Customer Reviews for

The Diviner

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    In a sense, The Diviner is really two books, with a rather abrup

    In a sense, The Diviner is really two books, with a rather abrupt change
    of both plot and pace about halfway through, as Azzad al-Ma'aliq gives
    way to his son, Alessid. The problem is that the son cannot hold a
    candle to his father, either in personality or deeds. Azzad is a
    wonderful character, a man who rises above his flaws to become more than
    just means of retribution. He develops as he matures, exposing hidden
    facets of his personality that make him more endearing as the story
    progresses. I loved him as a hero, as a father, as a husband, and as a
    warrior. He is, without a doubt, one of Melanie's strongest characters.
    It's just a shame the book couldn't remain focussed on him. Alessid, by
    contrast, is entirely unlikable from the start, and what limited
    development he displays is, unfortunately, in the wrong direction. I was
    willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at first, understanding
    where he's come from and what kind of legacy he's inherited, but he was
    a disappointment. I neither liked nor respected him, and every time he
    disparaged his father's memory (which is far too often), he simply
    reminded me of the gulf between the two. In all fairness, Azzad's half
    of the novel was the far more interesting story, briskly paced, and
    interspersed with a few moments of reflection. I cared about what was
    happening, and I found myself anxiously turning pages, desperate to know
    what would happen next. Alessid's half of the novel was far less
    interesting, sluggishly paced, and bogged down with far too many
    marriages, births, and alliances. Instead of being anxious to find out
    what happens next, I found myself desperately flipping through pages,
    hoping to pick up a thread of story that would pull me back in. It's a
    shame Melanie couldn't maintain the magic of the first half, because
    there's a lot about the story to like. If she could have just given us
    more of the Sheyqa Nizzira, the truly chilling, scene-chewing villainess
    behind Azzad's flight into the desert, maybe there would have been no
    need to dwell on Alessid. Unfortunately, once we get beyond the
    bloodbath that begins the novel, she ceases to be anything other than a
    name, a title, a character who exists off-the-page as a focal point for
    vengeance. She had such promise - I would have really loved to explore
    her more. Characters and plotting aside, the Middle East flavouring is
    a nice change of pace from the typical European fantasy setting, and I
    loved exploring the origins of the magic that made The Golden Key so
    enthralling. There were some really nice stylistic touches here, and the
    quality of the writing itself is full of hints and promises of a return
    to form for Melanie. I'd like to think this was just a contractual
    obligation she forced herself through, to give her the freedom to do
    something new. Time will tell, but here's hoping her new trilogy
    follows through on that promise of a return to form, and once again
    demonstrates the love for her material that seemed lacking here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an exhilarating prequel fantasy (see The Golden Key) that takes off from the onset

    In 611 in the city of Dayira Azreyq during a gala the Glorious Majesty Sheyqa Nizzira has her assassins kill the powerful al Ma'alique family. However, one clan member lives, the profligate Azzad al-Ma'alique who was late due to female issues. He considers his options and concludes fleeing was the best course for now, but vowing revenge when he returns.

    He eludes the killers sent by Sheyqa as he reaches the desert. There he is fortunate that the enigmatic nomadic Shagara tribe of mages saves his life and provides him shelter. They protect him from the assassins as he begins his plan for avenging his family though he knows needs time to plan and deploy.

    This is an exhilarating prequel fantasy (see The Golden Key) that takes off from the onset. However, the Diviner feels like two books as just passed the half way point of the book, the story line reaches a climatic conclusion. From there a second story line picks up albeit much slower paced though well written. Still readers will enjoy the cost of vengeance to the avenging angel and the innocent collateral damaged victims.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2014

    Really enjoyed this book

    Melanie Rawn knows how to tell a story and this one is no exception. Great book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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