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4.3 out of 5 stars125
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 3 July 2011
Orphaned by black magic and torture a young girl learns how to fight and become one of the 'Ghosts'. assasins and spys for the Emporer. Follow Carina towards her ultimate revenge. Can't wait for another offering from Moeller especially following Carina and the 'Ghosts'. If you like Raymond E Fiest you will love Johnathan Moeller. Highly recommended.
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on 26 October 2012
I've read the other reviews here and decided I must have downloaded a different novel entirely.

The premise of the story is great - young girl left orphaned; tortured by evil Necromancer and then rescued by the shadowy Ghosts (The emperors secret army). She then joins this army to become one of their elite soldiers/assassins.

All fine so far, and I was really looking forward to reading this.

But...

I'm 30% of the way through and I'm ready to give up. The writing is not the best. There are occasional flashes of nice descriptive text, but thats all it is: flashes. The speech of characters is rather stilted or disjointed. And my copy is literally riddled with typos! I think if I played a game of pin the tail on my kindle I'd hit a typo every time.

And its a damned shame. I'm as bad as anyone for typos and missing the odd word here or there as I write, but that is what proof reading is for. And I get the distinct impression here that proof reading didn't happen. Or if it did it was done by a small child with the attention span of a stunned kitten. And that really has taken away from the story to the point I just cannot read it anymore.

This needs more flow, especially in the speech areas. it needs more descriptive detail, without relying on tired cliches. And it needs a good editor to take it by the scruff of the neck and sort out all of those niggling issues that have destroyed the enjoyment I could have had from this story.

All in all this is a great story opportunity that has been missed. I hope the author comes back to it and rewrites it one day when he has honed his craft a bit more. Until then I will be returning to the worlds of Ben Aaronvitch's 'Rivers of London' and Lyndsay Buroker's 'Emperors Edge' series.
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on 4 August 2012
I didn't like "Demonsouled" so tried "Child of the Ghosts", which follows the development of a noble-born girl into a deadly, skilled assassin. The writing here is better, more approachable, and quickly held my interest. Unlike some novels where protagonists must undergo increasingly traumatic events to justify character progress, what Caina goes through feels authentic and natural, with her reactions presented in very human ways that enable you to empathise and hope that she succeeds. Supporting characters were thorough and appropriate to the tale, and though a part of me wanted Riogan to let down his guard and like Caina, it was refreshing to see how well a story could end without the need for romance.

Furthermore, I found the bloodcrystal concept really interesting. The author did well to communicate what it was and how it was made and why an immortal would actually need one. There were moments where I felt real dread for the characters who came into contact with it, as well as admiration for the single-minded ambitions of the antagonist Maglarion. His ruthless ethic alongside Caina's strengthens the story and makes them indeed a deadly pair of enemies. And where Caina tries to understand why Maglarion needs a rainstorm was by far the best moment, despite how Ikana's death is somewhat overlooked.

While there are still typos in the text (you can find these yourself, Mr. Moeller!) and the transition from one scene to another is broken up too often, I rate this novel 5 stars for enjoyment. It would have been nice to know why Caina could turn pestilent cadavers into murderous zombies when she studied Alastair's corpse, and to also read less of "after all" in the narrative, but the novel, as a whole, was a really good read and will probably encourage me to follow Caina some more.
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on 28 December 2011
I downloaded this book to my kindle on Boxing day at lunchtime and I had finished it by lunchtime the next day. I was drawn into the story straight away and love the characters. I have now downloaded book two and will definately be buying book three. There were a couple of typo's as pointed out by another reviewer but it did not affect my enjoyment at all.

