|Submitted by Miriamele |
(Jul 05, 2005)
I read this book after Sweet's first book, A Telling of Stars. The Silences of Home is written in a different style than that book--multiple viewpoints instead of one, a fast-moving plot instead of dense lyrical prose--but this one is still every bit as compelling.
It is an enchanting book, and I admit that once I got to the halfway point, at which a suspenseful attack scene occurs, I could not put it down. I have sorely neglected my housework over the past two days in order to finish it--I simply had to find out what happened, not only because the story was exciting but because I cared so much about all the characters.
The characters of the book are likeable and flawed, as well as extremely complex, like real people, and they act in unpredictable ways. The first half of the book I kept thinking that I was reading foreshadowing of dire events, but halfway through I realized that nothing was going to happen like I thought. And I was right. As I read on the author surprised me again and again. Sometimes the surprises were sweet, sometimes bitter. Just like real life, I could never predict what anyone was going to do--and yet no one stepped out of character. The story was believable.
The theme of written history possibly being lies was an interesting one. It was fascinating after reading A Telling of Stars, and learning of the legend of Queen Gahla, to learn in this book what really had transpired during her reign. And to have the characters themselves discussing how these events were to be recorded was an interesting twist! In this way The Silences of Home gave me a great deal of food for thought.
In the end I felt that the characters met a fate that they deserved. The ending was not neat and tidy, it was not all happy--some parts were quite sad--but it was right and just.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a stand-alone fantasy novel which is a little bit different--a little more literary than most fantasy, a little more character-driven, a little more complex. Don't be fooled that this story is only one book instead of a trilogy--so much happens in the story. It's a satisfying book that, once you pick it up, I promise you won't be able to put down.