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C. M. Truxler
on Aug. 20, 2012 :
Budding Magic by L S Fayne is Blooming Beautifully
Budding Magic by L S Fayne, the first book in the fantasy fiction series, is a wondrous and beautiful telling of the tale of the O’Byrne Daughters. The children of Aine and Keegan O’Byrne have all inherited the magic that runs through their lineage; this novel explores their lives during and after the passing of their parents. The cover does not do justice to the content. It is a magnificent tale, which is wonderfully written.
The title of main character is passed from parent to child and then shared by the daughters themselves, much like the magic running through the characters’ veins. Each character is painstakingly crafted with just enough description to create a vivid and elaborate image in the reader’s mind of this beautiful portion of Ireland and its inhabitants. This novel enfolds the reader in the tale and builds its world around each to place him or her at the heart of the story. Fayne has created a storyline, and the telling there of, that not only gives the reader a front row seat to the happenings, but pulls each into the tale to feel and be transported by its words.
The plot is highly developed and beautifully written. Each movement of the characters affects his or her surrounding landscape as if Aine herself had charmed the very land. The tale is straightforward, but far from plain. Many writers would stumble trying to create such an intricate tale, but Fayne does so seemingly effortlessly and the reader is all the better for it. From the Emerald Isles to the reader’s hands, this is magic not to be dismissed.
(review of free book)
Hock G. Tjoa
on July 15, 2012 :
This is a gentle and fascinating enticement into the magical world of the O'Bryne family in Ireland before the potato famine (although individuals from the family do get around--one even to China). I tried not to dwell on the improbability of the situation (this is after all fantasy) but found it hard to not be aware that the oldest of the daughters is 14. She is magically gifted and like no 14 year old you have ever met or heard of. It was fascinating to have the differences among the girls shown (the youngest is barely past the new-born stage) much of which is revealed through their "link"--much less invasive than a Vulcan mind meld.
Anticipating the famines of the hungry forties, the mother (who dies in childbirth at 32) has split the sphere of O'Bryne influence and created a time-shift between the two hemispheres--so one can be ready for the harvest as the other winters. She has to choose the least bad of all possibilities for each time-line, provide protection for all within each sphere even if they are not of the magical blood-line and arrange for special protection for her daughters. Yet her gift of foresight must have been limited for she entrusts them into the care of her sister who, it appears, has chosen the "dark side."
There is some "metaphysics" of magic to be explained and Druantia appears (she has a trilogy of her own)--half human, half spirit. There are differences too, among--say--the rabbits and the fairies, some of them are vicious and pretty gross. There are differences in the magic, some descended from the druids like the O'Bryne's, some "elemental," and others .... In all, a fascinating and readable world. I only wish the editing had been better.
(review of free book)
Sadie S. Forsythe
on July 09, 2012 :
This is an engaging story that carries you along pleasantly. Or at least it does after chapter one of Budding Magic. I cried in the first chapter, yes the first chapter! Each of the six sisters has a personality of their own, which can't be easy for a writer. You easily become attached and invested in their adventure. It is fun learning the Druadic lessons with them and seeing how Fayne describes all of the magical creatures. The language is distractingly modern for a story set in 1838, especially that of the O'Byrne sisters, but this is easily overlooked. If you like fairtale fare you'll like these books.
It is a testament to the O'Brynes that I enjoyed the story as much as I did despite having one of my number one literary pet peaves in it. This is when main characters are presented as more morally advanced than their peers because they adhere to normal modern civic mores. It comes through in little things like insisting on bathing regularly in a historical time period when hygiene was neither understood nor appreciated, or expecting fair labour (or gender) laws in what would otherwise be a feudal state. Express a desire to see change, sure, but surprise that others adhere to what would be the norm of the day, no. Like everyone else, the main characters would know no different. I generally find it smug and condescending, and Fayne's story is no exception. Despite this one major drawback for me, I really liked Budding Magic.
When all is said and done, the story of the Irish O’Bryne’s is one worth the read for those who are 14ish and up. There are a few sexual references, more often than not when a baddie needs to be seen as especially depraved. But there is no explicit sex or violence. It is well edited and easy to follow.
(reviewed long after purchase)