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Rhapsody: Child of Blood (Symphony of Ages, #1)
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Jul 2016: Rhapsody > SPOILER comments about "Rhapsody" our July Main

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message 1: by Felicia, Grand Duchess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Felicia (feliciaday) | 740 comments Mod
Post here with Spoilers if you want!


message 2: by Amadis (last edited Jul 06, 2016 12:57AM) (new)

Amadis Wow, check out the blurb for the edition with mostly text on the cover. That is some damning with faint praise in the last paragraph. Gotta admit, I'm not even gonna try to read this, but is it actually a romance?


message 3: by Nemi (last edited Jul 06, 2016 06:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemi Compared to some of the other books we read it is very... old-fashioned romance? Like the sex isn't that big a focus and it is a lot less gritty/realisitc.

I read this when I was about 14 years old and it's one of my fabourites, despite some serious flaws. I could never really get into the main romance, but Achmed, Grunthor and Rhapsody's friendship is a thing of glory. Achmed's sense of humour and some of the world building and magic powers was what made me big up book after book in the series. The series recently concluded, but I wouldn't recommend reading past Book 3. Just make up your own ending. God knows I needed to.


message 4: by Jocelyn (new)

Jocelyn Adler | 10 comments This is one of my best friend's favorite books, but when I read it, I hated it like burning.

It has a pair of faults that I just can't handle - fake words and a heroine who is presented as flawless. Also, it uses the word "Lore" a lot.

The plotting is really nicely done, though, and if I remember correctly, the narrative structure of the trilogy is supposed to mirror some sort of musical something? So... that's cool.

I won't be revisiting it, because it just has too many of my pet peeves. But if your peevish pets are different, you may really enjoy it - like I said, it's one of my best friend's favorite books! I suspect it's a "love it or hate it" situation.

I've been meaning to read the Alt pick for this month for a while, so I think I'll do that.


message 5: by Lynne (new)

Lynne (ciaytee) | 4 comments I had a "Yay!" moment when Kiala said we'd be reading "Rhapsody" this month. I read the first three in the series 10 or 15 years ago, and I loved them. They're still sitting on my bookshelf, because I couldn't bring myself to purge them. I'd always planned to take a second trip through that world.

But then I read this thread—and the reviews—and now I'm a little scared it won't be as good as I remember. I mean, I know it has some flaws. The details are kind of fuzzy in my head, but I remember that some plot twists are not at all twisty (Emily and Gwidion were obvious from the get-go), and I think the reveals about the king and queen were easy and predictable. But still, I liked Haydon's writing style, and I liked her pacing and her sentence structure. I liked how she built her world and her characters.

I'm sure I'll see the story a bit differently just because I'm older now. I expect to have a different opinion of the character's actions. But I hope it's still a nice place to visit. I really don't want to lose my love for this series.


message 6: by Lauren (last edited Jul 07, 2016 01:13AM) (new) - added it

Lauren | 12 comments So, I'm only like 6-7% through this book, but (spoilers): WHY did no one seem to think it necessary to warn people about the CHILD PORN at the beginning of this book?? Why am I having to skim over a sex scene between two 14 year old children? (Oh, sorry, she's 13 for a couple more hours >_>). Is there more of this? Cause I can't read a child porn book.
And to think people had the gall to get mad at Bonnie for "Flesh". Flesh might have had rape fantasy/fetish bits, but it was written about, and for, grown adults.
I'm going to try and keep going, but if there's any more child porn I think I'm gunna have to drop this one like a hot potato.


Evelyne Crowe (evelynecrowe) I...I'm not sure what to say here. I was super excited when this was picked as the main for this month. I've read it and re-read it and it's one of my favorite books/series. Then I started reading reviews. I had no idea people despised this book so much!

1. The child porn thing. I mean, there is a small scene in the very beginning of the book, but I would not call it gratuitous or porn. And no, nothing like that happens again. It was a blip in a much larger story. I guess I didn't see it as child porn because it's two consenting people of similar ages? I don't know, it didn't enrage me as much as it does other people AND it's pertinent to the story. It's not just thrown in just because.

