16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising Start to a Trilogy
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...
Published on 20 Oct 2009 by Yagiz Erkan
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, marred a little by poor editing
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,...
Published on 11 April 2010 by Kevin
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing!,
This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Royal Exile,
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This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)Again Fiona McIntosh has created an excellent trilogy. I thouroughly enjoyed this book, it was a light easy read which leaves me waiting for the chance to read Book Two of the Valisar Trilogy.
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly slow,
This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)A fairly readable book, but I found it a touch dull and slow - certainly not the page-turner that some reviewers seem to think. I found myself putting it down all too often - not a good sign! Odd characters too and the overall plot is a bit far-fetched.
A let-down after her previous works.
I shan't be going out of my way to pick up the next volume of the trilogy. If it turns up cheap second hand perhaps.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Again,
This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)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
3.0 out of 5 stars Run of the mill Fantasy,
This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)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.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a really good read,
This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)As a Reymond Feist and Trudy Cavanar fan,I am sooo glad I found this author and I can really recommend this book and I cannot wait for the next one.
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, predictable and explanatory,
This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)Bought this book based on these reviews so thought it would be fair to tone down the undeserved praise a bit. What this book lacks is not so much a story, mediocre fantasy that it could have been, but an author that could do something with it. The characters are downright stupid, shallow and stereotypic. The plot is thin and full of glaring inconsistencies that can only be explained by the general stupidity and simplicity of the entire cast you have the misfortune to read about. And the author is painstakingly explaining everything that goes on in such a way that any potential suspense or "thrill" is destroyed. The many conversations in this story is stilted and if you somehow were unable to understand the "implications" of these conversations, never fear as the author is cheerfully explaining everything down to the smallest detail imaginary between the conversation lines. Go read Steven Erikson's Malazan books, if you haven't already, instead of buying this.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars B&W fantasy tale,
This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)The Kingdom of Penraven is under siege. Outside the walls of the capital stand a barbarien warlord at the head of an army from the eastern steppes. Already has he subdued the surrounding kingdoms of Barronel, Vorgraven, Cremond, Gormand & Dregon. Although Penraven had always been the strongest of the lot, its chances against the barbarian look slim and defeat seem certain. Soon the walls will be stormed, the city taken and the king executed. Likely after prolonged torture. He knows this, but chooses not to run, but rather stand with his people until the end. For his heir, however, he has other plans. He wish not for the 13 year old son to fall into the hands of the barbarian. So he task his best friends oldest (17) son with the task of protecting the heir. And when the time comes, to escape with him from the city and into the surrounding country side. Not only that, but the king wish for his heir to be returned to his rightful throne. Something that will require these two young lads to somehow spawn an insurrection strong enough to topple the barbarian usurper. Not only that, they have to do so while actively being hunted by the forces of the barbarian as well as turncoats, traitors and spies.
An interesting setup. Sadly it is ruined by its execution. The characters are very simple, nearly cartoonish characters where good people are GOOD and bad people are BAD. There is no middle ground. They are also very much alike and sometimes it can become hard to notice who is speaking. The following quote was especially grating. It is spoken by the one apparently most eager for the death of the heir, who at this point has become king since his father is now dead. "He is a symbol of freedom, a rallying point, a hook upon which to hang an entire region's hope! Faith is an incredibly powerful force, especially among those who have been crushed. As long as King Leonel is at large, the people of the Set [the conquered kingdoms] will endure."
Can you imagine George W. Bush referring to Osama Bin Laden in the same way?
Unlike most fantasy books, much of what happens is explained explicitly. So you never wonder why someone did something. You also know their motives precisely. This is not a good change from the norm. The explanations of how the world works takes place in teacher-student conversations, where an all-knowing teacher explains everything to the nothing-knowing student. Which is practical for the characters, but feels fake and some times very weird to the readers. Need to learn something about a very old, very rare type of magic that the kings have spent the last 500 years trying to destroy all knowledge about? Why luckily enough, one of the two sent to find it just happens to know everything about it. And off course he knows it, he used to work as a guidance councilor at a university. They just know stuff like that. No need to explain how in heavens name he came to know that.
If I disliked it that much, then why didn't I give it just a single star?
Well, I don't think I'm in the correct target group for this book. This book strikes me as something a young boy might thoroughly enjoy. It is simple. Theres not too many hard words. Theres few characters, motives and other things to remember, The story is straight forward and well explained. Its also something an adult could plausible give a young kid, without worrying too much over whats in it. Yes, it has its gory moments, but more in the over-the-top scary movie kind of way. Something boys might enjoy, but won't suffer too many nightmares from. At least thats my perception. Thus for fans of longer, complicated and more mature fantasy, this is a no-buy. But for others, it might be an excellent buy. A starting point for a long and joyful voyage into the realm of fantasy.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fiona mcintosh,
This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)first having read the quicking,i have quickly become a fan of fiona mcintosh writings,she has the knack of wrapping a story around you and making it immpossiable to put down,start with the hopeless of the valisar line and laying down a trail of hope for the last king, and combinding a destiny to come.a well worth read and i am now looking forward the others to come.she has quickly become one of the great writers of fantasy fiction, she has believable characters and detail plot, a delight to read,make time for it as it can only get better
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic,
This review is from: Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) (Paperback)The blurb says this book is one that can't be put down .. I certainly agree with that.
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Royal Exile: Book One of the Valisar Trilogy (Valisar Trilogy 1) by Fiona McIntosh (Paperback - 5 Jan 2009)