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3.0 out of 5 starsgood book
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2012
It's an ok book. All her books are about same quality, not exactly my taste, but I'll keep buying them and reading them.
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2008
I wish I could write this off as a romance in fantasy clothing. Sadly i can not. While it's certainly got romantic elements it screams not passion or lust but _pastiche_. It's got the worst of cliches pile a top each other with sloppy characterization.
The plot summary is: The Ultimate Good Girl meets the Ultimate Bad Boy, and to save each other they must each betray a brother!
He's so bad he has no soul, she's so good she her tears are pearls. The cast around them would need to eat endlessly for weeks to be paper-thin. Best of all, it ends where it might accidentally get interesting.
Sadly there are redeeming qualities to this, not many a good pace, and what is certainly a well thought out world can't over shadow this mangled wreck wheezing on the battle field as it waits to be promoted to corpse.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat start to a new fantasy series
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2007
I am a fan of Deborah Chester's Chalice series, so I decided to give this book a try. After reading it I realized that it is actually set in the world of her older Ruby Throne series, which I had not read. You do not have to read the Ruby Throne series to understand the events in this new book, but I have a suspicion that it might help if you had previous knowledge of this world and the struggle between the Shadow and Light which forms the heart of this book. That said, I devoured the book in 2 days. The hero is great- a tortured warrior who has given up his soul but is not wholly evil. The heroine is a little too good to be true- everyone who sees her falls in love with her beauty, etc. There is a nice romantic tension between them that should play out over the course of the series. I may go back and try and find the Ruby Throne books to get a better understanding of the events preceding the start of this book. Hopefully I will not have to wait too long for the next book in this series.Unfortunately the authors' website has not been updated recently, which is somehwat frustrating because I am left wondering how many books are planned and what the time frame for their release is.
5.0 out of 5 starsChester's Best since The Sword, The Ring, and The Chalice
Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2008
I've been a Chester fan since finding her book The Sword on a bottom shelf of the library, her continuations on the characters from The Sword, The Ring and The Chalice trilogy didn't interest me all that much but this book is putting her right back on track.
Lady Lea is so sweet, she's so good and innocent that you can't help but have your heart go out to her. Her fear at the destiny she and Shadreal share is amazing and her emotions as she's torn between the love of her family and what her heart is telling her is beautifully written, you can't stop turning the pages.
But the character that stole the book is Shadreal, his dark and twisted personality is chilling but like popular villanous heroes you can't help but love to see him. He's cold and cruel to his men and even more so to Lea, he's so far gone down the dark path even he doesn't realize the good that is still within him.
Beloved characters from the Ruby Throne trilogy make appearances that will make fans happy but it is not necessary to have read that trilogy. I guarantee after reading this book you'll be counting the days until The Crown is released.
I'm glad I got this book at a bargain price. Initially intrigued by the premise, I got a nagging feeling early on that I was missing out on something. It wasn't until I finished the book and went looking for more information that I learned this book was set in the world of another of the author's series -- I wish the book itself had warned me of that. Instead, I was left on my own in the midst of a passel of characters, all incompetent in various ways but one, and that one was a churlish curmudgeon. The main characters read like nothing so much as mobile tropes, and the romance, such as it is, is forced, hackneyed and thoroughly unbelievable. The only reason I gave this book two stars and not one was for the action sequences, which were acceptably-written, and for the attempt at a more Roman and less medieval milieu (which was done much better by Jim Butcher in the Codex Alera series).
I will not be going out of my way to find the sequel to this book, because I just don't care about the characters. If this is indicative of Deborah Chester's writing in general, I will not be going out of my way for her at all.
4.0 out of 5 starsStart of a VERY promising series
Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2008
After recently discovering the talented Deborah Chester, I have proceeded to devour her Ruby Throne Trilogy (predecessor series to The Pearls) and The Sword, Ring, and Chalice Trilogy. Her stories are typically dense and loaded with riveting plots. She is not shy (unlike many fantasy authors) about fully developing her characters. Deborah also only devotes a few chapters to secondary characters. Perhaps most importantly, she has a gift for transporting the reader and "painting" incredible pictures with her words. This combination makes it nearly impossible to put her books down!
In The Pearls, Deborah Chester again effortlessly transports the reader and paints incredible pictures. However, I found The Pearls to be less dense (i.e., too short of a read). I also found too many pages dedicated to secondary characters leaving me tempted to "skip ahead". I also found her character development of Lea to be somewhat lacking. Aside from these minor criticisms (which are likely due to being spoiled by her other books), I found the main character Shadrael to be a very intriguing non-traditional "bad boy that needs to be saved by a good woman" hero. In a literary world replete with Alpha male heroes, it is refreshing to encounter a dark, romantic Beta male hero.
In sum, Chester's excellent writing is still in top form in The Pearls, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next installment in this series. Deborah, any idea when that will be?!?