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Masters & Slayers (Tales of Starlight Series)

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  • Posted May 21, 2011

    Great Book

    Masters & Slayers (book one in the Tales of Starlight series) is sorta like a sequel series to Dragons of Starlight, which is a series for teens. This book however was written as a fantasy series for adults, but I would say high schoolers would enjoy it too.

    Starlighter is my favorite book by Bryan Davis. I loved reading Masters & Slayers because it started off right where Starlighter did, but from Aiden's perspective. That was really cool. It revealed a whole new side to the story. I was really glad to see Marcelle as one of the main characters and loved her reading from her perspective too.

    I was really into the book until *spoiler* Cassabrie started to muddle Aiden's thoughts and takes charge. The whole disembodied spirits thing is sorta weird to me. It makes sense for the plot, and Davis did a great job making it not too weird, but it kind of threw me off and I didn't like the last half of the book so much.

    Overall, it was a good read and I'm looking forward to the sequel. I don't like this series as much as Dragons of Starlight, but the sequel might change my mind!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    more adult read, better world-building -- addictive fantasy

    Readers of the young adult fantasy Starlighter will recognize the opening scene of Masters and Slayers - that feeling of "we've been here before" is more than just deja vu. Masters and Slayers is the first book in a series for adults that shares a world, characters, and an overarching plot with Zondervan's YA series "Dragons of Starlight."

    A hero worth his salt, Adrian Masters is preparing to follow a series of mysterious clues to a portal that will take him to another world: Starlight, the dragon planet, where kidnapped humans have been held as slaves for generations. The passionate and revenge-hungry Marcelle goes with him, along with two more unexpected companions. Their goal is to free the slaves - but first they must survive a conspiracy on their own planet, find their way through the portal, encounter a benevolent dragon who rules the Northlands of Starlight, and learn to work together before mistrust and mistakes destroy their hopes before they can even begin to be realized.

    Masters and Slayers is a far more adult story than Starlighter. Marcelle, who avoids being the stereotypical "headstrong female" by virtue of her fears and deep frailties, tries her hardest to fight, dress, and guard herself like a man because of the serial-killer-style murder of her mother. While Adrian's chivalry is noted and upheld, the very opposite attitudes of some villains (and the dragon habit of breeding their human slaves) gets more than a passing mention. The violence is also more realistic (read: gorier) and the villains more obviously despicable. But Masters and Slayers isn't just "adult" in the sense of earning a higher content rating. It's also deeper, more thought-provoking, and more disturbing in good ways - the kinds of ways that provoke us to compassion and force us to look more clearly at ourselves.

    Had I not read Starlighter first, I might have found some of the plot intersections annoying (too many unexplained actions and dangling threads), but overall I thought the juxtaposition of the series works well - at least, so far! The worlds of Starlight and Major 4 are better developed in Masters and Slayers, and in my opinion, are noticeably cooler. I still found the mix of science and fantasy hard to settle into (our heroes wield swords, arrows, and axes, but local government forces use DNA to convict criminals; video comes into play, as does genome mapping, yet the setting is medieval in most other ways).

    My overall opinion? I read Masters and Slayers in a matter of hours because Starlighter hooked me on the story enough to make me want to know what else is happening in it. After reading M&S, I'm even more hooked. I have questions, I care about certain characters, and I want closure. I was going to write that as a negative - I didn't feel like Masters and Slayers offered much closure in anything. But when it comes right down to it, that just means I really want to read the next book. Recommended for discerning readers who enjoy fantasy and don't mind tackling tough issues that don't have easy answers.

    - Rachel Starr Thomson, author of The Seventh World Trilogy,

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