Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Paperwhite Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

28
3.9 out of 5 stars
Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1)
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£7.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2009
The barbarian horde of the Likurian Steppes moved from the east and conquered the Denova Set. Cremond, Barronel, Gormand, Dregon and Vorgaven fell before Loethar's barbarian army. Penraven, the most powerful kingdom of the Set is the the last one standing, however the end is near. King Brennus of Penraven has to take difficult decisions in order to preserve the life of the only Valisar heir, Prince Leonel.

I hadn't read any of Fiona McIntosh's books before and I was pretty excited when I received a review copy of Royal Exile. As I've been reading the books of the Malazan of the Fallen series, I'm always looking for interesting books to alternate between two Malazan books. So I was hoping to find an interesting story in Royal Exile. Especially when I read what Robin Hobb had to say about Royal Exile, it raised my expectations for Fiona McIntosh's work.

Fiona McIntosh's style is very smooth and easy to get used to. That makes the book very easy to read. The first hundred or so pages, the introductory chapters, went without much excitement. Just when I was getting worried that it was going to be a story full of clichés and not enough action, things sped up and the book gained a steady momentum. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the pages were turning fast with my desire to know more.

I love complex world building in fantasy & sci-fi books. However the world building in Royal Exile is probably done at a bare minimum to keep the story going with some hidden secrets left for the future. I'm hoping to hear more about the Set and its surroundings in the future installments.

My feelings towards the characters in the story have been very mixed. I cared for a few of them. Some others didn't seem believable enough. In more than one occasion, I scratched my head asking myself "would I or anyone do that in the same situation?" On the other hand, I welcomed the late-introduction of other protagonists, and interesting ones in that, who promise a superior upcoming book. Royal Exile started mainly with a single story thread, however, to my joy, Fiona McIntosh carefully crafted multiple parallel threads in the second half of the book.

Royal Exile is a well-written, easy-to-read book. Its plot is captivating despite the shallowness of the world building and of most of its characters. The first book of the Valisar Trilogy is a promising one and I, for one, am looking forward to read the second book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
First and foremost, I need to say that I enjoyed this, my first Fiona McIntosh book. She has a knack for surprises and doesn't shy away from grisly scenes - indeed, according the to author's notes, it was the most gory scene that got her started in writing this book.

However, there are problems. According to the author's notes there were three editors. Well, there's little evidence of that. For example, unless I am completely losing my mind, at least two of the characters learn something shocking on p298 1/3 of the way down only to, apparently, forget it because when they learn it again at the bottom of page 340 it comes as a surprise! I'd have thought an editor who actually read the book might have noticed.

Some of the language is clunky, or perhaps rushed - maybe the book needed another draft (or the intervention of an editor). There are aspects of the plot that are cliched and very obvious (such as the role of the former servant) whilst at other times she manages to surprise. The final issue I have is that the ending really isn't an ending - it's just that the pages run out.

As I said, I enjoyed the book and will continue to read the series.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2010
While I quite enjoyed the actual story in this book, I regret buying it and its sequel at the same time. I shan't be reading the sequel as the poor use of English was so jarring.

Suicides are described as murders, by people who witnessed them, censure is used when censor should have been. The book is littered with usages that are just not quite right, almost as though the author had a word of the day calendar with the meanings removed and she had to guess.

If you want an average fantasy story and you don't wince when you read someone use a word incorrectly, or just mis-describe an earlier event, then go for it. The story is OK, the characters are straight out of the fantasy character cliché box and the dialogue is... laboured. If you can live with that, then you've a stronger stomach than I. Actually less pleasant to read than Kevin J. Anderson.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I like this one. Good characters. Good story. Pacy. Puts her characters in difficult circumstances and asks them to make difficult choices and sometimes shocks you with their their resolution, yet at the same time manages to convince that the solution was the right one for the character concerned.I did keep wanting to find out what would happen next, so I hope she can keep it up through the series.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 22 May 2010
I have never read any of Fiona's books before, and I was going to by 'Odalisque', but chose to buy 'Royal Exile' instead.

I have to say, the story isn't one that I would normally read about. Stories about war and death - I always avoid those as they bore me to death. However, when I started reading 'Royal Exile', I started to get really engaged. The characters are described really well and you can tell straight away what their personality is like.

As the story is written in 3rd person, you get to hear about the thoughts and actions of the antagonists as well as the protagonists, which is always interesting to hear. Furthermore, when you read the thoughts of the protagonist, you can't help but think that they're not all that bad. Brutal yes, but not completely evil.

The descriptions can be rather gruesome at times, but it is this that really intrigued me. It was shocking to hear what happened to those who the main protagonist kills and really does make you go "Oh my god" out loud.

The fantasy aspect of this book is mild, with only slight magic in some characters, but I think the main genre is that of adventure that the protagonists go on in order to protect the heir.

I would definately recommend this book to anyone who likes reading stories that inlude magic and adventure. I can't wait for the next book and wishes that whoever reads this book would be as captivated as I.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Oh why do I do this to myself - I buy a book - read it and then find I have to wait ages for the next instalment.
This is a good (not great) book that moves a a good pace and is starting to generate some interesting characters, some good, some bad and some who need to be killed off. The plot is thin at the moment and fairly predictable but it's a whole lot better than some of the stuff I have read, and I believe its just the begining. Very little magic, no elves or dwarves (yet?? - and hopefully free of such things) but the subtleness just draws you in, making it essential to read the next page/chapter. Not to the standard of the Riftwars in terms of worlds and not quiet as brutal as George R R Martin just yet - but I think a good blend of something in between - I wait with baited breath for the next one - and will read the others by the author in the meantime
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2011
Loved this Trilogy and had to read all three books together so waited to buy them when all three were written. I do this with most trilogies now. Spent 5 days doing nothing else but read. It was great. I recommend these books. They are a light read but enjoyable.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Well, previous reviewers seem to have enjoyed this a lot more then I did. I really enjoyed some of the author's previous work, she writes fantasy with a real dark edge and when she pulls it off it really works. Here it didn't come together for me, I found the pace a little slow and lacking the inventiveness previously displayed by the author. While the dark violent side is there, it just didn't engage me sufficiently to keep turning the pages. This is the first part of a trilogy and I'm sorry to say I shall probably not bother with the next two.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 30 May 2009
The book was a standard Fantasy novel. Nothing spectacular or noteworthy about it. Don't let this put you off, if you are simply relaxing and want a book to churn through. But if you are looking for a novel which stands out from the crowd, this is not one.

I was surprised to find out this wasn't the novelist's first book, as the plot is standard fare, the structure predictable and the characters not really noteworthy. It does flow well, but with a little more effort to add depth and subtlety could have become a really good novel.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2009
A great page-turner, so much so that I had a couple of late nights reading it as I found it difficult to put down. I like Fiona McIntosh and this series has started out strongly and so I have high hopes for the rest of the series. Her characters are always well defined and she is not afraid to shock if its serves the plot (or the tension!). As a minor criticism, I just wonder whether some of the themes of her other books will be repeated (will one of the characters turn into a bird perhaps?) and I will be disappointed if those plot devices crop up again, but not enough to stop buying the books or enjoying them enormously!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Scrivener's Tale
Scrivener's Tale by Fiona McIntosh (Paperback - 3 Jan. 2013)
£9.99

King's Wrath: Book Three of the Valisar Trilogy
King's Wrath: Book Three of the Valisar Trilogy by Fiona McIntosh (Paperback - 7 July 2011)
£7.99

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.