It’s time to abandon ship, me mateys! Me first one of the year. This author has written marvelous things like the enchanted forest chronicles (adored them all!) and sorcery and cecelia (cute and fun!). I had always wanted to read her Lyra series and finally tracked down an omnibus of the first three books in the series. To say I was excited is an understatement. And then the time finally came to immerse meself in this new world. I was expecting great things.
I got grumpitude. Basically, I found this book to be immensely cliché and boring. I find it hard to believe that these books were written by the same author. To be fair, I thought the beginning had promise.
It starts out with a merchant caravan arriving back home after a long journey. Maurin is a member of the caravan. He has been invited by a noble, Har, to visit the family estate. When he gets there, he meets Alethia, Har’s sister, who is intelligent and good with daggers. There is a hint that Maurin quickly develops a crush on Har’s sister even though he laughs good-naturedly at himself due to the immense difference in their stations. Things ensue and Alethia is kidnapped. Har and Maurin set out to get her back. Yup. I was on board with that. In fact I was good up until page 29 when Alethia escapes her captors.
After page 29, the characters involved expanded exponentially. Additions to the characters included: a minstrel, dwarfish-creatures, elvish-creatures, magicians, evil shadow people, etc. Alethia goes from being somewhat awesome to lacking initiative and being led around like a puppet. Oh, add in that she is the chosen one and a special snowflake at that. And the reasons for the evil people and the politics and the warfare were just ugh.
But I kept reading hoping for genius to emerge. I made it to page 111 of 174. I had put the book down at the preparing for a battle part to get some shut eye. Then when came time to finish the last bit, I kept picking it back up, rereading the same three paragraphs and putting it back down.
The last attempt to pick it resulting in an actual feeling of dread and so I abandoned ship. If only it contained the stories of just Maurin and Har trying to rescue Alethia with her contributing to her own escape! I will not be reading the rest of the series. I will stick to rereadin’ me favourites by the author instead.
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Trouble is brewing in Alkyra. While the kingdom’s noblemen squabble, on their borders an ancient enemy, the Lithmern, raises an army. As the head of the Noble House of Brenn attempts to organize an alliance, the princess Alethia celebrates her twentieth birthday. She is a remarkable woman: quick-witted, beautiful, and handy with a throwing knife. But on the next night, she passes through a dark corridor on her way to the banquet hall, and never emerges from the shadows. The Lithmern have kidnapped the princess.
When Alethia regains consciousness, an evil Lithmern with a face made of shadows is carrying her through the forest. These are magic woods, home to fabled creatures whose existence she has always doubted. To find her way home, Alethia will have to learn to trust in the old tales, whose legends of magic and daring hold the only hope of saving her kingdom.
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