The UHQ Nasanta's Reviews > Rhapsody: Child of Blood

Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon
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's review
Jan 09, 2011

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bookshelves: genre-fantasy, read-books-2011, obtained-in-swap, series-0-connected-family, 1st-in-series, reviewed, read-books-2012
Read 2 times. Last read January 25, 2011 to February 5, 2011.

Second Review
Read: January 2, 2012 - January 13, 2012

2.5 - 3 stars

Second Review in progress

I reread this book for Romance Lovers for the Challenge-Impaired Group Series Read in order to refresh my memory to properly read Book 2.

Having been exposed to much of the story and knowing what to expect, this read went more smoothly for me. I was less impatient. I was able to get a better feeling for the world-building. I appreciated the mythology. I found the magic system as interesting and as flawed as I did the first time. The pacing was slow as the author sought to introduce us to the world. This was often through info-dumping as one character educated another about one thing or another, but oddly enough, I wasn't too bothered by that because it made sense in the context of things. I delighted in Grunthor, and felt great appreciation for Achmed. I liked Ashe but he didn't stand out much, to be honest. Unlike the majority of the reviewers, I enjoyed the banter between Jo and Grunthor and Achmed. Spoiler for future books: (view spoiler) Rhapsody drove me as batty as she did the first time. Although I guess I like her, I simply cannot stand her uber Mary Sue character.

First Review
Read: January 25, 2011 - February 5, 2011

2 stars

I read this book for Nothing But Reading's Read With Me Challenge. Although the blurb intrigued me, I confess to dragging my feet when it came to actually starting it. To be perfectly honest, I didn't enjoy it that much, especially the first half of the book. The writing was quite descriptive, and the style leaned toward narrative. There was a lot of telling, especially when it came to the history and descriptions of a world or culture or magic, which was disappointing. But I really enjoyed the author's humor which showed through the banter exchanged between the close friends and allies, and I became somewhat obsessed with finding out what happened to the two young lovers that we met in the first fifty pages or so.

By the first page, I knew I would have difficulty with this book. I had no idea what was going on, how the world was structured, and what kind of magic system was in place. I was very confused and remained so for most of the book, and this negatively impacted my reading experience. I was also a little incredulous about what happened in the "Overture". The dialogue between the young lovers seemed awkward, the "love-at-first-sight" unbelievable, and...(view spoiler) It was a little difficult to take in. Then the young lovers are separated, and we are introduced to seemingly new characters. Thus, the reason for my second source of frustration. I was too impatient to know what had happened to the young lovers, and whether they would ever find each other again. I blame this need for a Happily-Ever-After in the romantic interests on my many years of reading romance. I've come to expect it, and when the lovers became separated with no word of what may have happened, I couldn't continue with the book until I knew vaguely what to expect.

By page 60-70, the ONLY part I truly enjoyed was the first 3 pages when we first meet Rhapsody. My first impression of her was, with dismay, "Oh no. Not another Mary Sue-ish character." That tavern keeper and his wife adored her. Then, she became really funny. I nearly snorted aloud on the train. But when we met the baker... Ugh. I used to like Mary Sue-ish characters, but for some reason, these days I have less patience with them. She didn't improve as the book progressed. Instead, it got worse as midway, Rhapsody went through an experience that physically changed her appearance that made her unnaturally beautiful. Since that point, every person who laid eyes on her was practically ready to worship her feet. This reminded me rather unpleasantly of the reactions to Bella Swan's transformed appearance in Breaking Dawn. However, unlike Bella who accepted the fact (and gloated in it) that she was (finally) drop-dead perfectly gorgeous, Rhapsody persisted in not understanding that the people's reactions toward her had to do with her impossibly perfect beauty rather than some fearsome flaw. The fact that she persisted in this misconception lent a sense of false modesty which was really irritating. I refused to abuse myself by banging my head, but I did give myself frequent headaches rolling my eyes each time. (view spoiler) I liked how Rhapsody seemed to be a relatively strong female character while remaining feminine but...I didn't really like her. Damn those Mary Sues.

I really liked Grunthor. He was funny and lovable. I envision him to be like Shrek - with an impressive collection of weapons. He was probably my favorite character, followed by Stephen and Ashe. Achmed took a while getting used to. He was not lovable but seeing how he eventually accepted Rhapsody as an close and trusted friend softened my feelings toward him. I did not have much of a problem with Jo although I kind of wondered what her place was in the story - or I did until I looked up the Wikipedia articles on this series. *guilty look*

