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4.0 out of 5 stars a trips down imagination road review
I received copies of books 1-3 of the Courtlight Series in exchange for my review.

Sworn to Raise:
Ciardris Vane is the orphaned 17 year old daughter of a gypsy, she struggles to put food in her belly and a place to live. Making a scant living as a washerwoman, when one of the members of the Companion's Guild comes to her town and sees her she is swept...
Published 22 days ago by Laura Greenwood (trips down im...

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of potential but failed to engage me...
The storyline, concept and world building is fascinating. My issue, however, was the characterization. I didn't connect with Ciardis, at all. I am half way through book 1 and struggling to care about her, her adventures or her problems. It is not that she is whiny, as some heroins that annoy readers in reviews. It is not that she is inconsistent or vague. She just doesn't...
Published 2 months ago by Elle L


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4.0 out of 5 stars a trips down imagination road review, 5 Aug 2014
This review is from: Courtlight Series Boxed Set (Books 1, 2, 3) (Kindle Edition)
I received copies of books 1-3 of the Courtlight Series in exchange for my review.

Sworn to Raise:
Ciardris Vane is the orphaned 17 year old daughter of a gypsy, she struggles to put food in her belly and a place to live. Making a scant living as a washerwoman, when one of the members of the Companion's Guild comes to her town and sees her she is swept away into a completely different life. At first believed to simply be a pretty face with no magical talent, it is soon revealed that Ciardris is actually the last living descendant of a famous mage clan, the Weathervanes. Ciardris has the power to enhance other people's abilities, making her contract a valuable thing to win. With the time to chose a patron drawing near, Ciardris enjoys the attentions of the Royal Mage, a General and the heir to the Imperial Throne, and has to make a decision, whilst helping out her new friend, Prince Sebastian. All culminating in a magical showdown...This is one of those books that I've wanted to read for ages, and when I saw it on Netgalley, and got approved for it, I couldn't believe my luck! And thankfully, Sworn to Raise was everything that I thought it would be, and more. It delivered action, magic, romance, and that little bit of girly that dresses and make-up bring out! The novel follows Ciardris, through a limited third person narrative, so for most events that happen away from her, the reader has no idea about either. At the beginning of the book she's one of those people that just gets on with her life, she doesn't want to hurt anyone, or be hurt, she just wants to do the best that she can with the resources she has. This develops through the story as she becomes more adventurous, and though she also becomes more girly, she still isn't afraid to get herself messed up. I liked this as a character, mainly because I can relate to it, she could get stuck into messy tasks but the next page she could be admiring a dress or some shoes, to me that is what makes a good female character. The Companions themselves are very intriguing characters, as of yet we have only met three that are not in training, Serena, Vana and Sarah, but each has a unique ability, whether it is magical or mundane, that makes them special to their patrons. The relationship between Serena and Vana seems to be particularly realistic, they bicker and don't get on, and there is a massive amount of rivalry between them, particularly as their proteges arrive and train at the same time. Though most of the book is centred around the Patron Hunt, the romantic notions in the story are very subtle. The way I see the story there are two distinct paths that I think the love story could go, though I'm not sure which I think is most likely, or in fact which I prefer. The author has created a banterous energy between Ciardris and Sebastian, which I liked, particularly as that seems to be in keeping with the reactions of two teenagers towards each other, especially when they find each other attractive. On the other hand there is the mysteriousness of one of the other characters (which is one of the other ways that I think the love story could go), and from what we know about Ciardris' character so far, I think the mysteriousness could attract her. The magic system has the basis to be a really interesting and unique one, though I am still slightly confused as the the limitations on the magic cores and what any given character can do with it. I liked that different abilities can manifest at different points in time, for example Ciardris' ability manifesting on her 18th birthday, as was customary in her family, and am eager to know more about it. Of course it is worth mentioning that the reason the reader is somewhat limited in their knowledge is because Ciardris is limited in hers too. This is an entertaining, fast paced, fantasy novel, with a clearly well thought up world, well thought about characters and it certainly leaves you wanting more from the author! I can't wait for the release of the next one!

