out there. Aurian had the potential to be another boring A-typical book in the Fantasy genre. Before rereading...moreSounds like any number of fantasy books out there. Aurian had the potential to be another boring A-typical book in the Fantasy genre. Before rereading this book, I had wondered how come this book had stuck in my mind for so long after reading it probably about six years ago. I was fairly young and thought maybe the impression was left from the inexperienced mind of a young reader. However, Furey has created one of the best epic fantasy books I have read. Taking the same old tale and turning it into a refreshing new story.
One of my favorite things about Aurian is all of the subplots that work themselves into the main idea. They all fit together somehow and it’s fun to see each one pull together and shape the story. The twist on fairies is really fun, and the history of the world is unique to see from different cultures. Especially once the reader is given the real facts. Every time you get more information on the world, other races, and cultures , it is like feeding an addiction. Meeting each of the powerful races of the elements is also a great treat, and I want more on the Skyfolk.
Aurian is the main character, but it is told by the points of views of many different characters. I come up with ten right off the top of my head, but there are many more. Furey is so skilled that I never found myself bored as the story went from one character to the next. Even with all the back and forth between characters and plots, I didn't get lost.
The names of the characters are very beautiful, and they are all different enough that I never get the characters mixed up. That has always been one of my pet peeves with fantasy books, all the names are so similar that you never know who you are reading about.
My favorite part of this book isn’t the wonderful plot and story ideas, but it is the emotions. Furey has truly proven with this book. Her skill is making the characters real by thinking, feeling, and interacting with the world they are in. I’m not quite sure if I can properly explain it. Each character from our main heroine to the evil villain, or even just to a temporary character, has such depth and growth. Furey expertly deals with grief, the kinds of love there are, happiness, revenge, evil, and the change people go through as they live. She expertly shows how others can impact and change someone’s life.
The great characterization is coupled by Furey’s rich writing. Every place that is described flows easily into the mind. Every character has a unique voice, and point of view, that never takes away, but adds to Furey’s style. She can easily wrench your heart with sorrow, and then have you chuckling with a humorous line.
Even after all of these years, Furey’s book still manages to captive me. Aurian’s character depth and emotions are something that no reader should pass up. This book has one of the best love stories I have ever read. There are many plots to follow in this book, which I didn’t find over whelming as some readers might. If you read a lot it shouldn’t be too hard to differentiate and remember them. This is a series where you are not going to want to wait a long time in between reading the next book.
Sexual content: Furey keeps it pretty clean. There are some sex scenes which are not detailed. A beginning to a rape scene, the author does not go into details. (less)
The Queen of Orcs series has been floating around the fantasy scene for a while. I had plans to read the series for quite a while, then I read Howell'...moreThe Queen of Orcs series has been floating around the fantasy scene for a while. I had plans to read the series for quite a while, then I read Howell's Servant Worth Ten Coppers. The book was wonderful, so I went out and bought all of her books that I could.
After reading King's Property I can finally justify my purchases and breath easy. The plot is a standard fantasy plot, but the writing is refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, the take on Orcs in this book is too cool. These are not the Orcs we're familiar with from Tolkien's work. They have a society and the females have the position of lords of the land, they make all of the decisions.
The lead female is a very strong character. The way Howell wrote her was wonderful. I felt complete frustration and anger with the character as she had to choose the lesser of two evils each time constantly to survive.
Conclusion: This is a must have for any fantasy collection and I look forward to reading the other two books. Howell is obviously a fantasy queen.
Sexual Content: This is a dark book and goes over the rough treatment of women and there lowly state in the scheme of things. No graphic sex scenes(less)
First off before I read this book, I was prepared to dislike it. It's shelved in the romance...moreGenre: Paranormal Romance (AKA Romantic Fantasy)
First off before I read this book, I was prepared to dislike it. It's shelved in the romance genre, and no matter how many romance books I read I'll still always be wary of that lay of the land. The description on the back of the book had me giggling with it's silliness, and then someone told me this was a series about finding ones soulmate. Personally the over the top soulmate thing had me trying to check out before I could even crack open a page. Before I found out anything about the book I had already bought it, so I new I was going to read it. This book has loads of great reviews for it, and then there are the reviewers who are skeptic romantics like me who just thought it was hokey.
