White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors

White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611530247
Publisher: Light Messages
Publication date: 07/30/2012
Pages: 382
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

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White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
dreamer2229 More than 1 year ago
So, my reading for the review was the prologue and Chapter one but I didn’t know that when I started reading. Now I’m totally in to the story and it just ends. I’m like, “What the h***?” Then I realize I don’t have the whole book… I hate that. I get totally into the story and then it ends before I’m done reading. Now I have to add it to my wish list because I’m so excited about the story. Even with the creatures who I have never heard of (there is a character list at the end with more detailed description than in the book, although the book does a good job of describing the critters/monsters), this world is incredibly detailed with fabulous word pictures. I highly recommend everyone buy and read this book. If you go to the author’s facebook page or website and mention this blog you get the book for a discount, which is significant. This is a book, actual book not e-book, on Amazon. I give this story a 5 out of 5 clouds to date, and I look forward to finishing the story. I hope this duo writes and illustrates more stories because both the writing and illustrations are top rate. This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.
BJaneB More than 1 year ago
I love the story line and the fact that it was inspired by real forests of Siberia. The author really brings the surrounding area alive with wonderful creatures (though some not so kind and good). It is easy to envision and feel connected to the main character, an endowed young man who must save his country from certain doom from evil black monsters. His entry into the 21st century combines fun and frustration and is a great part of the book. Highly recommend it!
EJTurnbull More than 1 year ago
White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors is Irina Lopatina's debut novel and the first in the White Raven trilogy. Inspired by the pristine, ancient forests of Irina's native Siberia, the landscape and characters of White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors come to life throughout the text. It's easy for the reader to hear the wise drevalyanka's thoughts or to loathe the irksome pikshas while forming a tenuous friendship with Kenush, the beautiful but dangerous werewolf. This epic fantasy is sure to be a winner with lovers of the classics and an easy entry into the genre for newbies (like me). Vraigo, the White Raven, and our hero, is flawed enough that we can relate to him, and gifted enough that we root for him throughout the book. In his homeland of Areya, Vraigo dominates, but he is comically inept when he finds himself facing his greatest challenge yet: a big city in the 21st century where werewolves masquerade as muggers and a witch hides beneath the disguise of a seductress. White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors blurs the line of good vs. evil by creating a conflict where natural enemies must form alliances to defeat an even greater enemy, adding a layer of complexity and interest over many traditional fantasy novels. This book reads beautifully and exotically while wrapping the reader in its pages. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys fantasy!
mamajoan on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I found this book difficult to get into, because, as other reviewers have mentioned, the translation from Russian is not very good. Sentence structure is very awkward and clumsy, and in some cases the translator has chosen a word that is simply wrong. For that reason I found it a difficult read.The story itself is really fairly standard fantasy stuff. We have a magical world with a Duke with two witless sons and a third, who isn't actually a son but a nephew, and who has magical powers and must go on a quest to save the kingdom. Although some aspects of the magical system, and some of the magical creatures in the forest, are different from what you'll find in most Western fantasy fiction, the overall plot outline is very familiar. The hero is a little too perfect; he can solve any puzzle, fight any enemy, perform any magic spell that is needed to advance the plot. The uncle, cousins, and other warriors are two-dimensional at best. Wizards and magi are either good or bad, nothing in between. And so forth.Things get a bit more interesting once the action moves to the present-day Earth, but even still, it all unfolds a little too conveniently to be believed. Would an ambulance crew really let a mysterious injured man and his friend just hop out of the ambulance and go their merry way without going to the hospital -- indeed, without even taking down their names and contact info? That's just one example. Then a girl comes onto the scene, who conveniently just happens to have access to the guy who has the missing sword. And then we're to believe that Nik can figure out how to disarm this millionaire's fancy security system in a matter of minutes. It just doesn't add up. Additionally, the pacing is erratic and the point-of-view narration switches characters sometimes from one paragraph to the next, which can be quite confusing.The other thing that really bothered me about this book was the erasure of most of the female characters. At the beginning of the story we learn alllllll about Vraigo and his uncle and three male cousins, but not until several chapters in is there any mention at all of the mother and aunt! And even then it's just the briefest mention. In the opening scene set during Vraigo's childhood, the two druid children are presented as being his two best friends and constant companions; yet by the time they reach adulthood, it's just Vraigo and the boy -- the druid sister has been reduced to a harridan who shows up a couple of times to yell at them for getting themselves into danger. Similarly, we don't even see a hint of Vraigo's mother until halfway through the book, and then she just pops in to give him a magical amulet and tell him that she's worried about him, whereafter she disappears completely. Even the young woman in the modern-day section of the story serves only as an object of desire (when first introduced) and later as a plot device. This kind of thing really bothers me, particularly coming from a female author. In the year 2012 I expect better treatment of the female characters in a story like this.As another reviewer noted, the book comes to a rather inconclusive end. Knowing that this was the first of a trilogy, I certainly didn't expect all of the plot threads to be neatly tied up, but I did at least expect to end with some sense of closure. That doesn't really happen here. And in the end, I just didn't enjoy the book enough to go and seek out the sequel.
