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(Inda #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  4,325 ratings  ·  373 reviews
Indevan Algara-Vayir was born the second son of a powerful prince, destined to stay at home and defend his family's castle. But when war threatens, Inda is sent to the Royal Academy where he learns the art of war and finds that danger and intrigue don't only come from outside the kingdom. ...more
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by DAW
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Loryn the main character, Inda is a boy, but the book is peppered with at least four different female Pov.
Elena I've read both series, and I couldn't even figure out how the two were connected. (Admittedly, I read them several years apart.) So no, you definitely…moreI've read both series, and I couldn't even figure out how the two were connected. (Admittedly, I read them several years apart.) So no, you definitely don't have to read Crown Duel first.(less)

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Mayim de Vries
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Power begets politics, and politics are more dangerous than war because there are fewer rules.”

May I present you one of the best hidden gems under the radar of Goodreads hype I have ever discovered? Inda brings the best of traditional high fantasy: the best tropes and arcs reworked in a very imaginative way, magnificent world-building and several fresh ideas that some contemporary celebrated authors pretend to have just discovered themselves. I offer you this review with my most sincere recomm
Scott  Hitchcock
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robin Hobb fans
Recommended to Scott by: Bill
Shelves: epic-fantasy
Book one of this series was unexpectedly a coming of age story. It's very hard to do this genre well at this point for me having read so much within it. I think the reason why I liked it so much was there wasn't the over the top, smothering, oppressive.............angst which dominates these stories ubiquitously in today's literature.

The second thing which made the book for me was that it was character driven. You got point and counterpoint instantly in the author's style. At first this style w
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm giving Inda five stars despite a few minor complaints, simply because the ending made me well up. I'll definitely continue with this series. There's a total of four books.

Let's get the minor complaints out of the way first.

Most characters have an official name and a nickname plus a honorific. The honorific is different depending on which language the characters use, which means there's at least four different ways a character can be referred to. It took me a long time to be able to keep ever
I'm too tired to write a proper review at the moment, but this was a brilliant book with an amount of complexity I really appreciated. A great main character and very well written prose make that an easy 5 star rating. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 02, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say up-front that I found two things about this book off-putting. First and foremost, Smith uses a third-person omniscient voice; I think it's fair to say that this POV is rarely used today, and there's a good reason for that. We get plenty of third person limited omniscient in which the point of view shifts between various characters but only changes perspective from one scene to another. I found Smith's jumping around mid-scene to be, at times, hard to follow.

Likewise hard to follow,
Indevan-Dal is the second son of the Prince and Princess of Choraed Elgaer, destined to become his elder brother Tanrid's Shield Arm-his military champion. Like all second sons, he is to be privately trained at home by Tanrid, the brother whose lands he will one day protect.

When the King's Voice comes to summon Inda to the Military Academy, he might well feel foreboding, or even fear-war is imminent-yet youthful Inda feels only excitement. But there are things that Tanrid hadn't prepared him fo
Michael Reitema
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who read very quickly
Recommended to Michael by: Grabbed it off the shelf
The first thing I have to say about this novel is that it is very much the first in a series. Absolutely nothing was resolved in the end. Nothing at all. In fact, there wasn't much of a story either, which is quite a challenge for over 500 pages.

Here's the rub: I still want to read the next one in the series. A cast of hundreds of points of view, a meandering plot that seemed to jump forward at a ridiculous pace, then slow down just as fast, as if the entire novel is one giant montage. Worked fo
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I love this book. People who follow me on reddit probably know that. And it's hard for me to write a review of it, because it's so dear to me, but I'm going to say basically the same things I do over there when I recommend it to people. My reviews for the rest of the series will probably be more nuanced...

Inda is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones or the Kushiel books- it has plenty of political intrigue, complex characters with a variety of sexual preferences, worldbuilding that is incredibly
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
This is my first time reading anything by Sherwood Smith and I picked this up largely due to Sam's (Novels and Nonsense) recommendation. I didn't have a clue what this was about and from looking at the cover I actually thought that the main character was a girl named Inda, however it's a young boy named Inda who we follow in this book, and his tale is certainly an interesting one.

