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The Mapmaker's War

(Keeper of Tales Trilogy #1)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  788 ratings  ·  176 reviews
This will be the map of your heart, old woman.

In an ancient time, in a faraway land, a young woman named Aoife is allowed a rare apprenticeship to become her kingdom's mapmaker, tasked with charting the entire domain. Traveling beyond its borders, she finds a secretive people who live in peace, among great wealth. They claim to protect a mythic treasure, one connected to
Hardcover, 226 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Atria Books
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  788 ratings  ·  176 reviews

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Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
You can't help but think that the second person narration somewhat ruined a good idea. You aren't so sure that you would be willing to take on the sequels. You are sorry to say it but there it is.
Justin Howe
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I hate bloated epic fantasy with a white-hot hatred that could blind the baby Jesus, and the fact that your standard fantasy novel nowadays is 500+ pages of grimdark neckbeardio “world building” only makes my blood boil. So when this book crossed my radar, likely via amazon algorithm, the first thing I did was check out the page count. It was less than 300 pages. That was enough to make me want to read it.

The Mapmaker’s War reads like a blend of William Morris, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Jeanette Wi
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
[3 Stars] This is yet another book I'm finding difficult to rate. I really enjoyed it, but there are certain characteristics this book has that makes me pause. I'm going to talk about what I liked first though, and that has to be the overall storytelling and the world Domingue has created. It's magical but at the same time isn't. I like the way this book really does feel like a memoir written by a woman who has been through so much in her life, has been a catalyst for so much without really want ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, library
"Until love and peace are constant, our purpose is not fulfilled."
3 or 4? I'm debating. A death brought me to tears, but I had a real problem with the second person narration. It seemed discordant. This is also book one in a trilogy, but it seems to have such a finite ending, in not sure where this storyline could go? Aoife grows from young tomboy, to royal mapmaker, to reigning princess until war and greed disrupts the peace of the kingdom. A near Utopian society is its victim, too weak to defe
Mary McMyne
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Ronlyn Domingue's lyrical, moving second novel about Aoife, the world's first female mapmaker, is the fantasy novel to watch this spring. There is so much to love: Domingue's eerie and beautiful voice, Aoife's strong and difficult character, and the world of the novel, which is at once strange and familiar as the world of legend and myth. I found myself entranced, spellbound, and read the whole thing in under twenty-four hours in moments stolen from family and friends. It's almost as if the nove ...more
This was an extremely strangely written story for me as I had never read anything written in second person narrative before.

'Thank you, but I'll wait to eat them. Stained fingers, stained map, you said.

You're tame enough to feed by hand, said he.'

Adding to the confusing way of writing was the complete lack of quotation marks which I have seen more and more of in literature these days and still am not clear as to why this is done. I dislike it greatly. Unfortunately, the story didn't benefit from
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Every now and again, I read a book that reminds me why I love reading. The Mapmaker’s War: A Legend by Ronlyn Domingue is one such novel. Domingue weaves a tale of love, ambition, loneliness and belonging that will resonate within all of us.

Aoife (pronounced ee-fah) is the mapmaker in this story. Born a girl in a far away land in a time long ago, her path in life was set: grow up, marry, and produce children. Instead, at a young age she falls in love with charts and maps. A childhood friend, who
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! I believe Ronlyn has a cross over hit on her hands when this hits the shelves. In addition, to being a middle school librarian I read a lot of young adult literature. I couldn't put this book down and knew when I finished it I would read it again. The characters are strong and the message powerful.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I can definitely say that I haven't read any other books like this before. It took me a while to decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing. This book is written in a way that is at times captivating, but at other times, on the verge of being so repetitive that it might drive you crazy.

I haven't read very many books that use second person narrative to navigate the telling of the story. I'm still not completely sure how I felt about it. On the one hand, it was unusual and that added points i
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a 3.5 Star read for me.

I enjoyed this enchanting once-upon-a-time tale exploring identity, choice, and power with a feminist bent. Even as a child Aoife was able to skirt around the expected female roles of her society. Using her father’s position and her friendship with the prince – she secured a coveted mapmaker’s apprenticeship position - allowing her the freedom to roam and map uncharted territories. It is her discovery of a secretive society with mythical wealth and a magical drago
Seregil of Rhiminee
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Ronlyn Domingue's The Mapmaker's War is one of the best literary fantasy novels I've ever read. It differs greatly from other novels and it's one of those novels that can be recommended to both mainstream readers and speculative fiction readers. It belongs to the small group of novels that can be called literary treasures.

