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Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life.
on Nov. 17, 2013 :
This is a full-length epic contemporary fantasy novel, with winged demons, winged knights (definitely not angels), telepathic horses, and weapons and armor that shape themselves to their owners. The plotline is solid -- I enjoyed the read -- but I kept wishing the world-building had been more solid, that there were more background details to keep me "grounded" in the author's universe. There just wasn't the overall flavor of immersion that truly satisfies the dedicated fantasy reader.
However, my major issue with the book is a trick of the author's wordsmithing. She tends to omit certain important details until after the fact, and then spring the detail as a surprise for the reader. As an example, a character might be held at knifepoint, then fight free using a knife the reader knew nothing about. This is just off the top of my head, not a real example from the book, so no spoiler there. But several major plot twists were sprung using this "Gotcha!" technique, and I'm not a fan of it.
I am a fan of the storytelling and the author's universe, even incomplete. There's a rough depth to the characters, a strength to the plotline, that will draw me back for future installments. Hope founds a fantasy world and is clearly intended as the basis for a series, with several questions remaining unanswered, invitingly so. Keep writing, Ms Rook.
Please note that I received a free copy of this novel through the Library Thing Member Giveaway program. The price of the book never dictates the honesty of the review.
(reviewed long after purchase)