Defending the Sword by Gina Quilici

  (3 ratings)

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Book Information  
AuthorGina Quilici
TitleDefending the Sword
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Heresy 
(Sep 22, 2005)

If the reader likes a loosely developed story, one which foreshadows nothing, holds no real structure... basically something a young teen might read, this may be for you. I always have to give a positive even though the cons are so numerous that I have lost count, but the only saving grace about the book is that she writes in a way that’s easy to read. You can swing over each word and you’ll understand what’s been said. Plus there’s an earlier attempt in the first half of the book to focus on detail, and when she actually works on it, the detail is nice to have.

The book starts off promisingly, but it unfortunately hits the ground far too fast. The main character, Shayla, is the stereotypical “meek” maiden that needs saving and at the same time will occasionally step out of character to give attitude on how she’s always “alone” and how she’s such a martyr to the cause when there are people willing to die for her... how basically everyone should pity her and worship her for her selfishness. I have a problem when the female character is the sort of person that has to have all the attention and can NEVER be in the wrong for anything. Perfect and beautiful, she manages to turn any situation to her advantage. If she were to argue that the sun was black, she’d be right too... that’s the kind of character she is.

The villains are cardboard cut outs, their own purpose is to stand there and be evil... or crazy. Supposedly the random things the villains do - things that the reader wonders why it was even left in since it has no real importance to the plot - leave the story weak and poor. They’re only there to menace the heroes. I like villains to have some sort of reasoning as to why they’re doing what they are doing... not some simple answer that ‘they’re bad and they do bad things because, guess what, they’re bad.” -_-+ Quite annoying considering the potential the story could have had if she had developed all characters fully and equally.

Speaking of equality, the heroes are always in the right unless they’re against the main heroine, then she’s in the right. I also don’t like how this is settled because no one should be right all the time. I like seeing people as humans and sharing feelings, but I constantly felt that I was suppose to “love” the main character by being force-fed all her goodness.

Speaking of characterizations... poorly done. You either get half-formed characters or 2D characters, neither is the better for wear. They have no real background, no nitty gritty to get you to understand what makes them tick. Characters are thrown together at the last possible second. They come off as stereotypical cut outs of “the jolly warrior”, “pure-hearted princess”, “female warrior,” and other such dribble.

As to plot, there basically isn’t one. You have to wait till Shayla’s 23rd birthday for her to assume the power of the Gods - and she’s suppose to be kept alive. This is mentioned throughout the book, harped on how she has to have a kid to make sure that power is kept in the villain’s hand... but what do they do at the end of the book? They try to kill her. It’s inconsistencies like this that make the story so far-fetch and unbelievable. The book is littered with these things that to write each one out would fill pages.

Although, I will point out that if you’re gonna hide the face of the true hero, you better show more reason than “I didn’t want anyone to find out my true identity,” when no one even cared about that identity until the VERY last couple of pages in the book. I thought this technique would have been useful if there had been some actual mention earlier on in the book. At least it would have served the actual reason the hero gives, instead it gets wasted. BTW, quite interesting how the hero’s brother, who is tortured, somehow is able to escape and warn people of danger from the people on horseback! He gets there before them!

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