|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.