S. A. Gibson
on March 28, 2015 :
The Tower of Boran is a fun sword and sorcery tale. Or, actually I will call it a dagger and sorcery tale, you will get it when you read the story. The two heroines find each other and a trusty sidekick to battle the evil sorceress. I will describe some aspects of the story, to try to explain why I enjoyed it.
The story brings you into another world. The story is in a created world and brings you into that different time, place and reality. The protagonists struggle to overthrow the villainous priestess who rules over the land. We have to learn the secrets, roles and loyalties of Tara, Maran, and Tee. The author weaves these characters, who were born in different situations and belonging to different groups with their own motivations, into a unified story. This book leads you on a journey from normal lives to fiction and fantasy. This different world is brought to life in the story. The environment, people and magic of this story intrigues the reader and entwines the characters with their central endeavor.
There are several mysteries in the story. The identities of the characters slowly unfold over time. The story keeps secrets, and there are things going on that the characters within the story do not know. We readers must travel along on the journey to find out why things are happening and what is behind the strange conditions in the world. With each passing page there are some revelations of the mysteries that affect our feelings and opinions about the characters and the world. The reader will find many mysteries that continue through most of the book.
The characters are part of the world that is unfurled as the story proceeds. Tara and Maran know different things about nature and the magic in the world. They share information and use their knowledge to fight the evil priestess and her minions. Tee has his own talents and skills that are handy for aiding Tara, and in the coming war. We don't know, as we are reading, if there will be romance between any of the characters. We have questions about N’Dreyid, why is she the way she is. What drives her. Is she evil or are her goals merely beyond our understanding? There are communities of villages and rebels who aid the three in their quest, and we learn some of their stories, but their deepest motivations remain mysterious. I was left wanting to know what happens next with some of the characters.
There are dangerous secrets, changes and surprises. Many mysteries are untangled in the course of the story. There are surprises about Maran's origin. Members of the team must trust each other without having known each other for long. They must work with the villagers and rebels as the plans come together and they face the army of the Priestess. We follow the three as they begin to work together, and must depend on each other and meet the coming obstacles. I became invested in the outcome of the coming battle and wanted the protagonists to win. This story builds to decisive action at the end.
I am waiting for what comes next. The book leaves me wanting more. While we get closure with many mysteries revealed, I still want to know where some stories are going. I still do not know what happened to the old priestess. I don’t know how the people will govern themselves. I liked that the story made me care about the characters. I liked finding the mysteries as they were revealed to the characters. I had read a prequel, Ascha, so had some familiarity with the world of the story. I am even looking forward to seeing if any of my views of the story might change, as I read additional prequels and sequels.
I would say the most likely audience is people who enjoy youth oriented hero's journey type stories. There is some violence and threat in the story. The book has a little fighting and war, but not much. I would recommend reading the prequel Ascha first, but it is not needed. This story stands on its own. There is some magic, but I think readers not interested in supernatural storylines can still enjoy it. Give it a try, I think you will like it, an entertaining adventure tale.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on Dec. 27, 2013 :
An engrossing work of young adult fantasy. Many may find it suitable as a read-aloud for younger kids. Grabs the attention from the opening and heads straight into a surprising plot twist (I expected the twist, but it didn't take the form I thought it would). Charming characters, even the gruff ones! The system of magic intrigued me, though it was sketched fairly lightly. In the sequel, which I look forward to reading, I'd hope to see more detail from the magery. Solidly entertaining. Recommend to fans of The Castings trilogy!
(reviewed 74 days after purchase)