Well this skeptic has been silenced. Turns out this book has more then hot sex scenes surrounded by thin plot lines. In fact it was quite the oppisite.
The world Wilson built is a fantasy world that many an aspiring writer would love to have developed. You can see the races, sink into the life of the people, and let the history of this rich land poor over you. The Faye are intriguing people who live VERY long lives, many of the Faye characters living for over a thousand years. It's had creating character that can show the weight they carry living that long--sure Wilson doesn't really pull it off--but you can feel it at times. Its a sorrowful note that she hits. The Celierians are the humans in this book that are "good." They've had alliances with the Faye and have fought to keep the Elden off of them for generations. The Eld are the evil Mages of this tale. Who want to crush the Faye at all costs. Of course not all of the people of Eld are mages. Instead of being free people they are nothing but tools, Marked at birth until the age of six when they are nothing more then pawns for the mages to take control of there bodies. There are also other races, notably the Elves. Not much is said about them in history or in the progress of this book. I've always been a fan of elves so I'm curious to get more information on them. Plus, why aren't they really mentioned in the history?
Wilson has created a cast of characters that interact so well. Many times I found myself laughing out loud with the characters, to fist pumping in the air victoriously. Side character stole my heart just as much as our leading characters Ellie and Rain. I found myself at times respecting, laughing, and enjoying the Celierian Queen--clearly she's a bad apple. The plots that are building up around her making me worry, especially after Wilson reveled the love story around how the King came to court her. The Faye protectors of Ellie have warmed their way into my heart with their fierce loyalty and their humorous antics.
The plot builds up nicely with this title and I had no problem sinking into the politics and culture. If you're afraid that this is going to turn into sex and no plot, be assured. There's a lot of plot threads that start to build up and not all of them are resolved at the end of this book. There's a lot of lip biting moments in Lord of the Fading Lands.
The love story between Ellie and Rain plays out nicely. All that sex I was afraid this book was going to be dedicated to, not here. The Soulmate/bond thing isn't something that makes the two characters just jump in bed together. Instead Ellie still gets the choice of falling in love with Rain. It's a pleasure to watch both of them discover each other. Rain at times can be over protective, but lets be honest his enemies are going to want her dead or worse. So clearly a little over protectiveness is nice. Rain nearly destroyed the world when his lady love was killed over a 1,000 years before of the events of this book, so I was worried how much Wilson would play that card. She plays it nicely, never making the reader feel over powered by Rian's suffering, but still making us want to shed a few tears for him. At times Rain can be annoyingly ill tempered to a fault, sometimes reminding me of a spoiled pouting child. In the end that's the charm of Rain Faye to the bone, flying cat at heart. Ellie is still getting fleshed out in this book. You can see the strong and determined woman she is gong to develop into.
This book needs to be checked out just for the buzz alone that it's stirring. Don't let the soulmate and romance shelving fool you, this book could hold its own in with the Epic Fantasy. It has a fantasy world that rivals many that I've come across, plus has the added bonus of making me fall in love with more then just the main characters. You'll laugh out loud with this book, have "fist pump of victory" moments, bite your lip in worry, and just get all tangled up with this book.
Some witty sexual jokes, a few slightly graphic scenes, and then one sex scene at the end. Nothing to over the top.
Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, and other popular male authors where about it for Epic Fantasy exposure when I was firs...moreGenre: Epic Fantasy
Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, and other popular male authors where about it for Epic Fantasy exposure when I was first starting out in the genre. So it came as a shock when the allure of a female voice was so addicting after being bombarded with male writing—in fact Lackey was the first female EF author I had ever read back when. It was a shock to read a book that actually had emotions and plots that worked with them. Of course the idea of mystical horses that can mind-link to humans and have the same intelligence (if not smarter) of their riders is any little or grown-up girls dream.