Highly recommend this.
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on 3 September 2011
Another good offering from this author.Well written with good characters and a decent plot.Strong female lead character(a heroine with ample guts and some "personal issues"),decent secondary characters,corrupt magicians,dastardly plots and assassins.Well worth the 70p I paid for this book.
Recommended reading if you are a fan of Gemmel,Feist or Eddings(I'm so impressed with this author I've just downloaded all his other Demonsouled and Ghosts books).
If you like good heroic fantasy I don't think you will regret reading Jonathan Moellers books.
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on 3 September 2012
By chance I had just read another book, much hyped called 'Throne of Glass', about a female assassin. This book, 'Child of the Ghosts' is everything that book claimed to be but ultimately wasn't. This story made no advance claims, the main character Ciana doesn't boast her way through the story, she trains determinedly then delivers. Shrinking away from no task or assignment. The story expands to a monumental climax far beyond the expected reach of a book with a fairly simple premise. Jonathan Moeller isn't frightened about killing off characters when the plot warrants it, so much so that we the reader genuinely don't know how things will end, he removes characters which other authors would have saved, and for that this book was better, sadder, but more honest. This book may not have received the hype or publicity that others about female assassins have, but it's a great read, Many Grats to the author.
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on 11 May 2012
After reading the Demonsouled books I wanted to pick up more. Child of ghosts was free so was picked up in the expectation of more of the same.
I was astonished to find that they writing style had changed completely.
Child of ghosts is a fabulously well written character piece.

Caina accidentally kills her mother after her mothers sorcery kills her father and servants. The necromancer who taught her mother then tottures caina before she is rescued by the emperors Ghosts. The ghosts then raise her as a spy and assassin to hunt mages.
Years later she becomes involved in the hunt for the same necromancer.
Structurally the story is a fantasy version of Rudyard Kiplings Kim and compares favorably.
The characters are far better developed than in the demonsouled series. The reliance on repetitive battle sequences to fill the story out has been replaced with exposure to the various elements of the fantasy society - leaving this book to feel much more complete than the bare bones feudal world of Demonsouled.

I liked Demonsouled, mostly for its dark and unforgiving approach to fantasy. I love this. The character is well motivated and the society and world is interesting. Ill be reading the next volumes immediately.
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The story of this book relates to the main character, Caina, and her life - what it was like in early childhood, the betrayal that happens, her strength of character and how it matures and is helped along by the Ghosts.

On the whole, I enjoyed this book. It was detailed enough that you could understand how decisions had been made and what roughly was going to happen. The decision for Caina to join the Ghosts in based on one simple fact, she can no longer have children. Some reviewers have found it strange that a child herself could make such a decision based on that fact alone but really, that is just part of it. What she has endured all her life, from her mother and then from the betrayal, kidnapping etc all form part of that decision and I for one could understand and respect that.

The villain is evil through and through and has no redeeming qualities which makes it easy to 'hate' him.

This book is well-written, with a plot that moves along nicely and some surprises that I didn't see coming at the end of the book. This is book one of a series (6 further books in this series at the last count).
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on 12 December 2012
This book follows a strong female lead, Caina. The story is well developed, with the motives of the characters being clear and action scenes vivid. At some points I feel the story is a bit too fast paced, with the story cutting through years of Caina's life (though since the book covers Caina's life from child to adult, I suppose it was inevitable).
I thoroughly enjoyed the story, there are light-hearted moments but most of the story is relatively serious. We see Caina develop and it was extremely interesting to see how the author mixed the world of sorcery with traditional weapons (though some not so traditional as well!)

The biggest drawback is the amount of typos in the book (the reason for 4/5 instead of 5/5). The typos are not spelling errors but just a letter missing here and there (they are still words so spell check won't pick them up). It is annoying at first but the story is gripping enough that you won't care too much. It is a shame though, it gives the sense that the book had not been properly proof-read. That said, I would still recommend this book, especially if you like strong female assassins!
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on 7 March 2016
I devoured this book in a week. Maybe less. At the start, I was surprised to be reading what I consider 'high fantasy.' I guess I didn't pay enough attention to what I was picking up as, to me, the cover art reads more like contemporary urban fantasy. I was wrong, but I don't care, because this book was stella throughout.
The opening was a little slow, but after the inciting event, the tale raced along at an incredible rate and never once was I bored. Even the passage of time, which is a tricky thing to pull off in a book, didn't feel jolt-y or awkward.

The lore of the land and the laws that hold the people together are a fine example of fantasy conventions working in a way that all can understand. Our lead had a clear goal and not, for one second, did this book feel like mere 'set up' for the books that follow. It is a brilliant introduction to a well rounded, real and exciting character and I'm looking forward to reading more of her adventures.
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