Apr 25, 12
Read from April 18 to 25, 2012
Three and a half stars:
"The Books of the Immortals- Air" is the first in Tarn's Silvery Earth series and serves as a fairly stable introduction. The depth and breadth of the world is demonstrated, leaving the reader with any number of places to go and more stories to read. But "Air" still stands on its own as a complete tale. Despite a relatively large main cast of characters, Tarn manages not only to define each one, but to give everyone relatively equal screen-time. They each have a story of their own, and she has a neat way of weaving their separate roads together to create the players in the final quest.
However, quick-paced storytelling and carefully managed character paths aside, the thing that impressed me most about "Air" was Silvery Earth, it's creation story and the magical races that lived there and how they interact with Humans. Although there is no one point in the story that really focuses on these interactions, it is a thread that I believe will link all of the Silvery Earth books together. Tarn uses a deft hand to demonstrate the ways that the magical races are different from Humans and why, while never just downloading "here's how this race works." She gives you pieces and bits to let you into the world. Oddly, her best bits of storytelling seem to lie on the periphery to the main adventure and quest. While the characters are well-defined from a background and character-building exercise point-of-view, the dialogue is very contemporary and there's no real variation between them (even the Big Bad Black Dame) talks like a petulant teenager.
In spite of that, there is enough character to draw you in and make you care about what happens to them. Even if it wasn't enough, even if you didn't care about the characters, Tarn has crafted such an exquisite world that I just want to know more about it, read more about it, see more of it. "Air" isn't flawless, but it is an intriguing, creative and very satisfying read that any true fantasy fan will love.