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on 13 May 2012
I have been 'betrayed' by books of this genre before so I was more than a little reluctant to pick this up. However, it swept me in fast and now is among my favourites. The characters are lovable and unique. Even Vrell, who at the start seems unable to stand up for herself, grows braver throughout the book. The book stands out in its originality and follows a different course from what one might expect. I now understand the term 'a gripping plot'. Even through to the very end the book throws up twists and turns and seemingly hopeless situations.
Our family has read it and it a book for children, teenagers and adults alike.
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on 26 April 2016
Vivid characters held me in their thrall for the whole length of this book. To say I devoured this tale would be an understatement. To go into too many details would spoil the many delicious surprises the authoress has hidden in this story. But suffice it to say, Achan the orphaned kitchen boy's life is turned upside out when he is chosen to be a knight's squire. Achan is a hero I found immensely likeable. Mostly because he does not see himself as heroic at all. He triggered a gamut of emotions within me: I felt furious at the injustices heaped upon him, wept at the helplessness he felt, stood in awe of his bravery and laughed aloud at his unbreakable sense of humor.
It would be fair to say, the heroine did not touch me quite as much. Though I did warm to her towards the end of the book.
All the other characters - good, bad and in-between - were fabulously well described. After a slow-ish beginning the story flowed well and at times furiously fast. By the end of it, I yearned to follow Achan's fate and instantly bought the second book in this trilogy. I would utterly recommend this read and the author.
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on 18 February 2014
I really enjoyed the book Achan is an interesting character and I look forward to his and Sparrows adventures in the next book. I am not a teen haven't been for quite a few years,but I still found the book hard to put down, it spans the ages.I am an avid reader of fantasy and have read all the Great authors from David Gemmel to. Trudi Canavan and when looking for a book to read came across this and thought brilliant I have another author to add to my ever growing list of "must read their new books", congratulations on expanding my list.
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on 21 May 2014
Had not heard of Jill Williamson, so decided to give this a try, so good couldn't put it down. Everything a fantasy should be.
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on 24 July 2013
This is a book well worth reading, really good story and written in an exciting intelligent style. I would hightly recommend.
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on 31 July 2015
I'm going to review the entire series, since there is a big change in emphasis which ruined it for me completely. I have to say that most of book one was good, which made me buy book two, and then I felt like I had to finish the series... but if I'd know where it was going to end I wouldn't have started in the first place.

The big problem with these books is that in the end they morph from a typical fantasy story to a story of religious conversion. In the first book, the main character does his best to solve his own problems in difficult circumstances, but then the next two books contain endless drivel from all the other good characters about how all he needs to do is surrender to the will of Arman (a rebranded quasi-Christian deity). And what's even worse is that this actually works! I get the feeling that the second and third books could have been cut completely if the main character had just gone straight to the bad guys and prayed hard enough at the end of book one. Most of the actual physical action is pointless when you actually think about it. The only thing we would have missed is (one of) the woman he loves running off because he wasn't pious enough for her.

The annoying thing is that this completely robs the main characters of agency. Their choices are apparently to either convince their capricious god that they love him so he gets off his backside and does something, or to lose. Their only role in life is to be either sycophants or casualities in a religious war.

And that's even leaving aside the fact that some of the enemies would seem to have legitimate grievances. The god Arman, who we hear about at great length, appears to endorse a deeply unfair social system which is basically a theocracy ruled by a priest king. When his chosen king is killed, that same god then proceeds to blanket half the land in permanent darkness, no doubt causing many innocent deaths from war and famine in the process. The poor people subjected to this treatment only get relief by surrending to this cruel and evil god and putting his new priest king back on the throne, instead of a slightly more representative council of rulers.

I would have been much happier with this book if it had ended with Arman being killed as well so that people were actually free to build a better world.
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on 16 February 2014
I really enjoyed this book it was so different to all the other fantasy adventure stories and it sucks you in straight away and you just can't put it down. Loved it
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on 31 January 2015
Loved this series. It does have quite a strong Christian element but nothing that grates too much. The story was very exciting and the characters all well defined. Highly recommended!
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on 23 December 2014
An engaging story from start to finish, that sucks you in to a fantastic world.Beautifully written and a joy to read. Download all three and enjoy the journey.
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on 13 May 2015
There are many books out there but not many are well written. The author should be commended for an interesting tale
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