4 out of 4 stars
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4 out of 4
I'll start with saying that I didn't have a lot of faith in this book upon first reading it. The lines were brief and broken; the narrative began stagnant, boring. I can almost say I was a little angry and felt somewhat misled by the promising description of the book, which I read before downloading it.
Fortunately, my mind was entirely changed by the second chapter, and I was continuously surprised and satisfied by the content. The introduction was slow, but as soon as you reach the second chapter, you realize you're in for a good story. The author introduces some of the more important characters, here - and might I add that each and every character seems to be meticulously spun into a living, breathing thing that all but leaps from the page to make itself known? I put a lot of stock in how fiction writers manage their characters - you have to feel with them, laugh or cry with them, else their emotions are just so many words on a page.
A boy is raised in a place of war and poverty, but discovers he is heir to a property in a much richer state where he will essentially have all of the freedom and happiness he was denied at home; the story, however, follows this boy and the King, a character who is beautifully flawed and impossible not to like. As the story goes on you are introduced to a rich array of characters, sharing their plight and smirking at the witty dialogue.
Instead of focusing on action or suspense, the author simply spins an intricate story for you, as a storyteller should. Don't get me wrong, the book contains action and suspense in abundance, but in an artfully balanced way - if you reflect on the story, it's like looking at a beautifully crafted work of art, made by hand. You see all the little notches and imperfections and instead of writing them off as flaws, you see the beauty in them and the effort the author put into the story. However, you only see these things when you step back and look - when you're engaged in the work of art, the imperfections tend to fade from sight as you see the piece as a whole.
Overall, this book was beautifully done. The author has built a world that is easy to become enchanted by and fall in love with, and characters as well. I'm looking forward to reading the next one and becoming lost again.
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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