Overall, I wasn't too impressed with the world-building. I sort of got the picture of the world, but I was completely confused about how the Tree and Root thing worked, which is disappointing because it seemed like a significant part of the story and sounded really interesting. The concept of a magic system based on musical vibrations was intriguing and unique. Unfortunately, the execution was poor. There appeared to be little structure, logic or reason when it came to magic. (view spoiler) I cannot really explain it but I felt as if something was missing. I just wish that it had made more sense, and that it was something more to it.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 9, 2011 – Shelved
January 9, 2011 – Shelved as: genre-fantasy
January 25, 2011 – Started Reading
January 25, 2011 –
page 4
0.61% "Read 1.5 pages and I am confused as to the nature of world and what's going on."
January 26, 2011 –
page 7
1.07% ""How or why this had happened to him was not an issue for the moment." "There was no time to wonder how he had gotten here, and no need." I think this is supposed to convey an adventurous spirit but seriously, for someone who has just found himself suddenly in a different world and time, he is remarkably blase about it. In short, I'm not buying the adventurous spirit line."
January 30, 2011 –
page 42
January 30, 2011 –
page 42
6.4% "I'm still really confused about what's going on. The dialogue seems awkward, and the love-at-first-sight romance and sex at 14 years old seems unbelievable. Not too happy with book so far."
February 2, 2011 –
page 149
22.71% "Story still slow. Not so very reluctant to continue book though. Grunthor has grown on me. Achmed remains heartless. Rhapsody not so interesting but the magic and Sagia's root world are. Reminds me of Pandora - sort of. Still wondering about Gwydion and Emily; may have an idea."
February 4, 2011 –
page 334
50.91% "My notes: what? A child Gwydion who is not half-Lirin? Is the author playing with me? I am not amused."
February 4, 2011 –
page 348
53.05% "My notes: huh? Is Emily's Gwydion dead? Argh! Also noted that what happened to Rhapsody in the fires at the center of the earth and everyone's reaction to her is reminding me most unpleasantly of Bella's transformation in Breaking Dawn. Oh, please is all I can think of in disgust. Yes, I roll my eyes each time. Quote by Grunthor: " You're lost" had me snorting out loud in GCT. Good thing it was really noisy there."
February 4, 2011 –
page 410
62.5% "Simon's misconceptions about who Rhapsody and Achmed are amusing me. Kind of makes me understand why Rhapsody does not understand the people's reactions to her."
February 4, 2011 –
page 464
70.73% "Who is Ashe? Details seem to point to him being Emily's Gwydion but if he is Gwydion of Manosse, he should be dead. But he is not. Rhapsody seemed to think he lived somehow. Yet, he is 154 years old! Is he possessed by the F'dor? Rhapsody's vision at the House and some details on how Tsoltan had enslaved Brother makes me consider the possibility."
February 5, 2011 –
page 475
February 5, 2011 – Shelved as: read-books-2011
February 5, 2011 – Shelved as: obtained-in-swap
February 5, 2011 – Finished Reading
February 17, 2011 – Shelved as: series-0-connected-family
March 27, 2011 – Shelved as: 1st-in-series
November 29, 2011 – Shelved as: reviewed
January 13, 2012 – Shelved as: read-books-2012

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Sashana (new)

Sashana Scandalous! Sex at 14?

The UHQ Nasanta Hmm, 14 years old for the boy, 13.99 years for the girl. lol.

Gaijinmama I love this series but, fair enough if you didn't. At least you explain articulately why it's not your cup of tea. Different strokes and all that.
I have always been a fantasy and S.F. reader. This book falls squarely into the fantasy genre, not paranormal romance, so the romantic relationship really isn't meant to be the main focus and we're never guaranteed that HEA.
Anyway, comparing Rhapsody to Twilight or other PNR is pretty much apples and oranges. Chalk and cheese.

Oh, and I love Grunthor, too.

Helen Yes, I love this book and the series too, but it's funny how the things that slightly bugged me are exactly the things that annoyed Niq and made it hard for her to enjoy it.

The UHQ Nasanta It's odd how tastes change, really. I used to be a huge fan of fantasy/science-fantasy but then I got bored with them whereas I continued to read romance. But I've been noticing that as I grow older and read more books, the things that might have bothered me only slightly now bother me a whole lot. I know that had I read this book during the years when I read more fantasy than romance, I would have liked it better. I wasn't such a critical reader, then.

Gaijinmama I think it's sad that the author seems to have dropped off the face of the earth and left the series hanging! The last book The Assassin King is definitely not a conclusion. Her website is gone too. It used to have a fantastic, active community of fans and she'd actually pop in and talk with us now and then.

The UHQ Nasanta Yeah, I hate it when authors do that. I'm hesitant to read on past the first three books. It'd drive me nuts to read The Assassin King if it is obvious not a definite conclusion. :(

Gaijinmama The first three books work as their own trilogy. A reader could stop there, or perhaps with the 5th book, and feel a sense of completeness, but the Assassin King starts off in a truly fascinating direction and then far, nada. Four years and counting, I believe.
That said, authors are human, she might have some really difficult things going on in her life which she is choosing not to make public. I respect that, and I'd rather be left hanging than have her turn out a crappy sequel. Hopefully she'll make it all worth our while one day.

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