One thing that this book does excellently is craft a unique, complex yet intriguing world. In this world we have mult
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series is an acquired taste for some, though I've read it multiple times. I especially enjoy this first book which is incredibly strong. Smith writes about a world that seems to have always existed, complete with political intrigue, age-old family feuds, old wars, new wars, and a back story for EVERYTHING. This makes the world rich and vibrant.

The only problem is that I think Smith is a little immune to how difficult her character names are to deal with. The main characters all have names y
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was and for that matter still am a bit hesitant about my rating here. This book is one of the (for me somewhat dreaded) coming of age school. We meet a young man, slated from birth to fill a certain roll, marry a certain girl and live his life as his forebears had.

But things don't go that way. (Well if they had of course we wouldn't have had a story.) Politics and family collide here for our protagonist as they do for every other character.

Inda suddenly gets sent to a school for warriors/knig
Sherwood Smith
May 04, 2009 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
It's my book. I got the first glimmers of this story forty years ago, and began writing it ten years ago. It's a bit of a long arc.
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read, I really liked the first half of this book but the second half was not really my style. Overall it was good.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Too high expectations? Probably. But when a book offers so many new words and titles and nicknames, including very close names depending on being war or peace, then it have to be more than normally interesting. And - honestly - it isn't.

"Up in the royal wing Hadand sat with Queen Wisthia, who insisted on the Sartoan word for queen, Sarias, which was put before her name, the way it was done in civilized kingdoms. Twice a year she endured the Marlocan word for queen, Gunvear [...]." And it just c
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
This book is going right into the favorites folder. It took a bit to get used to the third-person omniscient point of view, considering most things I read are limited or first person, but Smith really made it work well for this book. After the initial weirdness, it settled in my mind and I didn't think much of it after that.

I started off feeling I knew where this book was going: a coming of age tale with some fantasy school trope thrown in and a bit of intrigue. What I got was so much more than
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
DNF at 27%. I wish I had enjoyed the beginning of this book more because I've been told it changes pace halfway through. But I had such a difficult time caring about the characters because the world building was a bit too complicated for me. I don't love political machinations - only occasionally. This story had too many alliances that I could not keep straight. I didn't get attached to any of the characters. I am interested in learning more about the world, but not enough to keep slogging throu ...more
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So I finally finished this. It was a bit of a rough start because there are so many names and titles...and since there are two languages used in this culture, one for peacetime and the other for periods of war, it means that there are two words for every title. It doesn't help that a lot of the noble families have 'Vayir' tacked onto their names so keeping track of which family was aligned with or hated which other family was initially daunting. And I've read the Malazan books! This all kept me ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 *

All the things that I love are in this book: schooling, intrigues, betrayal, interesting writing style, round characters, very detailed society and of course lots of action.

Do not be deterred from the many names and those noble titles, I love it when it's very confusing in the beginning but page by page you figure it out - imo it's part of enjoyment in reading a book is that first you straggle to figure it out, beside to plot, but when you get it it's like you conquered a new language.
Ranting Dragon
Aug 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: dan

Inda is the first of four novels in the series of the same name by American author Sherwood Smith. It tells the story of the titular young noble, Inda, in a time of war and crisis in the world of Sartorias-Deles, a setting for a number of her other works. It establishes the background and history of the world for the chronologically later but earlier written works.

A rich and robust world
On her website, Smith reveals that she’s been writing in the world of
Francesca Forrest
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
On the story level, this is an exciting, immersive story of ambition and treachery: we follow young Inda, a prince in a warlike kingdom, and his friends and rivals as they grow into their strength--and come to realize just how dangerous the web of politics surrounding them is. At that level, it's a delight: Sherwood Smith develops characters in an intimate way, both inside (you're treated to the thoughts--the hopes, fears, resentments--of the characters) and out.

But I liked some of the more broa
Matt S
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found out about Inda thanks to the combination of a kindle deal and posts on r/fantasy. I joined in on a group read (late) without knowing much about the story, and am sure glad I did!