2. Rhapsody as a Mary Sue. I'll say what I said when people started claiming Rey from Star Wars was one: SO WHAT. Women get so few awesome heroines, especially in fantasy, that it's nice to have one to stand with the boys. Any other fantasy novel/series you pick up has a male protagonist in it who can't lose, is handsome, and perfect even in his flaws. Let the women have one for goodness sakes. Rhapsody is smart, intelligent, and capable. Yes, she is blond and pretty, but she is a kick ass woman despite that. No book is perfect, and I liked that she was so awesome.

Anyway, I enjoyed it. I'll re-read it again for this month with a critical eye and see if it's worth the hate, but I don't remember it being so. I have a feeling this one is going to be a lot like Outlander: either you like it or you don't.


Evelyne Crowe (evelynecrowe) Amadis wrote: "Wow, check out the blurb for the edition with mostly text on the cover. That is some damning with faint praise in the last paragraph. Gotta admit, I'm not even gonna try to read this, but is it act..."

I'm not going to say you have to read it, but that wasn't a blurb for the book, that was someones review of it. :D


Evelyne Crowe (evelynecrowe) Lynne wrote: "I had a "Yay!" moment when Kiala said we'd be reading "Rhapsody" this month. I read the first three in the series 10 or 15 years ago, and I loved them. They're still sitting on my bookshelf, becaus..."

I kind of feel the same way, but I think I'm going to stand by it. Felicia rated it 4 stars, so neither of us is crazy: there's something to like in this book. :)


message 10: by Mimi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mimi (1stavenue) | 9 comments Melissa wrote: "I...I'm not sure what to say here. I was super excited when this was picked as the main for this month. I've read it and re-read it and it's one of my favorite books/series. Then I started reading ..."

OK, you've convinced me--I'm gonna give this a go. Though I must admit the cover art and slew of mixed reviews on the book page doesn't make it look that enticing. But I'm with you there about the Mary Sue characterization--they're not all terrible and they can be fun. This one sounds kind of fun in a throw-back, pulpy kind of way.


Evelyne Crowe (evelynecrowe) Mimi wrote: "Melissa wrote: "I...I'm not sure what to say here. I was super excited when this was picked as the main for this month. I've read it and re-read it and it's one of my favorite books/series. Then I ..."

Yes! It's like reading something from the Before Times. It's fun and entertaining with an awesome lead. I hope you like it and you're awesome for giving it a go! :D


message 12: by Mimi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mimi (1stavenue) | 9 comments Thank you for making it sound fun. :) lol yes, the Before Times. That cover art does give off a Dungeons & Dragons vibe. If I hadn't looked it up, I wouldn't have known this book was written in 1999; it seems much older at first glance.


message 13: by Lindsay (new) - added it

Lindsay | 22 comments Lauren wrote: "So, I'm only like 6-7% through this book, but (spoilers): WHY did no one seem to think it necessary to warn people about the CHILD PORN at the beginning of this book?? Why am I having to skim over ..."

I was a bit uncomfortable through that as well, though I was already rolling my eyes at her comments about waiting so long for him. I kept reminding myself this is obviously a society where they are practically adults, but it did bother me because my mind kept yelling, you are both babies.

I feel like this would probably have been a book I would have liked a lot at one point in my life, but it will be interesting to see what I think about it now. There are several books I've thought about rereading in this vein, but I'm afraid that who I am now will ruin what I loved about them then by being much more critical.


message 14: by Mary Newsom (last edited Jul 10, 2016 09:27PM) (new)

Mary Newsom | 8 comments Lauren wrote: "So, I'm only like 6-7% through this book, but (spoilers): WHY did no one seem to think it necessary to warn people about the CHILD PORN at the beginning of this book?? Why am I having to skim over ..."

THIS TIMES 100000000. I just started reading this book and I can't get past how I just read 14 year olds having sex!!!!!!! I mean I get the whole society thing but just like HINT at it don't like ... TELL ME. I still need to take 100 more showers. I also didn't understand their connection and was also rolling my eyes at how "different she is than everyone else". barf.

