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on June 05, 2013 :
The Legend of Orchis and the Five Sisters: Book One is incredibly imaginative, vibrant, and often funny. I would say this high fantasy novel is best for adults 18+ because of its brutal fight scenes and descriptive deaths, but I really enjoyed reading it. Though many transitions were jarring and the narrative could use another editing polish in places for clarity, I believe this debut novel will please fans of the epic/high fantasy genres.
The Legend of Orchis and the Five Sisters: Book One is just a neat story. This is a long book, so this will be a longer review than usual.
The novel is third omniscient and therefore shows multiple perspectives of the events that unfold, but the book primarily follows a young girl nicknamed Mushy as she discovers her magic.
The world itself is pretty damn cool. There was a lot to absorb at the beginning, so there was a learning curve at first. I felt a little lectured to in the first few chapters, but it settles out over time and gets back to the story. Basically, magic is an entity of its own, with its own life force and consciousness. When a strain of magic is born, it essentially attaches to a creature that serves as its host (there are many creatures to choose from in this world). They become bonded in a familial sort of way. I really liked this take on magic, and watching the characters weave spells and employ various strains of magic sparked my imagination.
There was a wide cast of characters, which actually didn’t confuse me much. Usually with a cast this large, I lose track. While I did confuse the two villains at times, I figured it out by the end. I think those two names were too similar for my liking, but everyone else had distinct personalities, abilities, and histories. Little mysteries appeared throughout the novel, which intrigued me as to the backstories of some of the minor characters. I suspect the author could make a career out of writing just about this world.
As I mentioned, the voice is third person omniscient. This means you’ll flit into multiple characters’ heads throughout a single scene, and I found this jarring at first. I settled into it by the middle of the book, but it was a little rough there in the beginning. I think it’s just because third omniscient is rare these days. The Legend of Orchis and the Five Sisters: Book One is actually a pretty good example of how to do third person omniscient right.
The conflicts throughout the story were pretty standard epic fantasy fare: power hunts, the “chosen one” (of sorts—this was slightly different with Mushy), powerful circle of friends, training to protect oneself from the power-hungry villain. A new element of faith in God (who in this novel is a woman) is an interesting twist to most epic fantasy, considering I don’t see faith as a common high fantasy theme. Don’t worry, though—the author doesn’t beat you over the head with this. It’s an element of the plot, but not a soapbox.
I will admit that some conflict just didn’t sit right for me. Some teacher/“wise man” characters acted childish and taunted each other when I expected more maturity from them. One of those same masters made life-changing decisions for Mushy even though he’d only been her master for all of a day, if that. Mushy’s “sister” (long story) went evil and murderous in what came off to me as almost too abrupt. At one point, Mushy meets a demon and goes from acquaintance to best friend in about an hour, which just seemed to happen too fast. Things like that: small moments of discord that didn’t quite sit with me as fully believable, simply because the actions seemed out of line with what I believed to be the character’s motivations.
A bit on the novel’s structure: The Legend of Orchis and the Five Sisters: Book One isn’t linear. There are essentially two parts to the book: the end comes first, and then the beginning/middle/resolution comes afterward in an epic flashback of sorts. It was a little…odd. Within that setup, the transitions between chapters weren’t always linear either and sometimes caught me off guard. I stuck with the novel and still very much enjoyed it, but I was confused at times and had to play catch-up on occasion.
The ending satisfied me—it resolved the novel’s primary conflict while still leaving enough open for another book (which is on its way, the author says). I’m happy with how the novel wrapped up and feel that it worked out well.
Bottom Line: I recommend The Legend of Orchis and the Five Sisters: Book One to any fans of epic and high fantasy. This is pretty loyal to the traditions of epic/high fantasy, and the world is vivid and brilliant. You might get confused in spots, but I still think you’ll like it. There’s a lot of imagination, and lot of creativity, and heart in this book.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on March 17, 2013 :
From the beginning of the book to its last gripping page, I was fabulously entertained by Wrinklegus PoisonTongue’s novel “The Legend of Orchis and the Five Sisters: Book One”.
I cannot start my review without first praising the book’s front and back cover images. They are stunning. I learned from the introduction that the author himself has drawn and painted the images by hand- that is truly remarkable.
The story follows “Mushy” (Majedoline Gewargis) who wanders about the world of Buruvia after she receives incredibly powerful “magyk”.
Mushy is a young, brave and perceptive girl who is keen on mastering her “magyk”, and I find her endearing.
She is not the only strong female character in the book. Mushy encounters other spellbinding females along the way who help her explore and deal with her magical powers.
I really enjoyed these compelling characters and the dynamic between Mushy and them. They play a pivotal role as Mushy’s friends and allies because there are evil-doers, -villains, goblins, demons-, that are bent on stealing her power and destroying her world.
The author does a superb job at depicting these characters so vividly. It sent chills down my spine more than once.
The suspense builds and builds as these evil creatures plot her downfall and embark on said quest.
I dare not say more lest I give away too many spoilers. Let me just mention that there are heart-pounding encounters.
The genius of Wrinklegus PoisonTounge’s storytelling lies in his ability to create an enticing world with an inventive magic system called “Cloud Strain Magyk”.
The world of Buruvia with its “Forest of Vanishing Soul” and the “Chryssina Caverns” is the perfect setting for the great cast of characters and the exciting plot.
Wrinklegus PoisonTounge gives us just the right blend of adventure, humor, suspense and mayhem to keep the reader thoroughly engrossed. I can’t recommend this book enough and I fondly look forward to Book Two.
(reviewed the day of purchase)