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Wings of Arian (For fans of Julie Kagawa, J.K. Rowling, Cinda Williams Chima)

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  • Posted February 15, 2014

    Fantasy is always such a tricky genre as there are so many elem

    Fantasy is always such a tricky genre as there are so many elements needed to make it work. Good world building, strong characterization and development, as well as an engaging storyline are what make a good fantasy in my opinion. I felt Wings of Arian did a commendable job at striving to integrate the above elements in the novel. I did feel it was a bit on the longer side and I found myself distracted at times, as I was ready for the plot to move forward a bit faster than it did.

    I like Kiora's character for the most part. She is sweet and good and has the fate of the world on her shoulders. She is the Solus, the one who can defeat the power-hungry Dralazar. However, she will not be able to do it on her own. She will need the strength of a Protector to assist her and balance her weaknesses. Kiora's Protector comes in the form of Prince Emane, who is quite stubborn. The two do not get along in the beginning, but once they realize the dire nature of their situation they must put their own issues aside and work together. I do appreciate that Walls did not give us a situation of insta-love with these two. Instead, Emane and Kiora must learn to tolerate one another first, and then we see them develop a friendship and respect for each other, and eventually a romance. I liked Kiora's empathy, but I felt it could be a hindrance to her task at hand. She is fighting a war whether she likes it or not and unfortunately war means casualties. As our heroine, I did feel she was a bit excessive in her crying though. I am glad we got to see her toughen up as the book grew on, and I think she is finally starting to realize what all is at stake and what needs to happen to persevere.

    I felt a bit overwhelmed reading this one as there is so much to learn. I didn't feel like it was info-dumping, however. Kiora and Emane both have a lot to learn about their new roles, as well as the history of Dralazar and I felt like I was right there alongside them processing this information.

    We have some great side characters in this novel. Arturo and Morcant were by far my favorites and we even have some twists and turns concerning other characters I did not see coming! I like that Kiora had so many allies that were willing to train her and aide her in the battle for good versus evil. For so long she has felt alone and alienated because of her gift of vision and my heart really ached for her at how her own flesh and blood treated her. Of all the people that end up supporting her, I think she was most surprised by Emane and how he really stepped into his role of Protector. He's actually a good guy, but being heir to the throne he has so many responsibilities that his life does not feel as his own. He is shocked when Kiora asks him what he wants as he's never been asked that before.

    I am curious as to what will happen next for Emane, Kiora, and crew, especially after new revelations have been brought to light.

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    I don't typically read high fantasy books, but I thought I'd tak

    I don't typically read high fantasy books, but I thought I'd take a chance and read this one. Plus, I really loved the cover. You know, I enjoy watching fantasy movies, like Lord of The Rings and Avatar, but have trouble reading it. I guess my mind just doesn't work that way. I mean, witches, vamps, weres, and demons are all very real to me, but for some reason books heavy on fantasy have a hard time breaking through the Autumn brain. That said, I love dragons. I prefer dragons that shape shift though. LOL Back to this book! The book was interesting and well written. Still, probably wouldn't have picked this one up on my own.

    Honestly, I can't say that I really identified with the characters. Kiora and Emane were both pretty irritating at the beginning of the story. Once they decided that working together would be more beneficial for all, I started to like them a bit more. They do develop a relationship, but I felt like the story was a bit light on the romance. I don't expect every book I read to be smothered with love, but it definitely helps keep me involved in the story. I think I would have liked to have seen a bit more romance. Kiora and Emane have the potential to be a pretty exciting couple.

    The story is action packed and certain to keep you on your toes. There are many different characters that kept me guessing what would happen next. Dralazar is the perfect villain for the story. He has a connection to the good side, so it definitely keeps things mysterious. I did like Arturo, the Pegasus. I liked that he was telepathic. The rest of the supporting characters were all interesting, but Morcant stole the show for me. Can you guess what Morcant is? Yep, a Dragon. Not sure why I have such a fascination with Dragons, but I do.

    I can say that if you are a fan of fantasy, you would really enjoy this book. I did like it, even though it's not really my thing. So, if you're looking for a well written, diverse mix of characters, an adventurous plot, and a lot of world building, check this book out!

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  • Posted July 17, 2012

    It's probably no secret that I'm not don't typically read fantas

    It's probably no secret that I'm not don't typically read fantasy books. Having said that, I was a little nervous about reading WINGS OF ARIAN. How do you "judge" a book that may/may not be good, if it's not what you normally enjoy reading? But guess what?

    I liked WINGS OF ARIAN! I found it to be a lively, enchanting story with engaging characters. Main characters Kiora and Emane were adorable, funny, and fierce. Kiora is a girl who is feared for her ability. She has no idea what she's doing, but she's willing to risk her life to save others. Kiora's Protector, Prince Emane, is a non-magical being trying to survive and defend in a magical world. He's honorable and brave, yet confused and vulnerable. I loved that about him! I loved that Emane actually expressed his vulnerabilities. I found Kiora and Emane's relationship to be fun and charming. At first, like many great partners/couples, they are very antagonistic. But as they get to know one another better, they find respect and friendship. And the romance? Wings of Arian is not heavy on romance, but what there is of it is so endearing. I almost forgot, DRAGONS! There are dragons in this book, Morcant in particular was awesome.

    Did I love everything about WINGS OF ARIAN? No, I didn't. When the story begins, the main characters Kiora and Emane are told that "Evil" is coming. But I didn't know what that "Evil" was, it's not specifically explained. And, we are never told exactly when Kiora was discovered to be The Solus, the one who will save her people from evil. I just wasn't sure exactly what was going on in this world; what was a Guardian, a Protector, a Solus, what was this "Evil" that was being referred to in a general sense. I will also say that I did feel the story ran a bit long. There was a lot that happened after the big climax that might have been saved for book two.

    Despite all that, once WINGS OF ARIAN gets rolling and the details start to tighten up, I found it to be quite enjoyable. The story was by turns interesting, fun, and tense. The characters were extremely likeable and I found myself smiling quite a lot. I will be excited to learn what happens next.

    Favorite Quote:

    " 'I have had a very hard time getting used to you, that is true. But I have never met anybody like you, Kiora. You really are remarkable.' His hand started to reach out to her cheek again and then realizing there were no tears he stopped, bringing it reluctantly back down. Kiora's stomach ached in response. Looking down at the ground he finished, 'And not just because of your magic either.' " (eARC, 35%)

    " 'Do you know,' he asked, 'that you are only the second person to ever ask me what I want?' His eyes searched hers, moving even closer. Her eyes fluttered shut, too scared to breathe. 'Yes,' he whispered, brushing his lips against hers, 'I want to protect you.' " (eARC, 35%)

    " 'You are not a non-magical being, remember? Let your magic help you.' She touched his forehead, 'Change what's in here.' She touched his heart, 'and listen to what is in here,' she touched the band wrapped around his arm, 'and feel what is in here.' " (eARC, 54%)

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