I am going to try and finish reading it but am very much looking forward to the alt pick this month!!!

*edit* i don't really care about teenagers having sex, it just squicked me a little.


Evelyne Crowe (evelynecrowe) So, I've started my re-read. I am struck by how the writing style and tone changes pretty dramatically after that first brief time-traveling scene. If you can get past that, it does get easier to read AND more entertaining. So far, 100 pages in, Rhapsody has 1. dismissed a stalker completely, 2. kneed 1 guy in the nuts. 3. Stabbed one guy in the eyes WHILE he was holding her. 4. GROUND A TABLE CORNER INTO A GUYS NUTS.

Just saying. The whole "romance" feel goes away. There is no love interest, just a stalker guy who disappears from the equation right about now (pg.110 or so in paperback)


message 16: by Jocelyn (new)

Jocelyn Adler | 10 comments Melissa wrote: "Rhapsody as a Mary Sue. I'll say what I said when people started claiming Rey from Star Wars was one: SO WHAT. Women get so few awesome heroines, especially in fantasy, that it's nice to have one to stand with the boys. Any other fantasy novel/series you pick up has a male protagonist in it who can't lose, is handsome, and perfect even in his flaws. Let the women have one for goodness sakes. Rhapsody is smart, intelligent, and capable. Yes, she is blond and pretty, but she is a kick ass woman despite that. No book is perfect, and I liked that she was so awesome."

These are all super good points! But a "Perfect Heroine" is still a big problem for some people, so I feel like my warning post was reasonable.

I don't mind the "Perfect Heroine" when, like Rey, she's presented as a lead who consistently makes good choices.

I think my problem with this book is less about Rhapsody herself (and her actions) than about how the world reacts to her. I know that being beautiful can make you a target, but literally EVERY straight dude in this whole series has a hard-on for her, and many of them react to it very badly. The only exception, as I recall, is Grunthor (who I thought was great.)

Anyway, there is so much to like about this book, but I just couldn't get past the universal attraction - I'll believe in zombie wastelands, and song magic, and travelling in a tunnel through the earth, and god knows what else, but I just can't suspend disbelief for a character who is universally attractive (I'd be put off my that with either sex, honestly - this is why I usually DNF Billionaire romances). Everyone has their likes and dislikes, and no one person is going to be attractive to everyone.

Except Beyonce.


Evelyne Crowe (evelynecrowe) Jocelyn wrote: "Melissa wrote: "Rhapsody as a Mary Sue. I'll say what I said when people started claiming Rey from Star Wars was one: SO WHAT. Women get so few awesome heroines, especially in fantasy, that it's ni..."


Absolutely! You like what you like and don't like what you don't. <3 I just wanted to give some positive aspects of the book. I'm re-reading for the first time in years and while I am doing some eye-rolling, I still find it entertaining. Also, I completely agree with the billionaire romances. Blech.


Andrew (awolffie) | 8 comments So, I haven't finished the book yet but it's very...meh to me. I'm listening to the audiobook (which is a good thing because I probably would have lemmed it otherwise) and I find myself getting distracted and not caring. I feel like all this stuff is happening to the trio and I really don't care why.

I was excited at first and thought the world was interesting but it's really gone left with Achmed (seriously the middle eastern name has been really throwing me off for some reason) decides out to the blue to *spoiler* decide to unite his people and become king....huh? The lone assassin all of a sudden wants to rule a kingdom? It just doesn't fit to me.

The there's Rhapsody. Oh Rhapsody. At times I like her but most of the time I'm rolling my eyes. I feel like her being beautiful is a device to show how inner beauty can shine through or whatever her obliviousness to her looks is painful and makes her seem dumb. And she starts out a simple musician/namer, finds a magic flaming sword, magically controls fire, wields a bow all out of the blue. I can take a lot of things at face value but her Mary Sue-ness just goes beyond my suspension of disbelief.

