- 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
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #691,582 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Art of Forgetting: Rider Kindle Edition
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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”? I know this is because this book is the first of two parts but it was a very sudden drop off a cliff rather than a cliffhanger!
That being said I will definitely be buying book two so that I can finish the story!
And as this book is currently free on Amazon/Kobo etc I highly recommend picking it up and getting started as a special treat to yourselves (just leave Joanne Hall a review as a thank you)!
The hero, Rhodri, starts out in deprived circumstances because he looks different from other villages and he has total memory recall. As a found child, he is raised by suspicious guardians, who do little to nurture him. When a chance comes to leave his village, he jumps on it and begins a whole new chapter of his life.
What follows is Rhodri striving to find links to the past he remembers in vivid detail. The truth isn't always how it is presented and he must adjust to this as well as his growing experiences. Without giving spoilers, this is a very character driven book that excels in to life in this world and Rhodri's take on his surroundings.
I found Rhodri to be a compelling character and I was very disappointed when I came to the end of the book. I was so wrapped up in it that I read it straight through in one day. What I will take away from the reading experience is how much I enjoyed seeing Rhodri grow over the course of the story. I am very much looking forward to the next book so I may learn what happened next. This was an immensely enjoyable read and I can't recommend it enough.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Now where is the next in the series? I want it now.
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. Just after half way through, I resigned to the fact that this would not be the case in this book. I liked Rhodri, yes, but all I wanted him to do throughout this section book was `man-up.'
Rhodri's sexuality also took me by surprise and, for a while, pushed him further from me. No, I'm not homophobic, I just found it difficult to relate to the desires expressed. And when Aston, Rhodri's friend, turned out to be transgender - and secretly in love with Rhodri - I found myself wondering what the book was actually about. Would I ever find out who he was, or was this just a story about a homosexual cavalryman fighting discrimination?
Now is a good time to promote Jo's writing ability. It may seem like I'm being a little harsh, but just bare with me.
Within these pages is a master class of writing ability. If you ever want to see how a sentence should be structured, how an emotion should be conveyed or how a chapter should be paced, then look no further. This is the book to refer to. For an amateur, such as myself, I was bowled over by how easy the book was to read, yet the images conveyed were clearer and more vivid than many other books I've read. It amazed me, and this exemplary command over the English language carried over to the speech with every character having their individual accents and levels of vocabulary. The detail was brilliant. It was this clever writing that swung my opinion. When discussing Rhodri's bisexuality, Keir, the Horse Master whom Rhodri loves, says "...we can't go against the way the stars made us." It hit me like a bolt of lightning. I saw through every word and act that had made me uncomfortable for what it actually was: self discovery. No, I couldn't relate to the specifics of their relationship, but that one little line of expressed unconditional love was as powerful as any I'd personally experienced, and suddenly his journey made complete sense to me. This was a story about acceptance, and being who you were born to me, not folding under the pressures of society or what is expected. Whether or not Jo intended that level of impact at this specific point in the story is something only she will know, but for me it was an incredible moment of clarity.
Upon leaving Northpoint (and Keir), Rhodri encounters a water demon - finally, a bit of blood and guts - and is lead back home to his father's castle. A girl from his past reveals a secret which changes Rhodri's perception of the world around him and his heritage. Is the man that he thought was his father really a glorified kidnapper? Could Rhodri really be the only male heir to the dead king?
Towards the end of this story, before Rhodri can investigate further, the Kings Third are sent to war where Rhodri has to both protect and take life, and we are left wondering what will happen to Rhodri now that he has lost everything after abandoning his unit- a fantastic suspense question.
So, for all of my whining and uneasiness, The Art of Forgetting is a cleverly told story where our hero - that's right, I said it, hero - is moulded into man of valour before our very eyes. He has become the hero I wanted him to be, he just took a different path.
I can't wait to see what happens in book 2.
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