dinsdag 30 juni 2015

Fiona McIntosh: Royal Exile


Royal Exile is the first novel in the Valisar Trilogy. It took me quite some time to find all three of them. Normally I wouldn’t buy the whole series before reading at least one of the novels. But this time it was different for two reasons. I read a series by Fiona McIntosh before and I enjoyed that a lot. I bought the third novel very cheap and that buy made me go and search for the first and the second part. Which I eventually found over the course of a few months.
This one has 390 pages.

“From out of the East they came riding like a merciless plague—destroying kingdom after kingdom and the sovereigns who had previously mocked the warlord Loethar and his barbarian horde. Now only one land remains unconquered—the largest, richest, and most powerful realm of the Denova Set…
The Valisar royals of Penraven face certain death, for the savage tyrant Loethar covets what they alone possess: the fabled Valisar Enchantment, an irresistible power to coerce, which will belong to Loethar once every Valisar has been slain. But the last hope of the besieged kingdom is being sent in secret from his doomed home, in the company of a single warrior. The future of Penraven now rests on the shoulders of the young Crown Prince Leonel who, though untried and untested in the ways of war, must survive brutality and treachery in order to claim the Valisar throne.”

This novel was a disappointment.

It has great potential but it doesn’t live up to the expectations I had.
The series has a very intriguing villain; Loethar. He has merits; he has a few good traits, or traits that change for the better throughout the novel. Nothing is simply black or white; the way it is in a lot of Fantasy. Here, there are all shades in between.
Almost every character is important. There are no characters without a purpose. And I like that. It was one of my complaints in my review about Game of Thrones; too many characters that serve no purpose and are just there to make the novel seem grander than it is.

But the story is slow, too simple and straightforward and lazily told with convenient plot twists.
A wooden dialogue makes everyone sound pretentious (especially the teenagers) and unconvincing. The interactions between the characters are awkward because of this.
And I don’t care about the characters. I was surprised to find so many of them killed, but it did not bother me.
I want to care about the characters!

I’ll surely read the second one because I own it already, but we’ll see after that.

Happy reading.

Heaven, I'm in heaven...