Vanna Smythe is the author of the Anniversary of the Veil fantasy trilogy. She has been writing creatively since her early teens, though one could say her creative writing efforts started long before that. While still in kindergarten, she once tore up a library book to make alphabet soup, and has been fascinated with what words can do, the pictures and worlds they can create, ever since.
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on May 30, 2013 :
Although this download is just the first portion of the story offered as an introduction to the series, I wanted to post my reviews of the complete first two volumes. I read these two volumes several months ago when they first came out. Now that they are available on Smashwords, I paid for a copy of the boxed set just so I could post my reviews here also. (I think that proves I like the books.)
Volime I: Protector
I enjoy lengthy fantasies with many characters and complex plots. Therefore, it is no surprise that I love this book. The premises is intriguing and the world-building part of the story is well done. In a crowded genre, it isn't easy to create a fresh and rich fantasy world, but the author has done exactly that. The characters are complicated people -- no black and white cookie-cutter characters here -- which are developed gradually. These are not people who are all good or all bad, except for one high priest (hey, every story needs a good villain). I like that a lot. All real people have both positive and negative qualities and those in this story seem very real. Plus, the main protagonists are very appealing. I won't summarize it to avoid giving spoilers, but following the plot was great fun for me.
Yes, the prologue left me a bit confused but that's a good thing. If a prologue explained everything, why would we need the rest of the book? And yes, this book is the first part of a longer story which obviously is not finished at the end of volume one. As I said, that makes it my kind of book. To other readers who may think they won't like such length, I encourage you to try this. It's well worth anyone's time. I will definitely be buying volume two as soon as it becomes available.
Volume II: Decision Maker
I loved this author's first book `Protector' so I snapped up volume 2 of this series as soon as it became available. If possible, this book is even better than the first. At the beginning, we learn Issa's true identity, but she can't remember her past or her real nature while here in the Lesser World. We also find out about her `Forever-Husband' - but who is he exactly?
In part 1, I became attached to the young protagonists Issa and Kae. I spent most of part 2 worrying about what would happen to them. I don't give spoilers, so you'll have to read to find out. I will just say that the mystery and tension kept me reading all day long.
Ms. Smythe's ability to create characters fascinates me. All of them, not just Issa and Kae, are fully formed multi-dimensional people. Even many of those among the seemingly bad characters have good qualities, and the apparent good guys really aren't so good. After all, they plan to use Issa in a very harsh way. In fact, are there any true heroes other than Kae? Or for that matter, any real villains except High Priest Rhaldan?
The combination of characters is marvelous, and the richness of the world the author has created is fantastic.
The number of superlatives I have used in this review may make some skeptics think I am a relative or friend of the author's. I am not. I'm just someone who loves this sub-genre of fantasies and who is (obviously) impressed with this author's talent. Incidentally, the ending left me eagerly anticipating the next book in this series.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
(review of free book)