I still have a few hours left in the book and even though I'm still not sure what exactly the conflict is (because the plot meanders so much to me) I'm kind of hoping it gets better.


message 19: by Aimee (new) - added it

Aimee Andrew wrote: "So, I haven't finished the book yet but it's very...meh to me. I'm listening to the audiobook (which is a good thing because I probably would have lemmed it otherwise) and I find myself getting dis..."

I have to agree...I enjoyed the first half, but the last final part (after the *spoiler* discovery of what I refer to as Elizabeth Bathory's house of horrors)....is just an ongoing summary of the trio walking and talking, walking, talking, etc


message 20: by Aimee (last edited Jul 16, 2016 05:43PM) (new) - added it

Aimee FINISHED IT!! *passes out* As a whole, it was alright, though if there really is more than one book in the series, it would be some time before I committed myself to reading it. I didn't know what to make of the ending. Is her rejuvenated beauty going to be the only thing that entices men (and give them unrealistic fantasies of her...specifically that last one)?


message 21: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Crane-rosset | 104 comments I read this forever ago, and I do remember liking it. I just can't get into it on a re-read. Things are bothering me that didn't bother me before. I like Rhapsody as a character for the most part, I don't even mind that she's kind of a Mary Sue. It's...the way she's so perfect. Like, all the time, the guys are like, "You're so pretty." And she goes, "Lol, stop joking, you guys. I'm like, all dirty and stuffs." I don't even really know what I'm looking for to describe it. She's not doing it in a way to fish for more compliments, and she's not an ugly duckling type character. She is aware that people find her attractive, since she did ok for herself as a prostitute, and even before that. It's like she's in denial about it, or something.

The things I liked about it, I still like. I love the relationship between the three characters. They have an amazing friendship.

I also liked that Rhapsody actually had some training in her abilities, she just didn't wake up with them one day and she was the most awesome Namer ever. She was trained, she just didn't have enough training to know the extent of her abilities, which is what happens when your teacher is kidnapped and tortured by a demon. She didn't know what she couldn't do, so she did what she needed to do within the framework of her training.


message 22: by Jessica (last edited Jul 19, 2016 09:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments Almost halfway through, but I'm having to force myself to keep going with this one.

The story's certainly not bad (although I don't think it's great either), but the writing just blathers on and on so much. I mean, the language is fine and all, but she just spends SO MUCH time describing each and every stone and leaf they come across on their never ending travels, repeats the same information on several occasions, even contradicts herself sometimes. This is a case of a book needing a good 1/3 of its words just chopped right out to make it an effective story that packs a punch, not this meandering falderal (lol...don't think I've ever used that term sincerely before!)


RubySoho | 12 comments I really liked the first half but the second half-ugh. I skimmed the last third of the book just to finish it. I feel like the character of Rhapsody changed in the second half, like Jennifer said I don't know how to describe it but I didn't like it. Her obliviousness to her beauty and its effect on people got old fast, and even though she was a prostitute and had lived on the streets she wants to trust everyone and argues with Achmed when he tries to warn her. I didn't mind that she was kind of a Mary Sue, but when she crossed the line into naivete I was completely turned off. There were so many cool things I did like, the naming lore, Achmed & Grunthor, the trees that were connected, and all their cool abilities. I was really disappointed with the direction it took.


message 24: by Aimee (new) - added it

Aimee RubySoho wrote: "I really liked the first half but the second half-ugh. I skimmed the last third of the book just to finish it. I feel like the character of Rhapsody changed in the second half, like Jennifer said I..."
Agreed....it's probably too late but when this was first published I would have wanted to read a spin-off focused solely on Achmed and Grunthor


message 25: by David (last edited Jul 23, 2016 12:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David | 1 comments Just speaking to the "Mary Sue" aspect, I give it a pass. I understand the issue being raised, because fairly little text is spent on developing Rhapsody's abilities. When you actually look at things though: 1) her Naming abilities are developed during that gap of time between the prologue and the beginning of the story. She's considered to be reasonably accomplished at that point, so her abilities through the rest aren't unreasonable. 2) She has some basic self-defense abilities by the beginning, and then spends (view spoiler) learning from weapons masters. (view spoiler)I feel like there's a lot of room for learning that just wasn't covered in the text. 3) She does seem to get people reacting/cooperating with her beyond what one would normally expect. So what? It keeps the story line going and isn't that crazy once you consider the people who know the prophecy, are generally open people, or (in the case of Ashe) have a (view spoiler)connection(view spoiler).


message 26: by Jessica (last edited Jul 23, 2016 05:05PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments Finally finished this.

