- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2198 KB
- Print Length: 243 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: White Wolf Press, LLC (17 Aug. 2010)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003ZUYQCA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#3,975 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
- #7 in Kindle Store > Books > Children's eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Coming of Age
- #21 in Kindle Store > Books > Children's eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Sword & Sorcery
- #25 in Kindle Store > Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
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|Print List Price:||£6.31|
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Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 243 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £2.99 after you buy the Kindle book.
|Age Level: 9 - 18|
|Grade Level: 4 - 12|
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My only complaint is once again amazon in its wisdom fails to let me get the next book in the series.
When I read a book i like to go from the 1st book to the next before reading any other book. And outing a book on a wish list kinda doesn't let me go to the next book. ( if you see what I mean)
Its different if its a paper book ( old style) coz I know ive got the books to read because I put the book on the more to read shelf. But on my phone I don't know what I've read. Maybe its coz im 57.
But I feel this does a disservice to the Author who want me to buy more of their writing
Heck in paperback books if I get book two of a series I won't read it til ive got book one. So perhaps if the supplier of the books won't let me get the next [ AMAZON] perhaps the author can supply me with the IBSN # of further books and I can go to my library and read the next in the series.
In my own quest to continue and complete my own fantasy writing, I've been encouraged from all quarters to increase my reading and writing quotient, so I'll be writing some reviews of some of the newer / different things I've come across, starting with COTH, which is Book 1 in The Dawning Of Power trilogy.
I met Brian Rathbone indirectly through Twitter and we exchanged a few messages. Since publishing COTH in 2010 Rathbone has been prolific, completing the trilogy and working on other trilogies. Being the first, COTH seems a good place to start.
Catrin, our heroine, begins as a farmhand everywoman - or, to be more precise, everyschoolgirl. She begins the book as a student in a sort of provincial, parochial Hogwarts. Through events quite unexpected and unplanned on her part, she begins to realise that she possesses vast untapped powers, able to control the earth's natural energies - she is at first able to do this only unconsciously, like Dr Bruce Banner as The Incredible Hulk; but gradually she learns to accept and control her freakish abilities. She is a little ragged in places, but her progression from school pupil to demi-goddess is kept just the right side of credible thanks to the emotional link to the home she must leave behind.
Being YA, the overt theme of the book is the loss of innocence but, much like Harry Potter, a mutual reliance upon the kindness of friends and growing up fast. While these are principle themes, the book does not satisfy itself with just handling these typical tropes and dabbles in more high-concept stuff, such as transcendence, spiritualism, and self-sacrifice.
In terms of a cast, there are quite a few recognisable characters in the mix: Catrin's motley band of boy friends (not boyfriends - things are kept nice and clean) include her brave cousin Chase, the plump and accident-prone Osbourne and the genial stable boy Strom. Overseeing them all are the figures of Catrin's father, and his valet Benjin, who quickly reveals himself to be a type of Obi-Wan / Gandalf figure who shepherds the young people through their emerging adventure. Nat Dersinger, a possibly mad / schizophrenic fisherman-cum-seer, is the best character is the book, a tatterdemalion of obsessive-compulsive self-doubt and self-determination who is driven towards pursuit of Catrin.
While the characters may be somewhat typical, especially for YA, they are deftly handled: Catrin is a sympathetic and likeable heroine, and Benjin is well concealed to begin with, such that his reveal as a member of the ancient sect of guardian-warriors protecting Catrin's secret - is genuinely surprising. The two main character-related frustrations are: the absence of a central villain figure; we do get a hint of one in the prologue, and then not a great deal more, which does remove some of the emotional power Rathbone can wring from the story. Secondly, Nat Dersinger remains woefully unexplored; he is an interesting and sympathetic character to read, but feels suspiciously like a plot device in the way he appears; I'd like to see him given more to do later in the series.
The start is terrific, and the sense of threat - from the mundane viciousness of the school bullies that leads to Catrin's inadvertent unleashing of her earthly powers, to the more profound and existential menace provided by the militaristic Zhjon peoples looking to conquer the Godhead and find Catrin - is palpable.
It's unfortunate then, that the pace starts to drift when Catrin, along with Benjin have to leave to escape the Zhjon. There is quite a lot of travelling which is detailed a little too extensively, and as a result the sense of impending imperilment diminishes considerably, making the middle section drag. There is an action scene showing an attack by hornets which feels pointless and unthreatening, and a scene where Catrin mistakes her friends for Zhjon soldiers - apparently there was some real action, but it took place where the reader could not see, owing to Catrin being the main POV character and being removed from it. These are more than mere quibbles because it makes the reader have to work for the final section of the book.
It is therefore with welcome relief that the Arghast, tribal horsemen who bear more than a passing resemblance to the Dothraki from A Song Of Ice And Fire, given their spiritual bonds with their horses, their penchant for infighting and their unfamiliarity with the sea. With their arrival, roughly two-thirds in, the pace quickens markedly, the conflict is brought into bear and excitement builds as the Arghast side with Catrin against the oncoming Zhjon army. The climax is unexpectedly fresh, brutal and quick, particularly when contrasted with the somewhat sleepy middle act. During the battle scenes Rathbone's writing foregoes the sense of the epic, preferring to focus in upon the individual moments. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and may be a matter of taste. I get the feeling that as the characters grow, so will the sense of epic.
One slightly jarring note is the way the POV characters are used; Catrin is undoubtedly the protagonist and hogs the lion's share of the narration - yet Nat, Chase, Benjin and others all have POV scenes, but they are protracted and we are not permitted the time or space to explore their own states of mind. Given the ending of the book (the main group of characters are separated), the book seems quite expositionary, with the promise that they will be explored in greater depth later in the series.
It might be that these quibbles are pointing out common symptoms of a self-published book, and perhaps it would be doing the book a disservice to pick up on such symptoms when they may be eliminated upon professional publication. And it certainly shouldn't detract from the fact that the bones of a potentially exciting and rich book are in here. The middle act notwithstanding, the book is enjoyable and the world of the Godsland is rich, vibrant and well-written, and I will certainly be exploring more books in the series in the future.
Rating: 3 / 5
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