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Most Helpful Favorable Review
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
Courtesy of Readergirl Reviews a Teen Book
To have been fourte...
To have been fourteen when she penned this story, Cayla Kluver's writing shows a remarkable depth, strength, and polish to it. I was kind of amazed really. Not so much by the fact that a fourteen year old could conceive of and then write a good tale. I know people have good imaginations and creativity at any age. What amazed me more was the breadth of research she must have done to paint such a vivid and accurate picture of the time period... because although the book does take place in an imaginary kingdom, the customs, dress, environment, and culture is obviously of the middle ages. And she was phenomenal at setting the stage, conveying that culture, and making it all seem so real.
I loved the characters... just about all of them. Although Princess Alera does not like Steldor, strongly dislikes him in fact, I kind of liked him. Even though he is arrogant. But that very thing, which completely annoys him, kind of made me like him because I think there are more depths to him that the reader hasn't discovered yet and probably will discover in the following books. (Yes, this is a trilogy.) Narian I liked, of course, because he is shrouded in mystery. But I think we have a good love triangle about to start here. I LOVE love triangles! At least if they're done well. So I'm looking forward to seeing where Cayla Kluver takes this one.
I enjoyed the action, the setup, the flashes of romance, and the richness of the setting and time period. This was a great story and I look forward to seeing more from Cayla in future!
posted by ReadergirlReviews on August 12, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
NOOK VERSION IN SPANISH
posted by 5758036 on July 21, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2011
Shows promise--but doesn't live up to it...yet
Knowing that this book was written by a fourteen-year-old, it is impressive. That fact is pretty much what kept me reading it after a while, to be honest. I really just wanted to see where Kluver was going with it. Standing on its own as just a book, though? I probably wouldn't have finished it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
For one thing, there is way too much description throughout. Constant mention of hair and eye color is distracting. Great detail is given about clothing, when that clothing's appearance really isn't at all relevant to the story or plot. A lot of time is also spent describing things like where people will be sitting at a dinner, when that information could easily be relayed while the dinner is in progress. Too much showing, not enough telling. Adjectives and adverbs, instead of being sprinkled through the writing to add depth and intrest, are thrown about with wild abandon.
Another aspect that bothered me was the politics involved. At the end of the novel, the kingdom is hovering on the brink of war with an enemy that they fought for about a hundred years last time and have only had an uneasy peace with for the past sixteen years or so. Yet with this looming on the horizon, the king is pushing his younger daughter to marry so he can relinquish the throne to her husband? Does this really seem like something a responsible head of state would do? The fact that the son of the captain of the guard would be considered the best choice for a king also seemed highly suspect, his individual personality aside. (According to the "rules" of this society, only men can rule. Therefore, princesses like Alera, the main character, can be queen, but their husbands will rule the kingdom.) Surely there would be noble boys of a higher rank deemed more suitable than a mere soldier's son. Although other suitors are mentioned, we really don't see any of them in the novel, at least not in the exhaustive detail that we see Steldor.
The main personal conflict in this book is a love triangle of sorts between Alera, Steldor, and Narian (a nobleman's son), but it just doesn't quite seem to work. Steldor is consistently portrayed as a complete lout who amazingly is adored by everyone but Alera and her loyal bodyguard London. (How can an entire kingdom be so hung up on the superficial and completely ignore his words and actions?) Alera abhors him, detests him, and would like to see him run over by a buggy--but hey, he smells good, which distracts her hatred so much that she forgets to try and stop him from doing things like stealing kisses. We see each and every encounter with Steldor in exhaustive detail. Narian, on the other hand, isn't even in the picture for a lot of the book. When he is around, we only see a very few interactions between him and Alera in any detail, and most of those are before they really even have much of a relationship. Once they really start to care for one another, all we hear is that they spend hours together, talking and kissing. We actually witness very little of it, though, so it seems more like we're taking Alera's word on the fact that they have a great love.
Much is left unanswered in the end, as a trilogy is promised. I'll try book two in the hopes that Kluver will grow into her potential. If her writing style hasn't tightened up, though, I won't be in line for book three.
Posted June 24, 2011
Very slow, not much action
I have to say it, I didn't really like this book. The characters have no depth to them, so it was hard to connect to anyone. The king wants to marry his eldest daughter off, the daughter doesn't want to marry the top suitor, who is an egotistical bore. There is no shading to the characters, noone is all dark or all light, but that is how the majority are portrayed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The story didn't go anywhere, there was almost no action at all. There was a war many years ago, but they don't talk any details about it. They're afraid a war might be coming again, but there's nothing much showing signs of that except a couple of Cokyri showing up in Hytanica. The synopsis indicated that 49 infants were taken and only one returned alive, but nothing in the book ever explained that. Perhaps it was being saved for the sequel.
This novel just didn't catch my interest, though I plodded my way through it. In my opinion, 496 pages was way too long for this story. I see that the reviews for this book widely vary, some love it, some do not. So, this one is up to you, if you want to take the chance.
*Disclaimer, I was given this book by the publisher Harlequin, through Netgalley, I was not required to write a positive review