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Banished (Blackhart Legacy) Paperback – 27 Feb 2014
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De Jager's fantasy world is enthralling and immersive, many fathoms deep . . . wonderful (Mike Carey)
This was certainly one action-packed story! Full of battles, weapons, mythical creatures and, of course, magic - it's guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish . . . Banished ends on a real cliff-hanger (Guardian)
A brilliant contemporary young adult fantasy (James Oswald)
The intriguing plot - set across human and fae worlds - is interspersed with twists and traitors that you're not likely to see coming, and will keep you reading . . . look out for part two (SciFi Now)
Banished is a thoroughly entertaining, well-paced, action-packed read that has a natural conclusion to the story within, but also leaves us with a cliffhanger that is part of the wider story arc (Bookzone)
Banished is fast paced, hugely entertaining and down right fun to read. It had me racing through the pages wanting to see what was going to happen next...once I started I didn't want to stop and it saddens me that there are still six months to go until we can see what happens next in Vowed (Empire of Books)
Well-told, lushly-described......It's a beautifully dark story...hits all the right notes...It delivers plenty of action and adventure, and will leave readers wanting more (Schrodinger’s Bookshelf)
A great start to an interesting UK YA fantasy series that I look forward to seeing more of. With a vast world of possibilities at Liz De Jager's fingertips; I can't wait to see what happens next for Kit and the gang (Sister Spooky)
A great addition to the ranks of modern faerie tales (Fantasy Faction)
A blend of Maggie Stiefvater's Lament, with the intensity and passion of Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments, you really need to watch out for this trilogy . . . The plot is thrilling and there's so much packed into one book. There are lots of plot twists and the climax was just amazing . . . Read it, read it, read it! (Queen of Contemporary)
This is an adventuresome read from a great new voice in YA fiction. Part Brothers Grimm, part Buffy with a dash of Cassandra Clare, Kit Blackhart is here to challenge the night. Because chaos won't banish itself...See all Product description
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Opening in the middle of a mission allows us to see Kit’s work as a Blackhart, and to get caught up in some action immediately. We quickly learn that her family’s destined role is to keep order and banish any fae who step out of line by harming humans/causing trouble in our world. Kit’s relationship to that calling (she wasn’t raised with it from birth) is something that is revealed further through the course of the novel.
I hope it doesn’t sound too stupid to say this, but I particularly enjoyed the realistic way that her developing abilities, and her feelings about her calling, are presented. Obviously the use of magic is a fantasy element in the novel, but it is presented realistically, I feel. It rings true to me that it would be a physically difficult thing, especially at first. This, and many other details which root the story in concrete reality, raise this novel in my opinion to make it not just another ‘destiny girl’ book. Details are not taken for granted, but are deftly woven into the story to create a convincing whole.
Written in the present tense, the prose has an immediacy and vibrancy that demands attention. This lively storytelling is interspersed with extracts from documents such as Blackhart family papers which offer further insight into the family’s role and the world they inhabit. This adds a further dimension to the novel and prevents information from clogging up the pacey narrative.
I love Kit (as, I think, do most of her readers). Her voice is compelling and she is easy to empathise with. She faces some difficult decisions in the story, but approaches everything in a matter-of-fact way. I hope we see more of her family in the remaining two books, as they are an intriguing bunch.
The author’s knowledge and love of folklore and the fae tradition really shine out, and this is above all a great re-imagining of some classic folklore tropes, dragged into our 21st century reality. The clash between worlds is a joy to observe and, again, I feel there is realism in the way the interaction between the fae realm and contemporary Britain is presented.
Overall, I am highly recommending this book. If you enjoy urban fantasy, the odd spark of romance and a generous sprinkling of fae lore, you must read this.
The plot is absolutely packed with lots of good twists, yet nothing seemed to be missing, which is amazing in a 4oo page book with so much going on! I loved the small sections within the chapters that brought us away from Kit and showed us other scenes with characters we'd not yet met, hinting that there'd be some sort of crossover later on. Furthermore, when these encounters did happen, they didn't disappoint as I mentally started cheering on Kit in every duel. I also loved the idea of having the little definitions before the beginning of some chapters which would later pop up.
I wouldn't even call myself a fantasy reader but this book has every fantasy creature I could think of: faeries, trolls, sorcerers and the thing I've heard the most about...the dragon! It carried the generic plot of a character going on an epic quest/journey, with their travels covering a lot of ground.
The highlight of this book were three characters in particular. For many who have read this book, it may be obvious, but they are Kit, Thorn and Aiden. I loved how strong-headed Kit was and, especially nearer the end of the book, she showed her strength (maybe some stupidity, depending on how you see it). Prince Thorn, oh Prince Thorn. I adored all his dialogue and with the contrast in the way he spoke to everyone else. The more I read, the more I was completely charmed by everything that he said. Aiden was the 'comedy relief' throughout the book with his sarcastic lines teasing Kit and Thorn. That was enough for him to be one of my favourite characters.
Luckily, the '1' that is so nicely placed on the spine as well as the beautiful ending, points out that we still get more from Kit, Thorn, Aiden and everyone else. This isn't the end of them yet and I can't wait!
I don’t read a huge amount of young adult fiction. I try to avoid the ones that spend a lot of time describing gooey eyed pouting. Somehow this book manages to express the teenage emotions and social awkwardness expected in this type of books without taking anything away from the story. I found it refreshing to see a book like this written in the first person. I think this really helped the pacing of the story. I did find myself becoming totally absorbed and losing track of time whilst reading this book. I surfaced three hours later wondering how that happened. The pace of this story builds really well and I found it really difficult to stop reading the second half of this book.
Kit Blackhart kicks tail. She also gets her butt kicked regularly in this book. I liked that. There is no circumspect shyness. She is a reckless and foolhardy young lady with just enough intelligence and ability to survive. Kit is part of a family that has been protecting the world from the Fae and other interlopers from the other world. She has much to learn, not least when it comes to boys. There is a great balance between story and action that keeps the reader engaged all the way through. If you like fast-paced action in your young adult fiction then this is the book for you.