Archive for July, 2012


After being so frustrated with this book as I covered in my “Vocabulary” post, this book actually turned out to be a good read. In my review, I will simply write about the main character as either “the main character” or “the protagonist” due to the story being about discovering the identity of the character.

My main issues with this book are the ungodly long beginning, and the over-zealous use of ridiculous vocabulary.

I understand that it takes time to set up the background of a book well enough to start the plot rolling, but it should not take 120 pages to do so. I do not jest, or exaggerate. There is 120 pages of plotless background. Except for the fact that there isn’t much background, because the main character is a mutilated mute who has amnesia in a foreign environment. The main character has no backstory to tell, simply because their identity is unknown. There are no bonds with other people to explore, because the protagonist does not know anybody in the castle. Also lacking are the forming of bonds with other characters, because of the protagonist’s scarred face and inability to communicate. There are minor skirmishes, where the protagonist falls out of favor with one of the tower’s lords and gets a whipping for it, but nothing that overall affects the plot. The character does some minor exploring of the unfamiliar surroundings, but not anything that is worth mention or noting. Again, this part of the story has almost no effect on the plot. By my check, the first point where things begin to move is page 114, but nothing actually happens until page 125. If you can suffer through this insanely long, drawn-out beginning, the book is well worth the read. The plot flows quickly and smoothly, always entertaining.

My other point of contention is the vocabulary. Usually I find more advanced vocabulary refreshing and adding to the story, but in this book it was too complex, and over-used. Rather than recognizing the medieval word for a very specific type of pot used in a kitchen for making porridge, and losing myself in the scenery, I had to look up the word, discover it was a pot, and go back to reading, wondering why it wasn’t simply labelled as a pot or saucepan. There were also some very specific plants (commonly used in the middle ages; not commonly known nowadays) that left me wondering. She used about a dozen different words for ‘food’ that I was unfamiliar with, and could have sufficed with one or two rather than using a different word every time. There were the technical names for medieval/renaissance-age garments, from the proper name for the inner and outer petticoats, to what the pont on their hoods (taltries) are called. There were even words I could not find the definition for online. I tried google, wikipedia, dictionary.com, and many other search engines and could not find anything about the word at all but a suggestion that maybe I had spelled another word wrong. All in all, I love the use of more advanced vocabulary when it lends to a book, but there is a point where it hinders the writing rather than helps it. This book jumped well over that point, with both feet, and kept sprinting.

I loved finding out more about the protagonist as the story wore on. It’s a very unique idea, having to discover the identity of the character, rather than knowing the character from the beginning. I very much enjoyed this book, and will recommend it to you to read, given that you are patient and stubborn (and maybe have another short book to read before you reach page 120), and don’t mind checking the dictionary every 15 pages.

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I finally figured out how to make the booklist in the format I wanted it in! Unfortunately, this means I found out how to do so at the expense of my booklist. 😦 I opened my booklist while viewing the booklist Freak0Nature sent me… And Microsoft automatically put it in a compatability mode to make sure the two documents had the same features available in Word. This meant that my list was reconfigured, and the information was scrambled. I literally had hundreds of books, so I can’t just rewrite it from memory. I’ve got some series that have 1 book instead of 6, or that have 20+ books instead of 4. I’m going to have to start from scratch, because unfortunately, I can’t simply turn off compatibility mode; it’s a conversion to the document that I don’t know how to undo. I’ve also been playing with the idea of including what I have on my bookshelves and color-marking them as read or unread, then as I write reviews for them, make them links. Sounds like a lot of work, but it would be absolutely great in my opinion… If only there was a site to do this for me!

Well, there kind of is. For those of you who haven’t discovered it yet, Goodreads.com has thousands of books on file, and you can put them on ‘shelves’ to keep track of them, and write reviews. Unfortunately, you can’t group things by series in shelves without going in and manually rearranging them, and you also cannot generate lists of shelves as plain text. Both would be fantastic features, IMHO. Another great feature I’d love to see them add is a way to Auto-arrange the books. By genre (and wouldn’t it be great if they added genres to the books instead of letting users tag the books as whatever genre they please?), alphabetically by author, alphabetically by series, however! But alas, they do not. So I am stuck with struggling through making a book list myself. 😦 And I just messed it up. I’m still open for ideas for books if you would like to share! Chances are though, I have it on my list already. 🙂

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I expected way more romance, mindless female-worshipping, sickly obsessions, (not so) dreamy male antagonists, and a brainless flirt of of a woman for a protagonist. Oh, and not to mention I’m aware that most ‘romance’ novels are like porn in book form for women. Instead, this is an awesome story about a woman named Natiya who is incubating a dragon egg to try to get revenge on the evil emperor, Dag Racho, since he killed her entire family. With that being said, it still sounds like a really mediocre book. But the back cover really intrigued me. It reads:

One Protector

When dragon power flows through your veins, when dragon thoughts burn in your mind, you can accomplish anything. Natiya knows, for she carries one of the last egs in the land disguised as a jewel in her navel. Day by day the Unhatched grows, and when at last it births they will be joined in a sacred and eternal bond. Gone will be the barmaid forced to dance for pennies; born will be Dag Natiya, revered Queen. Taker her body or her soul; nothing will stop them.

One Slayer

When dragon power flows through your veins, when dragon emotions trample your soul, you become a monster. So knows Kiril, for one destroyed his cousin. No matter how kind or joyful, all beings must succumb to the power of the wyrm. That is why Kiril vowed to destroy dragonkind – and he has almost succeeded. Only one egg remains. But there is an obstacle he did not foresee: love.

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So, as this states, Natiya and Kiril fall in love. The only obstacle is she is incubating a dragon egg, and he is the emperor’s prized dragon killer. Rather than the both of them being lovesick fools who fall into each other’s arms the entire time and do nothing but shag and the plot magically unfolds itself, there is a race with time before the egg hatches, and before they are caught by Dag Racho and killed.

I found the plot to be highly captivating, and the characters to be well fleshed out and interactions between them were well thought out and in sync with their emotions, back stories, and personalities. The only part I am mildly annoyed with is the overt lust and the (few) sex scenes in the book. I enjoyed that the focus was not on the romance, but I’m still not sure I like any romance in my books at all. I mean, sure the plot twist of them falling in love is great and all, but does Kiril really have to be fondling her every chance he gets? Natiya is portrayed as an intelligent but hard up woman, who has a stash of books underneath her bed, and spurns every man who tries to flirt with her. Now here comes Kiril and she’s squirming up against him. In my honest opinion, this was a great book until the lust and sex came into it. I skimmed through those parts. I think it would have been better as a love story, not a smut story in other words.

Still, the book was good. One of my favorite parts was the interaction between the dragon and the person incubating it, and the time and effort that went into creating and describing the bond that they share. The bond the dragonborn share is my absolute favorite part of the book.

I am both slightly appalled that I enjoyed a romance, and proud of myself for giving it a chance. I’m not sure it’s a whole new genre I want to jump into, but hey, it was a good read (and it only took me 2 days to finish!)