Reposting this, since the book title has changed. Great series, by a great new author! Originally posted 4/19/13, and the only updates I made are the graphics with the changed book title.
I started this book around 9:30 last night and finished it at 3:30 am. I simply could NOT put it down. S.M. Welles really knows how to draw in a reader and keep him/her hanging on for the ride! First the negative, which is way overshadowed by the positive, but I want to address it because someone else on Amazon made the comment that she doesn’t know how to write. Bull! She is obviously an amazing writer, with excellent use of language, dialogue, character development, and description. I did see several errors, but they were minor (a few misspellings, a couple of missed d’s on the end of some past tense words. These things are simple to correct, and hopefully the author will go over it again and do so. Easy enough for ebook or POD. 🙂
Now, on to the positives! The character development of Roxie was great, showing her as someone who had been through some tough times but who had come out on top with a good self-image and an understanding of self appropriate to someone her age. The other main protagonist, Aerigo, not only has a badass name, great courage, concern for others, and boy can he take a beating! However, he’s not the invulnerable, emotionless guy you might think, and sometimes his emotions get the better of him. All heroes have to have a fatal flaw, right? The bad guys are easy to hate. The limitations of the gods are spelled out well and I was reminded of the rules of the Greek gods in ancient tales; i.e., Zeus forbidding direct interaction with humans, but sending demigods to work for them.
The system of magic is original and believable, unlike many books these days. (Brent Weeks being one with his “Black Prism” series). There are rules and consequences, and a penalty for using too much power. The author shows fantastic originality and creativity in both the development of her magic system and also the way in which it is introduced to the reader. Roxie’s adjustment to her newfound abilities is realistic. The sense of urgency in saving people and worlds is palpable, keeping the reader in a state of nail-biting tension.
The best part of Welles’ writing is her descriptive powers. As I followed the protagonists from world to world, each was captivating in its own way. They are differentiated by their inhabitants, languages, architecture, styles of dress, and social customs. I could easily see Phailon’s towering wall around the city in my mind’s eye, as well as the stick huts of the swamp world of Sconda. The fight scenes are fast and furious, leaving the reader on the edge of her seat. The imagery is clear and concise, with the actions of those involved flowing from one motion to the next, leaving no doubt as to what was occurring.
From her admirable characters in their fantastic worlds to her amazing descriptions of magic and action, S.M. Welles has gotten herself a new fan in me. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!