Community rating: 4.6 - Order now!

Community review by larsgarner

We are happy to find out what our readers think about the Vivian Amberville book series by and like to share their experience with everyone else. Therefore, we encourage everyone to read the reviews and post your own. Below, you find the 3 star review by larsgarner.

overall good story

3 April 19, 2021

Long-form fantasy book, has a certain appeal to it so I get why it's famous, but it also had things I personally disliked. Will start with the cons:

- book takes a long time to "get going". while it was fast-paced, the story only started to get more epic in end of part2 and part 3 throughout.
- characters are well-developed but nothing special. don't get me wrong, there are some memorable characters like the Hole-in-the-Wall, the Artisan, the Gold Mask Man (villain), Acciper, even some side-characters, but the main character, who is a teenager, kinda pissed me off. I mean, I get that she suffers from an anxiety disorder, but it kinda pissed me off she was not the "conventional hero" and that her powers come from her grief and suffering. yeah, somewhat cliche.
- I know this was under the genre of "philosophical fantasy" but sometimes I found the language too difficult. If you're a native speaker, it will be a breeze, but if you're like me, you'll struggle with some words.

pros: - good story, bordering on great
- fully original fantasy world(s), weaponry and magic system (all based on imagination)
- symbolism, imagery and overall pacing are on point
- it has some pretty memorable moments that make its "cult following" status warranted
- stays in your head. you'll think about the story long after it's gone.
- well-written interwoven plots and storylines
- although part of a series, the first book could be a standalone. it wraps a lot of things up and leaves just enough for future installments
- the themes and philosophical ideas invite deep thinking. sometimes a second or third reading is required to find all the clues.
- cool style: fluctuates from funny to dark to tragic with the snap of the fingers
- slow buildup to an epic grand finale ending (takes a while to get going, but the ending it epic. see the cons)

3/5 recommended, but although the author herself is a linguist and you'll see a lot of made-up languages in this, she's no Tolkien fer sure.