Lydia Presley's Reviews > Isles of the Forsaken

Isles of the Forsaken by Carolyn Ives Gilman
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Jun 26, 11

bookshelves: 2011, fantasy, fiction
Read from June 22 to 26, 2011

One of the biggest gripes I have when it comes to fantasy is how difficult it can be to get involved in the world. I mean, think about it - when you open a fantasy book you are giving yourself over to that author, that creator of the world and you are trusting them to explain to you just what exactly is going on. Strange words, names, places, things - all these are in abundance and on top of that.. there's a story they have to tell and importantly, that you have to follow.

That paragraph is exactly where I have an issue with Isles of the Forsaken. Now, let me just say that I enjoyed this book, as much as I was able to. I found the story to be an interesting one, the politics to be top-notch, the action kept the story moving at a solid pace, the characters were fleshed out and fun to get to know but, and this is a big BUT, I had no idea what half the words, the religion, the basis for the discord was even about until I was 70% of the way through the book. (Thank you, Kindle, for providing me with that exact percentage.)

Finally, 70% in I got an explanation for what it was the Adainas do, or as much as an explanation as I would get. At this point in the story, I'd just accepted that I wouldn't understand, it wouldn't be explained, and I got some sort of general idea of it but nothing specific and I really am a "love specifics" type of reader when it comes to things like world building and crafting.

So at 70% it really felt as if the book was finally taking off and then, I found I couldn't put it down. And I loved it. I was so excited, I understood what was happening and the significance of events that were unfolding. But then.. a short 30% later, it ended with the promise of a sequel in the future.

I don't want to discourage anyone from reading this book, because I really do think it is worth the read and I found it to be a fascinating look into fantasy through the politics and racism that were heavily involved in making up the story, but I will caution you to be patient, to just accept what you are reading and understand that it will all be made a bit more clear as you read.
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