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The Art of Forgetting: Rider by [Hall, Joanne]
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The Art of Forgetting: Rider Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Length: 330 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1104 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Kristell Ink, Grimbold Books (30 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DQALB36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #575,951 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I’ve had this on my Kindle for at least a year, and in my effort to read more Fantasy this year and to clear down my TBR pile I finally picked it up and boy am I glad I did, because not only did I love it I finally understood Joanne Hall’s Twitter handle!

Rhodi, has been brought up by the family who found him wandering the woods as a young boy. People in his village are convinced he is fae and treat him like a leper, the other children bully him. When the King’s Third ride through town and a few key members of the regiment take a liking to Rhodi, he see’s his opportunity and joins up seeking a chance to discover the truth of his past and a more rewarding future.

Rhodi has always been convinced he was the son of someone important, nobility, and he wants to remember more and find his Father. This novel takes us on the journey through his training to become one of the King’s Third rider’s. As Rhodi changes from an insecure boy to a strong and capable man.

Not only does it tackle the expected military fantasy topics of war, swordplay, and some supernatural elements. The book also tackles sexuality and gender in very comfortable and natural way.

The worldbuilding was exquisite and the city itself became vivid as I read through the book. There wasn’t as much travel as I had expected but there was some and the locations through the travel sections were well described keeping the images flowing.

There is a great mix of characters with some you will love and some you will hate, I find this really important, you don’t want to like everybody in a book of this size!

The only thing I wasn’t keen on is the way the book ends. I felt like I had hit a brick wall. I was still very much in the flow of the story and then I was “is that it”?
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was my first Joanne Hall book and it definitely won't be my last.

There are spoilers within this review - you have been warned.
The Art of Forgetting is a coming of age tale with young Rhodri as the sole viewpoint character. As the heir to a far off throne, how Rhodri has come to live in the small village of Pencarith as a social pariah is a mystery, even to Rhodri himself who has an otherwise eidetic memory - an enviable talent, if I do say so myself. Those in Pencarith believe him to be Fae touched, not quite right in the head, and suffering from delusions of grandeur, so when the opportunity arises for him to join the Kings Third cavalry he jumps at the chance in the hope that he finds his forgotten place in the world.

Rhodri's journey takes him to Northpoint, a coastal town in civil unrest where his training begins and he starts to learn of his past and the dreadful rumours surrounding his father: murderer, slaughter, woman beater. Much of the book is set here in Northpoint as Rhodri ages from boy to young man, learning his profession, history, his father and life in general, alongside his friends/recruits Aston, Jime, Nik and let's not forget his nemesis, Dru.

In all honesty, I like my heroes to be heroes: completing valiant acts of courage with odds stacked against them. It took a long time for Rhodri to become, what I call, a hero, and for a while it really bugged me as there was no action to get behind. Instead I was following a boy who liked horses and was growing up with his fellow recruits, trying to fit in and find his place in the big wide world, drinking, learning and buying whores. The prospect of a Fae touched child, to me, was very appealing, and I let that lead me to believe that there would be more magic and mystery.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I went into this book knowing very little about it, but I'd come across a mention of it somewhere, downloaded and read the sample, and wish listed it. Then I met an author at World Fantasy Con, didn't recognise the name of her book but went into the dealers' room to check it out, and found I'd already read the beginning.

In many ways, this will be a familiar type of book for most fantasy fans. For a start, the protagonist Rhodri has questions hanging over his parentage--he has been raised by foster parents in a village where people are suspicious of him because of his apparently photographic memory. (The photographic memory thing has been lightly used so far. I'm hoping it becomes a major plot point in the second book as this is something I've not often seen.) He leaves home to join the army and be part of the King's Third--a mounted regiment. Much of this book is spent following Rhodri through training, making friends (and enemies), and bonding with his horse Liberty.

I enjoyed this section a lot. The relationships are believable, and the relationship between Rhodri and horsemaster Keir is touching. (Incidentally, the horsemaster switches from Keir to Kier and back again at intervals. I did notice a fair few typos and a homonym error or two in the book, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment.)

There's a major plot point which I won't spoil. A part of me wishes what happens didn't happen, as it would have been interesting to follow the relationships afterwards. But in the environment the author is describing, the truth is they probably would have crumbled (for various reasons) so the conclusion of that particular thread, while sad, is probably inevitable.
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