Sworn to Transfer:
With her powers now unlocked, Ciardris Weathervane is a powerful mage, with very little training and a penchant for getting into trouble, albeit accidentally. Even after foiling several assassination attempts on the Prince Heir, Sebastian, Ciardris still hasn't become his official companion. When her mentor is changed, through no choice of her own, or her mentor, Lady Serena's, to Madame Amber, the head of the Companions Guild, she ends up sent to a forest in an attempt to solve the mystery behind the recent spate of kith deaths. Her journey along the way is filled with her usual adventures, not all of them good, and she ends up with more questions than answers. I would highly recommend reading book 1 of the Courtlight series, Sworn to Raise, before reading Sworn to Transfer, as certain things will be much more understandable. Once more I was super excited to read the sequel to a book that I really enjoyed, and Sworn to Transfer did not disappoint! Though in my mind, it was completely different to the first book, both in tones and events. Ciardris as a character is much more assured in herself, and in her powers, which as you can imagine, makes the impact as her as a character, different. Though interestingly, as well as her good personality traits becoming more pronounced, her faults do too, particularly when she acts a little vain. She is also incredibly girly compared to other book heroines, and the thought of getting dirty really doesn't sit well, at times I thought this could get a little annoying, but as a whole, it made her ten times more human, which is necessary considering how massively overpowered Ciardris is! Something I would like to see more of, and I suspect that in the next one there may be more of it, was romance. There were hints of Sebastian and Ciardris starting to think about each other like that, though Ciardris tries to deny it, and other people certainly think that there is something there, so fingers crossed there'll be a bit more of a love interest in the next book! (Which I will be reading without a doubt!) I love the way that Edun manages to make it so that her characters solve the problem accidentally, you can see how the accidents fall together to create the solution, but at the same time it means that characters don't have to suddenly know something that they had no clue about before. I realise that this way of writing may annoy some readers (though not me!), but its consistency should prevent that. I really enjoyed Sworn to Transfer and would recommend the Courtlight series to anyone looking for an easy fantasy read, with just a touch of girliness.

Sworn to Conflict:
Ciardis wakes up having been found on the Northern most edges of the Empire, and the place of a war camp. There she discovers uncomfortable truths about the war and the Empire and why the battle is being fought, and she has to decide what she is going to do about it. Add to that her feelings about Sebastian, and how complicated they are quickly becoming, and she has more than one thing to think about. But wherever she goes Ciardis seems to inspire loyalty, and she has managed to get Frost Giant, Inga, and her guard Kane on her side without much persuasion. When I first saw the cover for Sworn to Conflict I will admit to being a bit confused, mainly because the cover doesn't reflect how Ciardis is said to look at all. Having now read the book, I completely understand the cover and why it is what it is, and may I say that the plot line it involves managed to take me completely by surprise! I wasn't expecting that twist at all! I realise that that may all seem a bit cryptic, but it would spoil the surprise if it wasn't! After her shocking discovery at the end of Sworn to Transfer, that she wasn't the only Weathervane, and she in fact had a twin brother, it will come as no surprise that Ciardris' brother has quite a large role to play in this book. From what you see of him, he is very like Ciardis herself, a bit headstrong and does what he thinks is right, never mind the possible consequences. For a sibling brought into the story quite late I think that he was well pulled off! The romance in Sworn to Conflict has stepped up a notch or two from Sworn to Raise and Sworn to Transfer with it progressing more from just an unacted upon attraction between Sebastian and Ciardis, to being an acted upon attraction, though they still have a long way to go. I would like to say though, about time! Not for the author to have got to it, but the characters, the story itself hasn't felt dragged out at all, it is just the characters themselves, and their denial, and that is part of what I think makes a great character. The realism about them. I can't wait for Sworn to Secrecy, I'm really excited for it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of potential but failed to engage me..., 18 Jun 2014
By 
Elle L "of the Dark Woods" (Belly of the Beast (Athens)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Courtlight Series Boxed Set (Books 1, 2, 3) (Kindle Edition)
The storyline, concept and world building is fascinating. My issue, however, was the characterization. I didn't connect with Ciardis, at all. I am half way through book 1 and struggling to care about her, her adventures or her problems. It is not that she is whiny, as some heroins that annoy readers in reviews. It is not that she is inconsistent or vague. She just doesn't have any of the qualities that make me care about a book protagonist enough to follow through all their character arc. Apart from the fact that she is an orphan, of low upbringing (till she discovers she is not) and considers herself as "lower" than others. That on its own would be a sweet element of a protagonist character, only if he/she demonstrated a will to act somehow. The author, however, does not give us clues for her character, or builds her multi-dimensionally as a real person with inner conflicts, bad and good mixed together in an interesting mix, demons that need to be conquered etc. I mean, look at other famous fantasy heroins, ie Jelena from Poison Study. We know from first pages that she is determined, that she is a survivor, that she is smart. Or Fire, from Kashore's Fire, she is so beautiful but nonchalant about it, she is caring, she is sacrificial in her attitude towards others. That something extra would make for an unput-downable read! I will continue reading though, maybe she is a slow starter....
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 4 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Courtlight Series Boxed Set (Books 1, 2, 3) (Kindle Edition)
Enjoyed reading all 3 books straight through.
Will have to get the next 2 in the series to see what happens
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