The story was ok, but when all was said and done, I felt like it was a waste of time. I could have re-read something else and enjoyed myself more. The quote on the cover about what a great writer the author is… well, clearly that reviewer and I have a difference of opinion.
I read this genre because the world building is so much fun to read and explore. Here, there really wasn’t much of that. And the characters are very flat and there isn’t much development of them either.
The story is goes like this: Sir Michael is a knight errant and Fisk is his squire. Michael rescued Fisk since Fisk is really a con man. They set out to rescue Lady Ceciel and it turns out that they help a criminal escape. So, their “adventure” becomes the quest to meet the conditions of Michael father’s “probation” after he rescues Fisk and Michael from their troubles when it is discovered that they helped the lady escape. They now have to recapture the Lady and bring her to the lord so that justice can be carried out.
The most exciting part of the plot was the escape from having been “cudgel-crewed”. And the most interesting character is Lady Kara but we see so very little of her that we don’t get a chance to know her. Fisk – we know he has a past, but we learn nothing at all and as a result it’s hard to stay interested. We learn a little more about Michael because we see his father but it’s still very one dimensional.
The world that is built doesn’t really get described very well. We learn that there is a furred god and that there are 2 moons, and this stuff called magica. And while its a safe (and correct) inference that magica is magic, for some reason it’s bad for people to do. And animals and plants and stuff can be magica but to kill either one must make a sacrifice or something will come back to harm you. It’s kinda like instant karma. But, we get no additional information. Zero. It’s like the author was really only sort of interested in writing a book about magic. Until we get towards the end. And then Lady Ceciel seems to have some ideas about magica but we get, what felt like, the same chapter 3 times in a row. And we still really don’t learn much that adds to the story. In fact, I was slightly disturbed by the “simple ones” and the way the author dealt with them as a class of people. And it made it hard to understand how experimenting on them should be something in a YA book.
The alternating chapter narratives are a little difficult too. I don’t mind alternating view points most times. But for some reason, it was often hard to track/remember. I found that many times, I had to look back to the first page of the chapter to see who’s name was on it to know who’s point of view I was reading.
I know this is the first in a series but I don’t plan on bothering with the next. There just isn’t enough of the characters to keep me interested. And the made up terms that aren’t explained and the one-dimensional universe… too little to keep me interested at all.