It's not a terrible book, but overall it didn't do much for me, and so it was a chore to force my way through the 600+ pages here. There are interesting tidbits thrown into the mix, mostly concerning the fantasy world itself, its history and lore. But I guess it was the storytelling, the way the book was plotted out and the resultant pacing, that failed for me. Well, that and the unending flowery descriptions of the flora, terrain and architecture in every scene.

The interesting bits were kind of clumsily connected by lots of rambling 'story' that didn't seem to have much of a direction to it. By the end I kind of had a loose grasp on what the entire point of the book had been, but even then there are lots of loose ends left and things unexplained, things I am not willing to read further on in the series to learn.

The characters were...meh. I didn't despise Rhapsody like many people seemed to, but I didn't love her either. I kind of hated Jo; I get how we're 'supposed' to feel about her, but she seemed like too much of a caricature. Achmed had his moments, but they weren't enough for me to forgive him for the times he was an a-hole to Rhapsody in the beginning. Grunthor was by far the most likable of the lot, IMO.

Overall I suppose I'd give this book 2.5 stars. The history and workings of the fantasy world and its lost civilizations were the most interesting part for me, but I would have enjoyed it so much more if those things had been woven in as part of the story rather than read off to us from museum plaques and scrolls from the history section of the library. Literally, that is what this book does to time and again: the worst info-dumping ever! I would liked to have SEEN these things as PART of the story, not just long blocks of text of one character telling another character about them. I kept finding myself having to reread passages, realizing I hadn't been really retaining any of what I had read.


Audettekills | 2 comments I read this book way back when I as a teen and just happened to read it again last January and enjoyed it. My main gripe going in was always the "I don't know that I'm beautiful" trope. We get to read over and over and over again about how she thinks she must look like a freak even though everybody is ALWAYS telling her that she is the most gorgeous woman in the world. I mean, there's being modest and then there is being obtuse and it really starts to feel redundant the fifth time we have to read about some stranger ogling her.


message 28: by Keith (new)

Keith (dredchupacabra) | 19 comments Overall I enjoyed this months pick. I admit the first 26 percent of the book required a lot of patience to get through. The time editor and then the encounter between Emily and Gwydion had me confused and delayed my absorption into the world. The travels along the root was a little monotonous but after exiting the story pacing picked up and held my interest until the end.

Achmed and Grunthor were a good tandem to show Rhapsody's conflicting emotions and progression in skills over time. I did not have and difficulties with Rhapsody's proficiency as others did. Being in the fantasy genre I enjoy reading about the extraordinary and just accept it. The author did enough with Rhapsody's internal conflict of feeling out of place in her new world to mitigate her outward bright demeanor and the residual effect on others.
The writing was well done and convinced me to continue with the series.


Carly Crusade | 51 comments I liked this book overall. I thought the characters and world was interesting and the dynamic between the main three characters was fun. I liked Rhapsody much more early on in the book than I did towards the end, the part in the beginning where she is running from Michael's men is pretty badass. The perfect beauty thing was overplayed and made me role my eyes.

The detail in this book was incredibly well written but also a little overdone. Detail is great and Haydon is clearly a talented writer but there were times I was pretty bored. This book could have been much shorter and as I approached the end it felt very forced to finish it.

As far as the "child porn" thing goes. Come on, 1. it's a book 2. teenagers have sex 3. in this world 14 clearly is thought of as more adult than it is to us. That part didn't bother me in the slightest.


