Protector (Anniversary of the Veil, Book 1): Volume 1 Paperback – 24 May 2012
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About the Author
Vanna Smythe is the author of the Anniversary of the Veil fantasy series. She has been writing creatively since her early teens, though one could say her creative writing efforts started long before that. While still in kindergarten, she once tore up a library book to make alphabet soup, and has been fascinated with what words can do, the pictures and worlds they can create, ever since.
Top customer reviews
Princess Issiyanna (Issi) is the Beacon, one of the people needed to reinforce The Veil and a group of Keepers cross The Veil to abduct her and lead her to her purpose.
Kiyarran (Kae) has wanted to be a Protector all his life. He is a young man with powers that have not been seen for many many years. He is determined to rescue Issi.
That this is a first novel by Vanna Smythe is quite astounding. She not only tells a wonderful story with characters you can't help but care about, she also brings her world to life. The developing relationship between Issi and Kae is brought on steadily and at a pace that fits well with the story - when they are happy, you are happy for them, when things are going wrong you ache for them to be ok.
The secondary characters also bring something to the story. The Priests, who are the main power in Issi and Kae's world are mainly devious types with only their best interests at heart and their 'asassain branch' The Pure Ones are a particularly evil creation.
This book has certainly left me wanting more and I look forward to the next installment eagerly.
I had hopes for this book from the offset but I could never have hoped it would be this good.
I found the start extremely confusing. I like prologues, especially mysterious prologues, but this one was a little too mysterious to be interesting. Once I met the character Kae, however, I found the story to be much more enjoyable.
I like Kae, although he came across as a bit cocky to me sometimes, and I find myself reading for his and Issa's relationship conclusion (or at least I hope.) He also seemed to come by things too easily. (Winning fights (physical or otherwise), finding the princess, blocking out intruders etc. I would have liked to see him struggle some more.
I might sound picky but I love fantasy books. While the whole term fantasy pretty much says an author can make up whatever the hell they like, the food choices didn't sit well with me. Fried chicken just isn't fantasy.
I found the dialogue repetitive at times, resulting in, me as the reader, feeling a bit clubbed over the head with certain points. I feel some of the dialogue would have been better phrased another way or written in prose, as in some cases a character is telling another something they already know. Normally a person would say "Continue as normal" or something and not explain in such detail and have the character nod since he already knew this. Not a major criticism for most people, but I feel this is what stopped this book from being so much greater in my eyes.
Overall very enjoyable. Now onto the second!
Smythe has presented her readers with a fairly long prologue, but it does instantly put you in the middle of the fantastical world Smythe has created. It is full of intrigue but plenty of attention to detail to give the reader a wide view of the location the novel is set in. Smythe does have a knack for depicting landscapes throughout her work, described as both beautiful and desolate at the same time, with complete clarity and a refreshing tone.
Moving on I found the events of the novel interesting, the pace again is consistent and enjoyably fast, but I also felt that Smythe's work was lacking in its ability to not only grab my attention but also hold it. However readers please do stick with it, as it does get better! By chapter 20 I found, for the most part, each character had come into their own and my attention was fully grasped and it didn't let go until the final chapter closed.
In her writing of High Priest Rhaldan, the priest's role and beliefs often get lost as Smythe concentrates heavily on effectively conveying a more sinister side of Rhaldan. This isn't to say Rhaldan isn't supposed to be filling this sinister role- but more that when in one paragraph Rhaldan plots hero Kae's murder, yet in a following paragraph the reader is privy to Rhaldan's inner reasoning of protecting the Kingdom and the "greater good".
With so many factions within factions I found it difficult to pin point which side of the Veil I should have been rooting for. That being said I enjoyed the development of Kae and Issa's relationship, the intensity and pace was pitched perfectly amongst the unfolding events.
Overall Protector (Anniversary of the Veil, Book 1) was an enjoyable, laid back read. The action was exciting; the story was interesting and the romance both sweet and believable. I have high hopes that subsequent novels within this saga will prove to be more developed, more intriguing and explain further this `Life force' which is a driving factor throughout the story. Anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction or young adult romance should give this book a try.
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