Magic is forbidden throughout the Four Realms. For decades, sorcerers and those associating with them were hunted to near extinction. But Seri, a Leiran noblewoman living in exile, is no stranger to defying the unjust laws of her land. She is sheltering a wanted fugitive who possesses unusual abilities-a fugitive with the fate of the realms in his hands...
©2004 Carol Berg (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
This is a great epic series. I was constantly suprised as events in the story as they unfolded. The story is not predictable. I kept feeling that I was at the climax of the story, only to find out upon checking was that there were hours left in the book, and when the real climax and ending of the book occurred I was totally surprised by it, and definitely was left wanting more. Every time I listen to a novel by Carol Burg I like her writing more. Her fantasy is refreshing, her world's are new and believable, and she breaths life into her characters. The narrators are excellent. There are some reviewers that were angry that the narrators didn't get together and coordinate how to pronounce words used in the book and I think they should just give them a break. Even Kate Reading and Michael Kramer don't always pronounce words the same when they narrate the same book and they're married. I also liked the magic system in the book. I found it expansive and believable. I highly recommend this series for those that like original and refreshing epic fantasy, with extensive world building, a unique magic system, and believable characters with depth.
Carol Berg writes wonderful books,and her use of language is as much a part of her excellence as her plots and characterization. That language shines as an audio book, and Angele Masters handled it competently, without stumbles. She infused the character with personality as it was a first person narrative. Listening to the audio book definitely made one of my favorite books better.
This story has all my favorite attributes of a Carol Berg novel--beautifully described settings, suspense, a plot that doesn't just proceed on a worn-out straight line, and compelling characters. I'm not sure I'll like it as well as her Rai Kirah series, but I'm interested in seeing what the rest of this series has in store.
It wasn't a bad book, but it read more like a Jane Austin novel than an Epic Fantasy. Nothing actually happened in the book, and the motivations, or even existence of a 'big bad' was not evident until the later chapters. All in all, this book took a long time to go nowhere, and the ending was cheap. It's not bad, it's just not very good either.
Told through constant flashbacks from present to about a decade earlier, this initial book 1 of 4 in series does its dutiful job in fleshing out universe and staging characters. It's a little slow at times as it does take a good bit of time to really get going. It is a fairly standard medieval setting. What is good overall is the author can at times move you to actually care about what's happening emotionally.
BUT later books in series switch from a single reader to readers for particular chapters - I'll relate the issues with that in those book reviews, but beware that change before you decide to start this one.
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