What makes The Mapmaker's War an extraordinary novel is that it's written entirely in the second-person narrative mode. This is rare, becau
Timons Esaias
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting read, but it's not for the unsophisticated Fantasy-beach-book audience.

I read so many Fantasy manuscripts these days that I rarely pull a published Fantasy novel off the shelf to read for my own pleasure. (Something like 50 of them mock me from the Unread Shelves as I type this.) By "rarely" I mean once every 18 months, or so. This isn't even one I bought on my own: it was a freebie from a World Fantasy or Nebula Weekend attendee's bag. I gave it the First Page Test w
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book endeavors to tell a new legend, weaving together an imagined history that could also be a possible future, giving us a glimpse of Utopia that has become very rare in our Dystopian times. The ending left me breathless and anticipating the next book!
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
When my copy of The Mapmaker's War A Legend arrived, the first thing that caught my eye was the beauty of the book itself. The cover has a textured feel to it and the art is lovely, the pages have a torn look to the edges. The book is written as if it was translated from an ancient language of a different time and place, hence the choppy, fragmented prose. I found myself having to become acclimated with this style of writing in order to enjoy the storyline. There are small drawings sparsely plac ...more
Viviane Crystal
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Once upon a time…how many times in the past does a reader enter a tale where a person battles evil and wins peace and happiness for a very long time? Despite the stark realities that age imposes about how much goodness and evil humans can foster, a part of us subconsciously dares to dream of a Utopian existence, a Shangri-La, a fantasy yes but all the more sweeter for the dream!

Aoife is our heroine in this wonderful tale. Although girls and women have their affixed roles in the home, Aoife is al
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Mapmaker's War is a book like no other book I have ever read. It creates a world far removed from the one in which we all exist, taking the reader on a journey of confusion, discovery, magic and love. I am not sure I completely understood it. I know I need to read it again - maybe another time after that - to fully grasp the author's intent. I know like most literary novels a lot of it happened somewhere over my head but I do know that I was enthralled for my time within its pages.

The book i
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won this novel in the Goodreads Giveaway contest, it is the first I've ever won.
I got the Advance Uncorrected Proofs-Not For Sale softcover version Courtesy of Simon & Shuster Canada.
Truth be told, I feel kinda privileged to be one of the general public's first to get to read it. :-)

I loved this book, but (and I know everything said after a "but" is invalid) ...but :-) it is definately a chick-lit* book.

OK, I do have to admit that I do have a soft-spot for this kind of writing, the story i
I simply couldn't finish this book. I tried, I really did. I wanted to like it so much. I loved Domingue's first book, The Mercy of Thin Air, but this one did nothing for me. First of all, the writing style really put me off. The book is written in second person stream-of-consciousness point of view. It drove me absolutely mad. It was as though the narrator is telling the story to herself. "You did this, you did that". It was exhausting to read. Also, there are no quotation marks used for dialog ...more
Lorina Stephens
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ronlyn Domingue's latest novel, The Mapmaker's War: A Legend is an ambitious literary novel that more easily slides into the canon of magic realism than it does commercial fantasy. Generally an epic tale of a woman who defies convention and national obligation, the story explores issues of equality not only of the sexes, but of cultures, of governments founded on imperialism at the expense of all integrity, versus the cost of pacifism.

Brilliantly told from second person, present tense, Domingue
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Aoife is a mapmaker. At the request of the king, she and a small crew are sent to investigate the rest of the land and chart it on a map. During this expedition, Aoife meets a village of people. They show her their land which includes great wealth of gold. When the king learns of this village he dispatches a group to check it out. Aoife warns the people and in turn makes herself a traitor to her own people. She is exiled. This is where Aoife’s journey begins.

I have never read anything by this a
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Mapmaker’s War by Ronlyn Domingue
A Review

Domingue’s second novel is of the rarest of all kinds. A unique story, written in a striking narrative, telling an original story.

The Mapmaker’s War was unlike anything I had ever read before. The story is told by the main protagonist in first person narrative –something that took a while to get used to.