Stephanie (cozyuptocrime) | 46 comments Still trying to make it through this book. I don't dislike it because I think it's really well-written, I think it's just a lot to take in. I finally made it to the point where they're not following the root anymore, and so far I really like Achmed and Grunthor (I don't mind that Achmed is a dick, he is an assassin after all), and I'm pretty neutral about Rhapsody. I hate Michael and am hoping he gets killed somehow, but we'll see (I don't even know what time period they're in at this point, so maybe he died hundreds of years ago). Since everyone says that the plot picks up about now, I'm going to try to power through and finish this over the weekend. Will add more thoughts once that happens hopefully!


Stephanie (cozyuptocrime) | 46 comments Carly wrote: "I liked this book overall. I thought the characters and world was interesting and the dynamic between the main three characters was fun. I liked Rhapsody much more early on in the book than I did t..."

I agree, the warnings of 'child porn' kind of freaked me out about starting this book but then when I read it I was like "Oh. That wasn't terrifying at all." It seems like in this world 14 is marrying age, so similar to medieval views on maturity.


Caitlin I'm Canadian, and when I turned 14 it was still the age of consent here. It was changed in 2008 to 16 but still includes a provision for "close in age" so that 14 & 15 year olds can have sex with someone who is up to 5 years older. I can agree as adults it's weird to think about teens having sex with each other, and it's normal for a person to dislike a book that has a scene like that in it, but it is a bit of a stretch to call it child porn.

I liked the scenes where everyone is telling her she's pretty. I am objectively not beautiful, but of course my friends tell me I am. It would be nice to be wrong about knowing I'm not beautiful.


message 33: by Alvy (new)

Alvy | 2 comments I had a reeeally hard time getting into this book. Even though it was so very Mary Sue-ish, I feel I got attached with Emily and Sam, wanted to know what happened to them, so I just kept thinking "who the hell is this Rhapsody person and wtf happened to the other two??" Honestly, I literally had to read a few spoilers online so even be willing to finish the book because I was skipping through pages wondering when the two stories would finally intersect and I would know what happened to them. However, my dislike for the 1st book aside, I'm totally already halfway through the 2nd book and liking it much more. It's like the first one was just this long drawn out intro and world building for the rest of the series.

Also, on a side note, I loved Grunthor's character but I think it was helped by the fact that I started reading the book at the same time that I was watching a Critical Role episode and it just instantly clicked in my brain that Grunthor = Grog... So I read every interaction with Grunthor as having Travis's Grog voice/mannerisms and it was kind of amazing haha


message 34: by Felicia, Grand Duchess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Felicia (feliciaday) | 740 comments Mod
Guys....
this book did not hold up. :/


Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 33 comments Mod
Whatever, Felicia, this is my favorite book that we've read all year! I'm already halfway through the second!


Heather R. I have to agree about the book not holding up. My daughter absolutely loves it and was excited to see me reading it..but I am having trouble keeping interest...:(


message 37: by Aimee (new) - added it

Aimee Still better than Silver on the Road.....aka, a week of my life I'll never get back


Kayla Turner (plainkayla) | 78 comments CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE CREEPER FOR A SECOND????

So, Michael, in the first part of the book made some passages really difficult for me to read. Her being a prostitute I could handle- Fine. Whatever. You expect a really tragic backstory that leaves her kind of jaded because most books aren't progressive enough to portray sex workers in a more positive light (ie liberated, free with their sexuality) so I was OK with that.

I was not okay that he used the sexual violence towards a young girl to persuade Rhapsody to stay with him for that time, and then afterwards says he's taking the young girl with him anyway after all the abuse Rhapsody endured. He straight up said he was going to continually use the young girl on the journey, and then dispose of her.
Incredibly disgusting, and far worse than the insinuation of threats that villains in past books have proposed.

Later on, I feel like I had centuries of my life wasted listening to their journey through the root. In the audio I had no idea how much time had passed, but when she eventually gets out and finds out that decades have gone by I believed it because I felt like it took a pointless eternity for the plot to progress.