The horses are mystical—maybe even divine—creatures that protect the kingdom in more ways then even their Heralds. Considering their Heralds act as enforcers of the law, spies, ambassadors, negotiators, warriors, assassins, and so much more—it's pretty impressive.
Talia comes from a repressive society of Holder Kin, that believe women are no better then housewives. The villages are basically polygamist settlements where women marry at thirteen, or are vowed into silence as priestesses. Talia is immediately relatable as a young girl who dreams of more and finds her escape in the few books that she can get her hands on. So when she's confronted with an arranged marriage, I was only too willing to follow along Talia's escape into the world of Heralds and Companions. Where outside of Holder Kin society women are equal to men.
Lackey's "emo reputation" probably comes from the fact that she is not afraid to deal with negative emotions. Talia has been repressed by her abusive upbringing, she suffers from low self-esteem and doubts. Heralds are asked to justly serve the kingdom and set aside personal feelings and prejudice. Talia is also Queen's Own, which is a position as the main advisor and friend to the current ruler. Even though Talia's Companion makes her Queen's Own by picking her, this book is still a journey on Talia truly becoming a person to fit that role.
Life-bonded couples—much like soul mates—are a favorite topic of negative opinions from other reviewers. While some characters state it was love at first sight, the relationships don't start then. Lackey is all about character growth and nothing is ever easy, so don't be afraid about mushy-gooey soul mates spoiling the storyline.
Arrows of the Queen may only be a 230 page book, but it covers more story then most 700 page books. Lackey's writing style is easy to get into, and is classy enough to forget the few typo issues at the beginning. Even though some characters don't even get a page appearance, as they're only brought up in conversation, you know who they are and what happens to them—even caring about them.
This is my third time visiting this book, and it still manages to enchant me. It covers the training years of Talia, being the time honored tale of escape from the mundane lives we live to something incredible. Political intrigue adds flavor to the pages as the current Queen has old and new enemies who want her gone. Leading to attempts on Talia's life and the brainwashing of the Heir. The cast of characters here will become well loved friends that you constantly look out for each book.
Sexual Content: Homosexual themes for some cast members and secondary characters clearly have sex lives. There are some mature scenes where Talia tries to get involved sexually—but it ends up being rather comedic and nothing happens. All in all nothing truly outrageous.
This book had a really fun beginning. Showing that the book we are about to read is a history of how the old world ended, and that it is noth...moreThoughts:
This book had a really fun beginning. Showing that the book we are about to read is a history of how the old world ended, and that it is nothing but lies. Promising, right? How many fantasy books start off like that? Not many so I was really excited to start out.
Within 20 pages, nothing big really popped out. The reader has read the prologue that gives us some history, and we're rushing on to meet our young heroine. Who is just coming into her powers and is now a hunted girl because of them.
I've read a lot of fantasy books, and it's only natural to hit the same story over and over again. The thing with good fantasy books if they don't have a new idea, then the author takes the same old tale and spices it up. Spices it up by the writing style, characters and how they interact, and so many little factors. This book didn't really have any of that.
After 175 pages I can confidently say this book has solid writing, really good and descriptive. However, after that many pages all of the characters introduced, and still being introduced, I just couldn't connect with them. I was not interested in them, I could profile all of them in to standard fantasy character catergories. For all of the great writing, the characters never developed. I know it takes time for you to connect to the characters especially when some are still be introduced. After 175 pages, there should be some characters you care about, the author should be able to make you want to know the new ones.
After 175 pages, nothing new was being added to the plot and I was bored. Book Boredom is a rare thing that I have rarely visited, and quite frankly don't like to stay in too long. So out of self preservation, I stopped.
Then picked it up again and tried last week to read it. Maybe I wasn't in the mood (which can some times happen with fantasy), maybe I just didn't read enough, and so many other excuses.
First off no matter the fantasy book, or how many times the same old tale is being told. It should still give you something to make it new.
175-200 pages should be more then enough time to connect with a book, if it takes more the author is not doing their job.
