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Transformation by Carol Berg

  (29 ratings)

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Book Information  
AuthorCarol Berg
SeriesRai-kirah Trilogy
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Kamla Mahony 
(Jun 13, 2005)

‘Transformation’ is an apt title for Carol Berg’s debut as it refers to layers of transformations that occur within the trilogy. It is fair to say that the first novel lends toward a character study, focusing particularly on Seyonne as slave, but also on Aleksander and the impact on both of the reluctant relationship the two develop.

It’s often a challenge for fantasy writers to mix action, pace and plot together with character exploration. Berg has mixed these factors beautifully. On the one hand we have Seyonne who epitomises all that may happen to a human spirit once enslaved, with the resulting mess of terror, resilience and internal rebellion one might expect. Aleksander, the enslaver, at first glance appears little more than an obnoxious brat preparing to inherit his father’s kingdom and Berg takes pains to create a perception that the two are very different indeed.

However, as the story proceeds it’s evident that they possess much in common: a fierce loyalty to their prospective nations; a willingness to acknowledge both their failings and strengths; and the particular type of cliched honour common to fantasy protagonists. It is these qualities that draw the two together in an unlikely bond that is continuously tested throughout the trilogies, but ‘Transformation’ itself focuses on the building of that bond.

Seyonne’s particular brand of magic is little explored in the novel. The reader learns about his magic from an exploration of his memories, and the aid he provides to Aleksander when he is maliciously enchanted; this provides a successful foreshadowing ploy for the next two books in the series.

‘Transformation’ can occasionally seem a little too cut and dried in terms of a classic good versus evil scenario but Aleksander’s character confliction helps to counter this. Berg has a smooth writing style, and her prose is easy to read without being simple or banal. All in all this is a fantastic, clever debut with excellent pace and a plot to keep the pages turning.

Submitted by Keyoke 
(Jul 31, 2001)

On a whim, I decided to pick up Transformation by Carol Berg. For a long time, it sit on my shelf, collecting dust. It sounded good, but, I just never bothered. One day, after finishing a long run of scifi novel, I needed some fantasy.. And hence, I decided to give this book a try, even despite the horrid cover. What a surprise! Amazing novel, it has been a long time since I've read a novel that has engrossed me so much in such a unique way. The story is told from the view point of a slave, his people conquered, and believing he is alone. It shows how his spirit has been crushed, and how he manages to live day by day. Soon, he is sold the ruling Prince of the people that destroyed his own. As time goes by, he realizes other malovent forces are at work, and that the very person who destroyed his people may be the only hope for the entire world. Excellent fantasy! The cultures come alive, and what I love is that the culture grows on you, meaning, simply, the author does not flood you with a set of rules for the culture, but, let's you discover the cultures through the eyes of the characters. I cannot recommend this book enough. The second book, Revelation, will be released in August of 2001.

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