The desert tribes, led by young Shaiara, flee Bisochim's evil, seeking a legendary oasis deep in the desert - a refuge that may hold the key to stopping Bisochim and preserving the Balance between Light and Darkness, or that may be the cause of Light's ultimate downfall.
©2008 Mercedes Lackey; ©2008 James Mallory; (P)2008 Tantor
The other reviews seem to get hung up on the "whining" of the main characters. I think what they are forgetting is that the main characters are just teenagers that have had the task of saving the world thrust upon them. They have recently (less than a year) found out they both have magic and have no real idea yet how exactly to use it and not a lot of help figuring it out. I don't know about anyone else but I get more whining from my teenagers about doing chores than the two main characters exhibit. This is a realistic reaction to the situation they have been thrown into and I think it makes it a more plausible storyline.
The story is entertaining but there was a distinct lack of any action. My other criticism is that after about 3/4's of the book I got very tired of the incessant whining of Tiercel and Harrier. Hopefully, the next book will move at a better clip and find our protagonists with more backbone.
When I purchased this audiobook, people seemed to take issue with the characters being whiny. To this, I say that you take issue with the characters being real. If you don't like character development, you won't like this series. The characters are tangibly real and the storyline grabs you. The narration is a little odd, sometimes the voice sounds like a stereotypical anchorman voice, and sometimes it sounds more normal. Apparently it's the same guy, but I think his voice has split personalities if that's the case. It's still good, and worth a listen in my opinion.
I have loved lackey/mallory books in the past and I hope they get a chance to read this, as this is DRIVEL compared to their normal writing level. ENDLESSLY repeated summations of events, again and again. Horrible writing structure, repeated adjectives again and again AND STORY FLAWS!I would expect more from them as authors and not to make the small mistakes that ruin a story. EX: Harrier leafed through his magebooks and the unicorn tells him to read the title pages and he did. Then IN THE SAME BOOK NO LESS, the author tells you the books DONT HAVE titlepages. WHERE IS THE EDITING. I got sick everytime the same phrases were repeated again and AGAIN! IT WAS MADDENING to listen to. Also the Narrator is so blaise about what is going on you feel like you're listening to a blonde girl go on and on about their day at the mall. GET IT TOGETHER OR DON'T BOTHER WRITING THE FINALE to this utter crap.
The two young protagonists show no growth as they travel. Their twisted view toward killing monsters and murderous people does not conform to their goal. They are walking talking idiots, is this because they were city born? This story is painful and of all of the stories by Ms Lackey I have read, none have been this bad. I do not understand, this story could be so poor.
This book is very slow and redundant. I'm only at the second part of the book and have found that much of what I have listed to thus far should probably have been edited out or written so there are less filler words and scenes.
I must agree with the other reviewers when I say that the constant complaining and whining of the main characters is rather annoying, and am surprised to find this trilogy to be classified in the adult fantasy category; which I am sure is due to length rather than content.
I have in the past purchased books and not completed them for one reason or another and I typically don't pay attention to reviews, however these seem to be right on the mark. I'm quite sure I could have skipped this book entirely and moved on to the third.
In the first book there were a few things that confused me for awhile before I got further into it and finally understood things. Now in the second book, things seem to be getting even better. The more I listen to the words of the characters and the tones of voice that the narrator uses, the more and more I like it. The narrator and the author do a very good job of protraying that Har and Tear are really just kids, albiet nearly adult kids. The things they say and do, the way the complain or try and reason things out reminds me of the way I thought about and did things when I was their age. The author has captured well the thinking, logic, and everything else that perfectly describes and portrays children of this age. I do think it a little odd that they are thrust into such adult concerning adventures and the like, but I understand that this is part of the story, part of the world that was created for them and it fits.
One problem I have had both in the first book and in this one, is that it is difficult for me to tell precisely when the narrator is speaking and thinking as Har and when as Tear. It sounds to me as if sometimes the narrator uses the same voice for both characters and then suddenly realizes it and changes to fit the voices he has set originally for the characters. So often I will get confused as to which one is talking or thinking until a name is actually mentioned. The narrator does do a wonderful job though of voices for the other characters. Those voices are quite distinct.
The other thing I have noticed in this book and not quite so much in the first one, is that this one, the descriptions seem much more vivid. The fighting scenes are so well described, and the feelings each character faces equally well described, makes you see and feel everything the character is feeling. You start to sympathize with them and you want to comfort them or fight along side them, or even go so far as to feel as if you might feel the same way were you thrust into the situation.
Now perhaps, though I'd have to listen to it again, this is the same in the first book and I just did not notice it because I was too busy trying to figure out what was going on and what certain words meant. But, I am enjoying these books and I look forward to listening to the third. I am anxious to see what the conclusion to the story is.
I enjoyed the first book of this series and immediately bought the second but the constant whining of the two main characters has finally overwhelmed my desire to even hear the end of this book much less listen to the next. Their inability to face the reality of their circumstances was maddening. Save your credit/money. I wish I had.
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