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Frederick A. CooperThinking back, I realize I wasn't quite sure what this book was about at the beginning. And that made it all the better as I read it. The short, enigmatic descriptions promised love, war, terror, tragedy, triumph and power. "Based on a non-human race?" I read, thinking that was most unusual for a modern fantasy novel. The illustrations were intriguing, and the excerpt simply thrilling. Everyone else who had read this book had loved it... and given rave reviews. So I ordered it. I was pleased when it came very quickly in the mail, that same week. The book itself is a thick, heavy, well-made trade paperback, and soon I was engrossed in the engaging, thrilling story. I have to admit, I resented _anything_ that made me get my head out of that book, whether it was work or having to sleep! I haven't gotten that engaged in a story in a long, long time.
The story itself is unlike any other kind of fantasy I've read before. And in my over 30 years of reading, I've read a _lot_ of Fantasy. Whisper is thrilling, compelling, and written in so brilliant and penetrating a fashion it leaves your heart-pounding at times. The artwork is a perfect compliment. I've never seen a novel in recent times that had so may beautiful illustrations to match the text.
I can't say too much, obviously, about the content. The characters, though, have real feelings, motivations and lives. They have a depth you very rarely find in modern science fiction or fantasy. The story picks you up and never lets you go, not until the last page.
When you finish this book, you find yourself wishing that there were more in this series. And since it's "Book One of the Kashran Cycle", I guess that there will be! I _eagerly_ await them!
This book rates a _full_ five stars, far more than many others on Amazon I've read that held that rating. If Amazon had _six_ stars, it would rate _every_ one of them. Frankly, I'm _astonished_ that Amazon hasn't reviewed this book and put it up on their front page. It is so well-written, so epic of scope and immensely engaging, it could well spark a whole new genre of fantasy, one which I will wholeheartedly subscribe to.
This book is not feminist fantasy - fantasy that appeals mainly to female readers, and at times turns male readers away. Yet neither is it the other way. Female as well as male readers will cherish this book. You cannot put a "label" like "Feminist" on it. It is too honest and pure an offering to try and slot it in some mental category or pigeonhole like that, grouping it in any way with other books other than it's category: Fantasy. It really _is_ completely unique, and that's something I haven't run across in a book in nearly twenty years.
I recommend this book without hesitation.