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Son of Avonar by Carol Berg

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Book Information  
AuthorCarol Berg
TitleSon of Avonar
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Amaunette 
(May 01, 2005)

Although only "Son of Avonar" is listed here, Carol Berg has actually finished the trilogy. The rest of the series includes "Guardians of the Keep" and "Soul Weaver." I picked up this series because I quite enjoyed the Rai-Kirah series and felt that Carol Berg is a new writer with original style, something I'm always looking out for.

"Son of Avonar" itself was eminently enjoyable. The plot was fantastic even if the characters were a tad flat. The book flashes between "present day," in which an exiled noblewoman, Seriana, finds herself taking care of an amnesiac magical warrior. However, the long flashbacks into the past flesh out Seriana's character most completely, moreso than any other character. My only problem with the flashbacks was that Berg would often chose to begin a lengthy flashback just as the action in the present time was becoming interesting, so that I found it somewhat difficult to remain interested in the book.

Carol Berg delivered exactly what I expected - a trilogy centered around magical conflict. And her storytelling is superb, as always. I have issues with her style of writing, however. I have oftentimes felt as though I were slipping into the language of a romance novel, because her language was so common. In addition, I eventually became frustrated with the trilogy as a whole because Berg kept trying to use the same conflict to stir up a plot twist, and after awhile it just got old. Still, I gave "Son of Avonar" a 4 out of 5 because the plot was (so far) original and likable.

Submitted by Kseniya Shabanova 
(Feb 15, 2004)

This is the sort of book you swallow all in one piece and then sit twitching on hot coals, waiting for the next installment. Without a doubt, this is a first book in a series, not a stand-alone work. Having accepted that, you can really appreciate the pacing - not rushed, not forced. Perfect.

The story is so dynamic and the style of writing so energetic, that the words just jump off the page. Carol manages to create very visual, tactile scenes with precision and economy of words, so you feel yourself in the story, bypassing the infamous sort of over-extended descriptions. She also has a most un-trivial way of juggling two storylines, one of which is the main character's past and the other - her present. The emotional depth of Seri's past frees the present-time storyline from the necessity to hurry relationships along and from forcing character development to progress at an unnatural pace. Very well done, all.

The world Carol creates is currently ruled by people of the most unpleasant ilk, whom Seri rightly scorns. Yet there is no denying that the current situation came about for good reason. The "good" people in the story have the potential to do a great deal of damage, being sorcerers. There are many such complexities and contradictions. It is wonderful to see a writer including them as such, instead of trivializing them for the sake of neatness and rounded corners.

Very well done - interesting, emotional, well-paced. A great read in itself and an excellent beginning to a promising series.

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