Lindsay Franklin's Reviews > Eye of the Sword

Eye of the Sword by Karyn Henley
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's review
May 02, 2012

really liked it

Eye of the Sword is Karyn Henley's successor to last year's Breath of Angel. I enjoyed Breath of Angel, with the exception of a few minor things, and thought that Henley had a great start with her first YA fantasy offering (she is a wildly best-selling children's author). But I really, really liked Eye of the Sword. I felt like Henley settled into Trevin's voice even better than she did with Melaia's in the first of the series. I found Melaia to be likable most of the time, but perhaps a little too naive for me to relate to personally. I connected to Trevin's self-doubt, shady past, and quest to discover his true character and destiny in the massive chess game that is life with the Angelaeon. He has always felt like he has more depth than our female heroine, and I really enjoyed going on the journey of Eye of the Sword from his point-of-view. He possesses humor that I think Melaia lacks, which always adds to my personal enjoyment when I'm reading a story.

There were a couple small downsides. I still believe there to be an issue with a lack of payoff for some major moments in the plot, like I noted with Breath of Angel. Henley does a great job of building tension, and then sometimes the payoff is one or two sentences and we're off to the next scene/bit of dialogue/whatever. The one upside to this is the nice stride of the pacing. I never found Eye of the Sword to drag. But I do wish there was a little more drama in those moments that are meant to be...well, dramatic.

The Angelaeon Circle books are both heavy on the romance element, which sort of sets this apart in the fantasy genre. I've heard that some even describe this as paranormal romance, which I totally disagree with. In my opinion, our world + romance plot + a paranormal element = paranormal romance. Think Twilight. Eye of the Sword is clearly high fantasy with a strong romantic pulse. And Henley finds a good balance between keeping it steamy and keeping it clean (steam-cleaned?), but I do have to note the fact that there is a lot of procreating going on between angels and mortals and immortals, some of whom are married, others of whom are not. It makes for a lot of half-siblings...and a lot of questions about the morals of these angels and what place all of this has in a Christian fantasy. So for a younger audience who might have a hard time discerning between fact and fiction, perhaps proceed with caution.

Bottom Line: Recommended for fantasy fans and romance lovers who don't mind taking a walk on the speculative side. An improvement on the already-good Breath of Angel. Oh, and on a side note, I'm becoming a really big fan of Kristopher Orr's cover art.

Note: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

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