The blurb reads
“All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross: In Alorin three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him.
In the kingdom of Dannym the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.
In the Nadori desert tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them. Honor-bound to serve the First Lord in return for his life, Trell continues on his appointed path, yet each day unveils new and stranger secrets that eventually call into question everything he knows.
I’d been a part of Novel Publicity tours before but this was the first tour where I asked for a Paperback to be mailed to me. I don’t know what part of me prompted me to opt for this book, but I did without reading the excerpt.
Right, I have been beta reading/ reviewing/ editing books for quite a while now and so I’d like to think I can make out how good a book is within the first 50 pages, which are the “Golden Pages”. It is within those pages, that I make a decision, mentally, whether to continue reading a book or not.
And the first 10 pages of this book, really shook me up. I’d never read something which had thrown me off so much. I’d never encountered something which was luxuriously complicated yet, it made me want to read and find out what happened next. The Map of Alorin and the Glossary of Terms was very very fascinating and gave me some bit of an insight into what lay ahead in the book.
I was enraptured by Prince Ean’s capture. I was sucked into his world where his blood brother was slain and he was taken away by a mysterious creature. I tried to wrap my head around the long names and a fantasy world which seemed so new, like I had been sucked in there. I tried to link and connect. The first 100 pages, thus I spent in connecting. And then, I realised, I tried to find a pattern in everything. Perhaps, that is what Melissa, the author, intended in the first place.
Of the 3 stories which came into Book 1, I don’t know why, I was drawn to Trell. He reminded me of a certain brooding man, who is one of my closest today, and that somehow made me want to read more about Trell. I found his back story so very fascinating, and his experiences were so bizzare.
Right, so let me discuss the book the way I usually do, with questions and answers. The Adept race is dying. These weilders of strands are dying and not finding their knowledge returning. Without this power, the realm is slowly dying. To coincide with this decline, there are dark forces who are out to unhinge the world as every one knows it. The Adept Wars have led the Fourth Vestal, Raine, to seek his blood brother Björn and seek answers for his hand in destroying the Adept race and Alorin.
Why is everyone coming to assassinate one prince of one small kingdom? Who are the mysterious creatures who come to save Ean at every danger? Who is Trell? Will he be able to find out what happened to him? Can he discover his past without compromising his integrity? Who are the mysterious creatures he finds? Why is fate so much in his favour?
What really happened in the Adept Wars? Who was responsible for tearing the fabric of the Adept race? Was Björn really the culprit or are there truths that Raine has clouded his vision to?
This book was all of this and so much more!!!
I was so hooked and I was so annoyed I had to study when I really wanted to be sitting in a corner reading this book. In a way, the delayed reading enhanced my experience. I had so much more to look forward to. I was peeling the layers and discovering what was happening and trying to reconstruct everything, just like the characters were. I was satiated by reading little bit at a time and those auto tweets which went out to my twitter feed reached Melissa who was also in tune with my progress. It was an amazing feeling.
I was so happy that another blog tour for this book was announced because I couldn’t finish it the first time around and this time, I made sure to write a review.
One of the things I really love about this book is the complexity. Some people like books to be fairly simple but I love it when my mind is deceived and this one did that on all counts. I was so shocked this wasn’t picked up by some publishing house and how it hadn’t become a big phenomenon yet. When it does, I am sure we will stand smug, knowing we spotted it first!!!
The winning point, apart from the beautiful new world of Alorin, is how believable characters are. Ean is young, reckless and he remains so. Trell is mature, composed and is purposeful. Alyneri is troubled, dedicated and knows love. Raine is burdened and rightly so. Each character has their own role to play and while there are so many, each character has his role to play.
By the end of the book, I was glad the second one had already arrived because the day I finished reading Book 1, I just jumped to reading Book 2. I have my own opinions about Bethamin and his fire and that seems like such an apt explanation looking at world events but my lips are sealed. Contact me to know more about my opinions :p
Also, what I liked, being Indian, a lot of names were Indian sounding. The drawchyr, Ramu, Balaji, Mithiya and Jaya made me feel like somehow, my culture had influenced the writing of this book and that drew me further to the book.
I don’t really doubt my rating. But this book has seriously knocked it out of the park!!!
Thrice? That is how good this book was!!!! Now that I’ve finished Book 2, I feel like there is some void in my life. I want Book 3 and I want it NOW. I also want the other books because I want to be reading them all the time!
Just pick this one up NOW!!