So this one has been on my shelf for a while. Decided to forgo the stacks of new acquisitions and headed down into the bookcave to see what might catch my eye. Bookcave you ask? Why yes. April has a bookcave… where else do you keep your hoard if you are a book dragon? Okay. Yes. There are book shelves in every room… but… this room is the most specialistest of all…
See?… I love me my bookcave. It is also the game cave… what you don’t see at the other end of the room is the 8 foot long gaming table and computer desk. Yes. We live rich fantasy lives. 😀
I really liked the sound of the back cover blurb. Loved the idea of a strong female lead, loved the idea of a story steeped in celtic myth… little did I know, however, that the story would almost be lost in the unending parade of unpronounceable celtic names…. both people, place, and thing. Now. I don’t know about you, but as an old hand at reading fantasy and science fiction I am the queen of suspending disbelief and I can easily assign weird names easier alternatives while not losing the flavor the name is meant to imbue, either otherworldly or oldie timey or completely made up elven. I am, after all, a 5 time reader of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and never got bogged down in those names or the verbosity. But this one. This one tested me, my imagination, AND my patience.
Which I didn’t like.
It gave me pause, and I did consider giving up, but I was already 2/3rds of the way through and was engaged with the characters and quite interested in how it would end… so… I stopped for a bit and thought about why this book in particular was giving me so much trouble. I came to decide that it wasn’t necessarily that there were so many in a single paragraph (and there were often 3-5) but that because there were so many, I felt obliged and in fact it was necessary to try to sound them out because there were too many to attribute to “oh him”… and “that thing”… and… it really hit home that when I read, I vocalize the words in my head, and because I didn’t know how to pronounce so many words and names I began to feel silly… and dumb. I hate when things and people make me feel dumb.
And then there were the magic battles. Now, I’m not a huge fan of military fiction, although an all time favorite sci-fi author is William Dietz… I don’t mind battles and combat and war even, so long as it isn’t handled down to the crazy details only military historians and lead pushers are interested in. I know that conflict happens, and I don’t mind reading about them… but something about these battles annoyed me. The magic is very powerful nad seems to be the answer to everything, but also the cause of all problems. I don’t know why, but I dreaded turning the page to discover that magic combat was about to ensue.
Having said all that, I did get to the end of the book cheering characters on, mourning the loss of others and being thoroughly fascinated by the mythos of this world. I had told several people after I’d finished that I would not be looking for the second one in the series. I think now that was an untruth. I have added it to my book list and will watch for it in the second-hand stores and might even order it next time I’m shopping on-line. I guess, despite the difficulties I had, the author did a fine job of grabbing my interest, pulling at my heart-strings and telling a fine tale. I’ve given this one a 3, but a hopeful for the future 3.