zannyvix on LibraryThing 25 days ago
There is a story here, that much is clear. Unfortunately, it's a bit obtuse and difficult to get to, thanks to the wording. I'm a voracious reader, and not much trips me up. I think the difficulty here comes, not from the storytelling, but from a language or translation barrier. The author is Russian, and once I understood that, the difficult names and odd syntax and awkward wording in places made a little more sense to me.If you read this book, I suggest you approach it more like a classic folktale than a modern fantasy romp. It's not really set up like the latter.
willowcove on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book definitely had a few issues. In several places it was hard to follow, didn't make sense, and just didn't flow. The best example is Chapter 11; it took me several pages to figure out what was going on here. In spite of these issues, I did end up enjoying the book. Most of the problems occurred within the first half, and the second half was much more enjoyable. I liked it enough to read the sequel and hope that the author (who definitely has a good plot design) will learn from her earlier mistakes. Overall, a decent first showing.
SomewhatBent on LibraryThing 25 days ago
White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors by Irina Lopatina, Illustrations by Igor Adasikov(377 pages) Trade Paper ARC ©2012 Light Messages PublishingDisclosure: This book was received as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewer Program.Without looking at the author notes in the back of the book it was clear from the beginning that this was originally not an English-language book. I suspected this based on how some of the early character interactions were structured. Editorially, it tightens up considerably later in the book into more commonly used (Americanized) sentence and paragraph structures.It quickly develops along classical fairy tale lines; a fatherless prince, druids, and magii. Magic is commonplace, but not everyone is `Endowed¿ with that talent. There are other woodland residents; some friendly, some indifferent, and some downright malign. A sudden increase in evil and dangerous creatures set the stage for destruction.Pursuing an artifact that may save his people Vragio finds himself ¿ or, rather is found by Nik, an unlikely geek ¿ in the current time. His journey, it seems, has led him through not only magical layers of the Universe, but also of Time. Weres and Witches and darker creatures still exist, but appear in very different forms. There doesn¿t seem to be a magical veil from which to draw Energy, but Vragio finds there is, in fact, a little magic left in this time.The story plays out in nearly classical fairy tale fashion. Without leaving spoilers Vragio does find the Sword of the Northern Ancestors and heads back to his own time in space. There are many, many loose ends by the end of the book implying, if not requiring, additional books in this series. I look forward to seeing where these characters go. Even with the trials of translation they have been made full and rich enough to care about, and despite the somewhat predictable progression, I want to see where the story takes me next.
dewasus1 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I found this book a bit disconcerting at the beginning. The reader is very abruptly thrust into a medieval-type world of nobility and magic. The hero is a disaffected and fatherless youth at odds with his remaining family. There is very little background on the family, the youth himself or the fantastic world in which they live. It does not help that this book was originally written in Russian with much of Russian folklore and fairy tales as source material. In this day of books and movies such Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Twilight, etc., most readers are familiar with mages, werewolves and artefacts of power, but the Russian creatures and names still require more introduction than they receive. It takes time but eventually the reader is drawn in -- for me, it did not happen until the hero finds himself transported into the future io our own time and world to search for a missing magical sword. There is always some comedy involved in becoming accustomed to computers, horseless carriages and modern dwellings, but it also invokes some sympathy for the newcomer. Along the way, the hero acquires some modern day friends and helpers which are abruptly abandoned at the end as Vraigo returns home, sword in hand. This book is in no way complete in and of itself. A sequel is required. The book is probably suitable for age 10 or 11 and up, but it is somewhat more densely written than a typical book for this age group, although if the reader can make it through Harry Potter, he or she could also work through this book. I did not love this book but i did get sufficiently engaged to want to know what happens in the next book of the set or series.
