Friday, April 6, 2012
Terabyte Press, 2012
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was another one of my "adventurous" picks on Netgalley, meaning that I did not know anything about it going in. However I love fantasy and saw a comparison to the stories of Kristin Cashore, which is definitely a positive so I took a chance.
Main character Princess Catherine runs away from home to escape an arranged marriage. Before getting very far, she is assaulted and robbed, finding solace in the supposedly mythical fairrier cat Spelopekos (Pokos) who needs her assistance on a quest to find him a mate. As the last of his species in their kingdom, he is the only power keeping away the destructive trodliks. Pokos guides Catherine over an epic journey to fulfill an ancient prophecy and save the kingdom.
For the most part I liked this. There are some cool worlds and magic introduced with some exciting action scenes. There is a lot of movement as Catherine and her motley crew of traveling partners move around, narrowly escaping dangers. Catherine also is a decent young woman with the making of a leader and queen.
However I did end up with some confusions about characters especially as the end neared. There are just so many introduced that I struggled to keep them all straight. Once I reached the end, I discovered that there is a comprehensive list of characters so that may be helpful for a future reread or for you to know if you choose to read this. I also found the characterization lacking; if more of the characters had distinctive personalities, I would have been less likely to confuse them. As the first book in a fantasy series, significant time must be spent creating the world, but there are inevitably gaps. I personally would like to know much more about the fairrier cats.
Overall: An interesting fantasy story with a strong heroine.
Cover: It's okay; not my favorite (although I have an admitted weakness for girls in pretty dresses which would not be the best cover for this book). The sword conveys power and epic fantasy to me but it also seems overdone and similar to other covers.