The story is about a young woman named Aoife who is tasked with mapping the kingdom. In the process of making maps, she soon travels beyond the border
Alexis Osborne
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An awesome fairy-tale styled novel, yet it is more realistic than traditional fairy tales. It is the story of Aoife, a mapmaker to a king and a woman in turbulent times. She finally finds her boon, far from where she'd imagined it and yet so much more satisfying and enticing than she'd ever dreamt. The mapmaker is a story of a young woman's life and her tumultuous experiences in an age of kings and exploration. Aoife ends up far from where she begins, but the journey is magical and takes her whe ...more
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ronlyn Domingue's The Mapmaker's War is a book I couldn't put down. The journey of Aoife (love her name), a young girl growing up in ancient times in a magical setting, takes the reader through her life as the first female mapmaker in her kingdom, and metaphorically her struggle to create her own emotional landscape. Aoife's story, which involves love, loss, and eventually her spiritual and emotional transformation, reveals the same challenges women face today. I recommend this book to all who l ...more
Aug 17, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, kindle
22 January 2015: $1.99 on Kindle
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

The writing is lovely and atmospheric. I like how everything came around full circle at the end. The 2nd pov choice for narration is distracting and hard to get into at first but it grew on me. Maybe I could have connected better if the author had used another style to write in, maybe not, but it was a nice book. Short and sweet.
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Amazing! Another woman who can write and who tackles the conflicts inherent in being female with wisdom as well as a wry humor. The mapmaker is female and defies conventional roles for women. In her young years she manages to get pregnant by the Prince of her kingdom, impress him enough to get him to marry her, and unwittingly start a war between her kingdom and a peaceful neighboring people.

She pays dearly for her adventurous ways and lives a conflicted life. In this book, the first of a trilo
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, fiction, sci-fi
"The Mapmaker's War" was a very interesting story to me. I liked the story itself. There is a little bit of fantasy and a little bit in this book that really drew me in and kept me reading until the last page. This story is definitely very inventive and will be perfect for readers who want their fantasy reading to be unique.

The main character, Aoife (which I strangely learned to pronounce by watching E!'s reality tv show, Chasing the Saturdays, about the British girl band - hah), is fascinating.
***I was lucky to win a copy of this book through the GoodReads Advance program.***

3.5 stars

My feelings about this book are mixed. Firstly, I think the title is misleading: the book is not about a war, not even an interior one. This book is about the mapmaker quest to find her inner self. The war is somewhere on background, and we find only pieces and bits about it. I found the first half of the book a little boring, but the second half was much better. Aoife was born in a world where women have
My Book Addiction and More MBA

THE MAPMAKER’S WAR:A LEGEND BY Ronlyn Domingue is an interesting Fantasy/Myths/Folk Tales set in an Ancient time,in a land far away. This was a difficult book for me to read, but with that said it also was an interesting read once you got started. It is an autobiography of a mapmaker named Aoife from a faraway land. An adventure of love,loss,the human spirit,a mythic treasure,and one woman’s courage to do the unexpected. An interesting tale of the human spirit,love,Asian legends, hope and human’
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, first-reads
I received this Advance Uncorrected Proofs-Not For Sale softcover version Courtesy of Simon & Shuster Canada and Goodreads.

I am ever so grateful for having the opportunity to preview a book so far in advance of its publish date.

I'm not sure what I was expecting but am pleasantly surprised. A story told in the second person was hard to get used to but when I finally hit my stride, I didn't want to stop.

A fantastical tale filled with beautiful imagery, strong influences of many different cu
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Ronlyn Domingue is the internationally published author of The Mercy of Thin Air and the Keeper of Tales Trilogy--The Mapmaker's War, The Chronicle of Secret Riven, and The Plague Diaries. Her writing has appeared in The Beautiful Anthology (TNB Books), New England Review, Clackamas Literary Review, New Delta Review, The Independent (UK), Border Crossing, and Shambhala Sun, as well as on mindful.o ...more

Other books in the series

Keeper of Tales Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Chronicle of Secret Riven (Keeper of Tales Trilogy, #2)
  • The Plague Diaries (Keeper of Tales Trilogy, #3)
“The Guardians perceived cycles, not finality.” 1 likes
“You knew you couldn’t reason with him. Not in the state he’d created for himself.” 0 likes
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