©2007 Karen Miller; (P)2009 Tantor
Unlike the previous reviewers, I think that Hekat is appropriate for the culture, which is strangely consistent with early human cultures. The land of Mijak is cruel and harsh and utterly subservient to their deity. Hekat reminds me a great deal of Joan of Arc, though her temperament is more consistent with a badger... though perhaps slightly less pleasant. I can sort of picture their own culture, centuries later, trying to puzzle out whether she was a lunatic or a zealot... or perhaps both.
Hekat is the major character among a cast of primarily static characters that manage to produce a very dynamic history. She is never (in her mind) a slave, though she is sold as a slave in the beginning of this book. Her strong will finds her defying the expectations of all who surround her as she does what she believes that 'The god' wills of her, attending to no words other than those internal words she believes that she can hear and interpret.
'The god' is a rather barbaric and yet attentive god, that seems to offer great reward and punishment both self inflicted and manifested divinely among its people. This deity awards the 'god speakers' with the power to smite the wicked, which in turn is virtually everyone. This close relationship between the god and the people seems to have a variety of affects both on the culture and the people individually, ranging from a greater level of civility to outright insanity.
This book details a grand design of 'The god' for its' people, which uses our heroin to manipulate the powers of the land to make way for a new era. Though she seems to serve the plan zealously, she seems almost autistic and sets herself apart from all others, be they friend or foe.
This story is new and original. You will not be reading events that take place in every other fantasy that you have read or heard. I can see why people seem to love it or hate it :)
Starting out with a young girl sold into slavery. She is hostile and bitter because of her mistreatment. You expect something to change as she starts to grow to be a young woman, but this character is so vial that at the end of the book you can't understand how she actually was able to get away with all that she did. Yes there was magical powers involved but the story just left me empty. at the half way point I skipped to the last 20 minutes. It really didn't get better I enjoy the Narrator but this was a total waste of a credit.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
I bought a book without checking the ratings close enough. This books has a 2.8 rating from about 48 people. The third book in the trilogy came out at audible almost two years ago and only 14 people have rated it.
I tried to like this book, but it just could not hold my attention. I believe KM built an interesting world and put some possibly worth while characters in it, but her style of writing does not bring all of this out. Sometimes something would happen and my ears would perk up, but a couple of minutes later my mind was wondering elsewhere.
I always see this author's books in paperback and never in hardback, there is a reason. She is a not ready for hardback writer.
The narrator is awesome and fit the characters perfectly. Books should evoke some emotion and this book did so ... so much so, that I won't be reading the rest of the trilogy. The main character became so despised, I don't want to continue.
If you're looking for a safe, Tolkienesque fantasy world, this is not for you. If you like the clear fight between good and evil, this is not for you. If you like your characters to be perfect, with minor flaws that are easily overcome, this again isn't for you.
However, if you're bored with the all too frequent tropes of genre fantasy, enjoy a more gritty world, and are willing to feel uncomfortable, then this book is stellar. The reason I'm writing this is because I was going back through my library to see if there were any series with a new release, and noticed the 3 star review. This is wholly unfair. It's akin to hating an actor because they played such a brilliant villain, you can't help but hold a grudge.
While I was perusing my library, I often had to play excerpts to remember what the plot even was for many of the books (one as recent as only a couple month prior). Not this book. You will remember this book.
It's not safe, but it is brilliant. You will feel... something.
The performance is fantastic, and I can't think of a book that has lingered in my thoughts more than this one.
I rarely dislike any book I pick up, but this is one I disliked. I have liked Karen Miller's other work but this one is simply horrid. It is extremely repetitive and doesn't develop the story line through this repetitiveness. The title of the review sums up the entire book. I will not continue with her work in the future.
As for the narration, I really hate when a narrator decides to yell when narrating a book. It is completely unnecessary and when wearing earbuds it is also painful.
Although this story is painful on SO many levels, it is brilliant. I have never read such a different, but so well thought out belief/religious system. It is truly frightening in its brutality, but so believable and consistent throughout. The writing itself is clear and descriptive without being filled with endless unnecessary trivia. The characters are multi-faceted and engaging. I was driven by a need to know where it was going in the next two parts of the trilogy. Finally, Josephine Bailey is truly one of the very best narrators I have ever heard!
Great fantasy/sci-fi book! Fully developed characters - I could distinguish each central character and found them all unique. Wonderful storyline and subplots - kept my attention; it was exciting and fresh (couldn't compare it to anything I read before). Wonderful reader - great dramatization by reader!
I recommend this book if you love strong female characters and science-fiction/fantasy.
I'm tired of reading about ugly characters or authors who fill pages and books full of preaching. I like my stories in the manor of David Eddings Mallorean series, CS Lewis, Sharon Shinn, Louise-Bujold, Maria V Snyder & early terry Goodkind. These stories have complex characters with lots of good fellowship who are different from each other. The kind of people I'd want to go on a trip with, This book had only two character types and they never learned anything. They were either spiritually & morally ugly fanatical people or good but stupid and blind.
Miller's other series was better, I might read the next in the series if I can get it at the library and can;t find anything else. However I felt like both series spent a lot of time with characters explaining themselves or just haranguing to get to the required # of pages.
It was fantasy with a whole new flavor and culture that didn't lean on what you'd expect from your typical fantasy. Desert magic and blood thirsty religious fanaticism. There were many character revealing moments but also character building moments, which gave you a sense of shared journey. Unique world that made you sympathize with even the most foreign of characters. Well done.
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