I have 17 hours left of the audio and idk if I am going to make it guys.


message 39: by Aimee (last edited Aug 02, 2016 09:03AM) (new) - added it

Aimee Yeah, Micheal is a f---ing lecher and part of me is kind of glad the author didn't continue the storyline with him. Though I kind of wish Achmed had gone back and slaughtered him


Shelley | 22 comments Not a fan of this book. I'm still trying to slog through the last 160 pages before tonight. The section on traveling the root reminded me of Sarah Vowell's description of going to Ellis Island as a tourist, "It was like GOING THROUGH ELLIS ISLAND." The characters are interesting but I'm still lost with the random characters that haven't tied back in yet. I found myself going back to the first chapters to see if characters introduced later in the book were ones with cameos in the later sections.


Stephanie (cozyuptocrime) | 46 comments Kayla wrote: "CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE CREEPER FOR A SECOND????

So, Michael, in the first part of the book made some passages really difficult for me to read. Her being a prostitute I could handle- Fine. Whatever...."


Ugh Michael...he is so disgusting. I was cringing/looking away during her flashbacks about him. I'm just glad we didn't have to hear too much about him. I also almost gave up on this book during the root journey because it was never ending, but it really does pick up after that and explains more of the lore/magic and goes into the history of the world, which is a lot more interesting than root journeying.


message 42: by Felicia, Grand Duchess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Felicia (feliciaday) | 740 comments Mod
Veronica wrote: "Whatever, Felicia, this is my favorite book that we've read all year! I'm already halfway through the second!"

I LIKED THE FIRST HALF OF IT omg.


sara frances (sara_frances) | 4 comments omg, i'm so annoyed. i thought my eyes were going to fall out of my face, i was rolling them so hard. but the story leaves right on the brink of something (potentially) interesting happening. now i have to decide if my curiosity overpowers my dislike for the story.

also agree about feeling like they were in the root for thousands of years. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Matthew Kitson | 68 comments Unsure whats in the rest of the series, but would be interested in a prequal of Achmed and Grunthor. Seemed that Achmed had gone through a terrifying past


Kayla Turner (plainkayla) | 78 comments Stephanie wrote: "Kayla wrote: "CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE CREEPER FOR A SECOND????

So, Michael, in the first part of the book made some passages really difficult for me to read. Her being a prostitute I could handle- F..."


Yeah, I am a pretty good way past that and am getting into the lore... but then it gets a bit too deep sometimes and I feel like zoning out because it feels like a history lesson.
But again, that may be due to it being audio.


Audettekills | 2 comments I really feel like this first book is just a set-up for the next book (and the one after that). There was just so much stuff left hanging at the end.


message 47: by BlackCatSensei (new)

BlackCatSensei | 19 comments I almost gave up on this book. The pace of this book was extremely slow and I began to think I was aging centuries as the characters moved through the roots of the Sagia tree. I thought about forgiving the slow pace in the beginning when they finally left the tree and discovered how much time had actually passed, but then just as soon as they started to get moving, everything slowed down with Ahmed explaining what he knew. I really wished the author had used the time they spent in the tree to at least impart any history we needed to know. It would have at least made the journey more purposeful and helped to make it more plausible that Rhapsody would actually continue to travel with them if she knew the true evil they were facing. It was really frustrating to have her talking with people who had knowledge they may require, but Ahmed kept her in the dark and she didn't know the right questions to ask.

I was also confused about how after they saved the children from the Raksha, why didn't they go back with Stephen and investigate further. Instead Ahmed was insistent they go to find the Firblog and find out if the evil had follow the Serens to this new land, even though there was clearly something evil going on right where they were. You;d think a legendary assassin would understand the idea of a trap and he even mentions to Stephen that they needed to get anything of value out of the tower because the Raksha might come back. He also tells Rhapsody that he doesn't think the evil there is caused by F'dor and what is going on isn't there problem. It doesn't make any sense after he goes on about how the F'dor want the world to burn that he wouldn't recognize that people being magically spelled to war against one another would be attractive to a F'dor as both chaotic destruction and distraction.