This book had a great beginning and fantastic writing. Swiftly it falls into the standard fantasy plot and it doesn't distinguish itself from the other books out there. I found myself not caring about the characters. After 175 pages Book Boredom set in hard, and trying to pick it up again after starting did not cure it. For long term fantasy fans, stay away from this one. New fantasy adventurers, there's better things out there.
Nothing within a 175 pages, not even a kiss.
1/5 –Couldn't even finish it, or wish I hadn't.(less)
Epic Fantasy books and I have been on a “break.” Every once in a while I'd read a fantasy title, but would soon flee back to the comforting arms of Ur...moreEpic Fantasy books and I have been on a “break.” Every once in a while I'd read a fantasy title, but would soon flee back to the comforting arms of Urban Fantasy. Poison Study was a great intro back into the wonderful world that is Epic Fantasy.
This is a reread for me, but I had to reread it because the series has finally released other installments. It was a great first novel. Snyder tells readers about Yelena's story, which skips the usual save the world tale that fantasy stories favor. Yelena is introduced to us when she is about to be executed, and is given the option to be the new food taster instead. The story carries on beautifully from there.
It’s intense watching Yelena blossom into a woman, and to see a female heroine with some brains. What I love the most is that the romance is subtle, it grows on you just as it sneaks up on Yelena. This book isn’t just the struggle of Yelena defending her life from her past and the future she deserves, but the struggle of a kingdom trying to become something more for it’s people.
The world building is so wonderful in this series, and the characters will linger in your mind long after. Some characters are exactly as they seem, while the inner depth you get on the King, Valek (Yelana’s poison teacher), and other friends of Yelena is just awe inspiring. They’re characters that would be missed if they don’t appear in future books.
If you’re a Epic Fantasy virgin, or a EF reader who’s burned out, Poison Study is the perfect fit for you. Snyder is a wonderful addition to the endless list of fantasy series out there, and clearly is passing the test of time. There’s a reason this series was bought up from Luna and republished, it’s just that good.
Sexual Content: Some might argue that there’s some homosexual themes, but I think it’s more about “women’s rights.” There is some sex, but it’s clean. Clean enough that I believe it’s no in print for YA.
Having already read the first book in Elizabeth Vaughan's Star series, it's safe to say that I am a huge fan! This is the first in the Warlor...moreThoughts:
Having already read the first book in Elizabeth Vaughan's Star series, it's safe to say that I am a huge fan! This is the first in the Warlord series, which happens to be Vaughan's debut novel.
For a first book, it's really impressive. Solid writing, the world has a history and the politics are well thought out. The cast of characters come from standard fantasy worlds, but of course Vaughan makes them her own and the characters end up being quite lovable. This book is more of a getting to know the world setup. Getting to know basic characters, the land and nations. The evil villain is Xylara's brother, it was a nice setup the way Vaughan did it. But it felt rushed, like the evil king needed to be dead by the end of the book. Of course I'm not saying there isn't some potential evil villains left to plague the series later on.
Xylara defied everyone, including her late father, and became a healer. She stands up to her brother and fights for what she believes in. Clearly she is a character to admire. My only complaint, is that as smart as Xylara is it takes her a while to stick her head out there. Certain situations could have been solved if she would have been as brave as everyone said she was. Then again, when you think you're a slave and are in a new culture, one can never tip-toe too carefully.
The love interest, is more of an idea at this point. Kier is a respectable and fair Warlord, who has dreams of uniting his people with Xylara. He wishes to court her as a Warprize, which will herald change to the people. Sadly enough that's all the reader is really given on him. I'll admit I'm shallow enough that I was cheering the couple on.
It's fun watching Xylara realize what her people need (especially a little womans rights!), and how she is willing to sacrifice things to make her country better. My only compliant is exactly what Keir voices. That he expects her and her people to change, but he and his people are not making any efforts. This is another thing I hope will move along.
This may not be mind blowing, but it's well worth it for the fantasy lover to invest in. New readers of fantasy will probably think this is the cat's meow. If you're looking for steamy love scenes, look else where. If you're looking for a sweet (very high school like) romance, you've found it. I can't wait to read the next books in this series. If her Star series is any indication, Vaughn is going to grow into a great storyteller in her later books.