Inda is a coming of age story in a complex world full of political intrigue. I particularly enjoyed the characters and the author's writing style as I found myself easily visualizing the events throughout the story and quite emotional at times.

Early on some effort is required to learn the Marlovan language and ti
Kevin Xu
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
It's been a while since I dnf a book, but this book's writing was just not my cup of tea. The characterd and plot was really great, and I had no problem, but this was one of the first time I felt like the writing was slow in pace. This might be because it feels like she is telling the story rather than showing. So I stopped after about 200 pages.
Also this series feels a lot like Robin Hobb's Soldier and Son Trilogy in the premise, especially the 1st book, Shaman's Crossing, which a lot of people
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. I thought it was well written, and I absolutely loved Inda's character. The plot can be a bit slow at times, but for the most part it is well paced and exciting. I recommend this series to anyone that loves epic fantasy. ...more
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a hard book to get into, but once you get past the onslaught of strange names and settle into the omnipresent pov it really grabs you. I was supposed to read this a few chapters a week for a group read but I failed completely and devoured it until it was done.
C.P. Cabaniss
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
That ending really has me conflicted. There was a lot there that seemed to promise great things ahead, but then I remember that the rest of the book was rather a slog for me. So should I continue or not? Right now I'm leaning toward not.

I was really interested in reading this book. I heard a lot of great things and it had such a promising description. Then I started it, and it wasn't that it was bad, it just didn't grab my attention. The writing was odd, and not because it used an omniscient st
Hanna Ziegler
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
I was absolutely blown away by this book! The world building was phenomenal, and even though it took me a long time to read it, it was something I could happily jump into at any point when I got the time. One of the reasons this book shook my world so much was because of the treatment of time. Between the first page and the last, between 6–7 years have passed, and frequently that happens at the start of a chapter with a sentence like, "Half a year later..." which was very jarring to me, but in a ...more
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5-3.75 stars

Dislikes: Overly confusing names, vast time span and what was happening simultaneously in other parts of the Kingdom (even though it was fun to see Inda grow from a boy to a man!), some tedious/lagging sections on ship terms and battles.

Likes: The well-developed characters, the various histories of the ruling families, exploration of Homosexuality, pirate life, adventures at sea, and the super cool fighting technique the women utilized- the Odni.

I have conflicting thoughts on thi
Sep 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"Inda" is a fantasy novel. This author's young adult novels are some of my favorite stories because they have an innocence and earnestness about them even when bad things are happening. This book is so different in writing style and tone from those stories that I wouldn't have even guessed it came from the same author if her name wasn't on the cover.

Each character had a nickname, a title, another title, and all of these frequently changed. The titles were often very similar, adding to my difficu
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This isn't a perfect book, but it's a great hook for the sequels.

Initially it felt like a story I've read a dozen times: new student at a rough-and-tumble military academy with traditions of hazing that older privileged students are taking too far. A well-done version of it, but still nothing new. Things do eventually take a sharp turn towards the original, and when it does, the series really takes off. Sherwood doesn't pull any punches, and more than a fair few landed. Hard.

The entire book, whi
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Smith - Inda [Mar 5, 2020] 40 37 Mar 20, 2020 03:46PM  
/r/Fantasy Discus...: Inda (Inda, #1) 1 7 Feb 22, 2019 04:07AM  
Play Book Tag: Inda by Sherwood Smith - 4 stars 3 16 Jan 11, 2019 12:43PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Inda [Jan 20, 2018] 95 60 Feb 02, 2018 04:39PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN-13: 9780756404222 2 28 Jan 04, 2014 04:40PM  

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I am a writer, but I'm here on Goodreads to talk about books, as I've been a passionate reader as long as I've been a writer--since early childhood.

I'm not going to rate books--there are too many variables. I'd rather talk about the reading experience. My 'reviews' of my books are confined to the writing process.


Other books in the series

Inda (4 books)
  • The Fox (Inda, #2)
  • King's Shield (Inda, #3)
  • Treason's Shore (Inda, #4)

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