The plot was confusing from the beginning. First ,Ahmed and Grunthor are running for their lives away from the F'dor and go so far as to spend perhaps centuries in the tree. Then after they get out ,Ahmed then ends up wanting to go after the F'dor to find out if it's still alive. Why did he go through the whole ordeal of the tree only to then act in away that would get him back on the F'dor's radar? Plus the whole time in the tree was not clear. They keep saying they spent centuries in the tree but then there is this whole explanation about how crossing the Axis Mundi effects time so they ended up in the future centuries after their own time. There is no clear measurement of how long they actually traveled in the tree. Then Ahmed decides he is just going to become King of the Firblog. I couldn't figure out why Rhapsody even stayed with them when it made sense for her to stay with Stephen considering she couldn't go back to her time or even her own land plus it was time there was any indication of a romantic feeling from any of the characters. I kept waiting for some sort of romance to develop between her and Ahmed while they were in the tree to maybe give some reasoning to her staying with them, though really Rhapsody and Grunthor would haven been a better match. The people she met would have given her a place to stay, whether it was with Llauron or Stephen and both seemed to provide her with a chance to further develop her powers and protect the people of the land. Part of me thinks the plot would have been better served if Rhapsody had stayed with Stephen and learned more in depth of the governance of the lands and also still studied with Llauron to grow her innate Lirin powers and newly acquired gifts. I would've have liked to read about her magic. Ahmed and Grunthor could've continued on to the Firblog and Ahmed's quest to be king and then the two groups could have crossed paths again to defeat the evil. There was the whole plan of uniting the Firblog and that ended with them going into a very anticlimactic battle where the shaman wasn't possessed by a F'dor.

There was too much backstory that didn't come into play and it convoluted the plot. The story didn't even really feel like a natural stopping point by adding in the sudden appearance of Ashe and going off to find the dragon. I felt like the book should've ended with the arrival of the ambassadors to leave the reader with a sense of completion in that Ahmed had achieved the first phase of his goal. I was also really disappointed about how the overture played out. You do find out in the end that Rhapsody is Emily and Ashe is Gwydion but nothing in the book makes an sense why Gwydion would be taken out of the future to meet Emily in the past. His warnings don't in anyway save her from the sinking of Serendir as she wasn't in danger of being killed by that. I'm assuming things maybe get explained in the next books but their was no reason to include the overture or even have Ashe show up in this book.

I found Rhapsody's character to be inconsistent. She shows a lot courage and strength when we first see her, but then allows herself to be frightened into following Ahmed and Grunthor into the tree. She was the one who had camouflaged them to get there to begin with so she could have easily left them and not have gotten caught by the Lirin. Even if the Lirin had found her, she could have explained she was kidnapped, which was actually the truth. I did like how her magic was based on music and was excited to see this power grow in her, but was then disappointed that after they passed through the tree, the focus of her power switched from that of her voice to her physical appearance. The author could have had Rhapsody gain entrance to the tower and question the man at the basilica by using her power of Naming and some music, but instead she overcome these obstacles just because she's hot. It would have been more unique and empowering if it was her singing that had caused the cart accident than just her putting down her hood. I also wish that instead of a sword, she had found a legendary instrument. Ahmed discusses how his race used vibrations to keep the F'dor in check and so I fully expected that a musician who also had the gift of elemental fire equipped with an awesome instrument would be the perfect champion against such an evil enemy,

Overall the author had some great ideas that I wished had been more fully developed. Her actual writing was well done and would have been showcased better had the pace and excessive and unnecessary backstory had not detracted from it. Rhapsody had potential to be a very strong female character despite some inconsistencies as to why she was still traveling with Ahmed and Grunthor, but as soon as she started getting attention for her looks and not her music, I felt that the author diminished her. I did see there are two more books in the trilogy but I can't bring myself to read them. I usually have the attitude the first book in a series is difficult and the following books are often much better but there were too many inconsistencies in character and plot that I actually have no desire to hear the rest of the story.


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