on Oct. 6, 2011 :
I truly enjoyed this book immensely! I'm very much stuck in my ways when it comes to books, and I'll read my favorite over and over without reading anything new. This book is really going to be on my favorites list! The characters are believable and human, the magic is put forth in a way which seems unique to me, and the story itself touches the emotions. Definitely a must read. I can't wait to read the rest of them!
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on Aug. 13, 2011 :
I enjoyed this book very much. The story takes place in a land that will feel familar, filled with tolerance and intolerance. Religion and magic drive this novel, magic is not tolerated by the current conquering rulers and dominate religion. There are hunters who are called "hounds" and search for magic wielders, but you soon realize that they hunt using magic.
We are introduced to Leonine on the first page. He is a musician and a thief and soon becomes a murderer. He also uses magic. In spite of all this, he is a charmer and while he is on the run he meets a young girl, who is also hunted by the hounds. Ilasin is their primary target, she doesn't know how to use and control her magic and as a consequence has killed quite a few people when she was threatened and fearful. leonine becomes very protective of Ilasin and she becomes like a daughter to him.
Kamvar is a soldier in his religion's army, who is in the band with one of hounds. There current assignment is to find Ilasin and put her to death. Kamvar is questioning his beliefs and wondering why his loving god would want this.
The story moves along at a good pace, and you never feel lost in the details, and there are a lot of details. The characters are well rounded with the potential for both have both good and bad. All in all this was an enjoyable read.
(reviewed 59 days after purchase)
on July 6, 2011 :
The Pale Queen’s Courtyard by Marcin Wrona is a story that deals with politics and religion, people’s beliefs and magic, and a young girl who is being used as a political pawn.
The story takes place in a country whose peoples have been conquered over and over again. This country has numerous religions that are, for the most part, tolerated. There is one religion, however, that uses magic that the latest conqueror has banned from being practiced. They have torn down all the temples and killed many of the followers and outlawed the use of magic. Anyone using magic is hunted down by “Hounds” and their “Hunts” and sacrificed. The Hounds work for the High Priest who rules over the peoples. It is a little known fact that the Hounds are sorcerers who use magic to track down anyone using magic. Even the men in their hunt don’t realize they are sorcerers.
A young girl, the daughter of a High Priest of a different religion from the ruling religion, discovers she possesses magic one day when she is attacked and her magic comes out and kills her attackers. She runs away from home and is being hunted by not one but two Hounds and their hunts. While hunting for the girl they find evidence of another sorcerer in a small manor of a widow. He has killed a couple people and stolen a vase. One of the Hounds and his hunt has been sent to track him down while the other continues looking for the girl. While tracking this sorcerer, the Hound and his hunt actually find the girl in the sewers they have tracked the sorcerer to. She is scared and her magic comes out and kills several of the men, including the Hound. She has no control over her magic and it only appears when she is scared. Since the sorcerer is also in the sewers he finds the girl and decides to help her so now they are on the run together. They decide they must leave the country but the girl wants to go visit the grave of her mother and say goodbye before they leave. She gets captured while the sorcerer is away trying to arrange passage. Then she gets taken from her captors by someone representing the banned religion because they want to use her is some magic ritual. She is recaptured by the Hound but by this point some men in the hunt have figured out that she is just a political pawn and it goes against everything they believe in to kill this girl for politics so they turn against the Hound and rescue her.
I found this story well written and captivating. The main characters are well developed and the story flows well. I found myself not wanted to put it down until the end and can’t wait for the next book. It is a very good book and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good read.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on July 2, 2011 :
Disclaimer: I received a Kindle version of Pale Queen's Courtyard through a LibraryThing giveaway in return for a review.
This novel gave a glimpse into a well-thought out and rich landscape full of varying races, religions and views. While the plot of this particular novel was narrow, the world is rich and ripe for more tales.
Characters and locales were well conceived and the style and pacing allowed for discovery without dragging.
There were a few errors in this edition which slowed me a few times, but nothing too distracting. The one thing I would have expected in a printed copy that this did not include was a glossary of sorts. With so many place names, gods, unfamiliar titles and similar names, it would have been nice to have a glossary to refer to.
All in all this was a very enjoyable read and I look forward to more set in this world.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)