Gryphon-kl on LibraryThing 25 days ago
The use of elements of Russian mythology as a backdrop gave this book the potential to stand out despite a plot set-up that's rather common in fantasy. Unfortunately, the koschei, drevalyankas, pikshas, and the like wind up feeling interchangeable with more familiar fantasy elements (the bolug, a boulder-like creature, did feel unique, though, but couldn't be used more than it was due to its nature).The story has several other problems, too. The least of these is the translation. Some word choices feel slightly off (for example, referring to an evil wizard as a "rotter" after he's attempted to drain the life of another character is remarkably mild), and the word order is just plain wrong at times (an early sentence ends "impatiently yelled beaten Seles."). However, this isn't bad enough to make reading a chore, even if it should have been dealt with in the editing.The pacing, on the other hand, is a more fundamental problem, at least partly due to it being the first book of a trilogy. While the book does (more-or-less) stand on its own, it spends a noticeable amount of time setting up things that will presumably become relevant later. This is understandable, and probably necessary for the overall story, but the flashbacks, demonstrations of abilities, and setting up of character roles tend to feel too long for their minimal or non-existant relevance to the story in this book. This also probably leads to another pacing problem: the resolutions of several major problems in the story, including the main one of this book, seem rather rushed, as if the author realized that they needed to be resolved soon so that there'd be a decent ending at the right point.The decision to transport the main character to our world about halfway through the book doesn't do the story any favors, either. While the hero's homeland felt a bit generic, it still felt more real than the modern world as depicted in the book. Part of this is probably due to the decision to give no indication of where in the world the unnamed city is, but there is also a definite problem with things working in completely unbelievable ways. The internet, in particular, is just as much a source of magic as the mystic veil of the hero's homeland; finding enough information in one day to be able to defeat an alarm system knowing only that it's a box with "alarm" embossed on it isn't the most unlikely thing done using it. Also, at this point, another main character is introduced, and the viewpoint tends to shift between them a bit too frequently (at least once, it changes twice on the same page).Probably the biggest problem, though, is that there never really feels like there's all that much of a threat. Various antagonists are said to be powerful or dangerous but rarely seem particularly effective when we actually see them, the shift to our world manages to render a deadline pretty much irrelevant since there's no way to tell how close it is (or even if the passage of time in our world matters at all for this), and a couple of conflicts that actually seem like they might go against the protagonists are basically cut short by the sudden arrival of more power (one a cavalry charge that serves the purpose of establishing the power of the MacGuffin, the other by the sudden emergence of a not-particularly-well-foreshadowed ability).Overall, while I think the author has potential, she needs some more practice and a better translator.
Helcura on LibraryThing 25 days ago
In the original Russian this book may be a lyrical work of creativity. Or it may not be. Unfortunately the translation offered here reads as if the translator intended to use every work in the Oxford English Dictionary at least once and felt that no noun should have fewer than three different adjectives attached to it. The result is excruciatingly florid writing that is a chore to read.I found the plot unoriginal and not very well written. There was too much telling about and too little showing. The characters are flat and undeveloped and none of them is particularly interesting.Overall the book was a waste of time to read.Not recommended.
Radella on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Like with much Russian literature I have read, I found it necessary to reread the preface several times through in order to figure out just which characters were which. There¿s brothers, nephews, various important personages (although the entire novel shows a distinct lack of any strong, multidimensional female characters¿ but that¿s a thought for later) and plethora preternatural critters. There was so much thrown at the reader so fast, it was a bit of a struggle to figure out who was doing what, and why it was important. I also needed to reread it several times because I kept getting lost in the syntax. The book was originally written in Russian, and it was quite evident that the translator was good, but not a native English speaker. The copy I was provided was an ARC, and so I hope before publication a good copy-editor would be able to straighten things out¿ however, after some brief research into the publisher, that hope is unlikely. The troubles with the syntax made the reading laborious, as I spent most of my time mentally rewriting the story rather than getting lost amongst the pages.I really did enjoy the way the story took place in both a wholly fantasy realm and a more urban fantasy realm. The crossover was interesting, and reminiscent of Doctor Who or the movie Thor. I love when fantasy meshes with the classical folktales and mythology of a place. the White Raven branches that with a variety of Russian critters that are completely interesting, and make me want to become more familiar with the folktales of the area. It was a fabulous blending of genres.Vragio fits neatly into the classic hero archetype¿. He¿s a fatherless prince, able to use magic. He goes off on a Epic Quest, where he must prove himself over and over. It¿s all there, in fairly obvious form. Nik is the unlikely helper to Vragio¿s hero. He¿s a geek, just trying to make enough money to continue to take classes at University. While they¿re both likeable and interesting, they really feel a bit bland within the confines of their respective roles. Overall, it was enjoyable, and I look forward to the remaining books in the trilogy.
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
The story is told in a fairy-tale like manner with the hero being aided by magical creatures in his quest to find a lost item while fighting against evil. The plot is generic, that of your typical fantasy novel or at least what comes first to mind, and not overly impressive. It's pretty easy to predict what is going to happen. In addition, I wasn't attached to any of the characters in particular. It didn't take away too much from the story, though it felt more as though I was watching what happened rather than experiencing it myself. What really makes this novel is the unique setting with its Russian elements. Vraigo's world is rich with magic and fantastical creatures. I enjoyed learning more about them as he encounters them along his quest. It was especially interesting when Vraigo ended up in the twenty-first century and learns that magic has all but disappeared. We've seen many ordinary humans end up in fantastical situations, so it was bizarre and fascinating to look at our world through Vriago's eyes.