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Hawkspar: A Novel of Korre Hardcover – June 24, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lisle's unengaging second novel set in the fantasy realm of Korre (after 2005's Talyn) revolves around the mystical bond between Aaran, a veteran tracker of slaves on a quest to find his long-lost sister, and a nameless female slave whose unlikely ascension to oracle has made her all too aware of a plot that could wipe out an entire race. The young slave's transformation into Hawkspar, a demigoddess who can rearrange the flow of Time's river, requires replacing her eyes with magical stones, but her newfound abilities let her see a way to avert the deaths of thousands, although that path also means her certain death. Lisle's return to Korre is plagued by a glut of two-dimensional characters and a decidedly uninspired story line. Despite plenty of action—battles with sea beasts, cannibals, wizards, etc.—the lack of substantive characters and complex plot makes for a flat and predictable read. (June)
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From Booklist

Set in the same world as Lisle’s Talyn (2006), Hawkspar offers another perspective on the struggle of the Tonk against the conquering Feegash. The avatar of Hawkspar, the most powerful of the stone eyes used to alter time, has done what she could against the vicious slavery that brought her to her post but death to her Tonk peers. Now she must choose a successor, and she chooses for courage and defiance. Her choice and a sea captain who has sworn to find his stolen sister tell of their rescue of many captives and exposure of the plotters who would destroy the Tonk. Serious, very readable fantasy. --Frieda Murray

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Product Details

  • Series: Novel of Korre
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765309947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765309945
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,376,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Holly Lisle has been writing fiction professionally since 1991, when she sold FIRE IN THE MIST, the novel that won the Compton Crook Award for best first novel. She has to date published more than thirty novels and several comprehensive writing courses. She is currently working on the second book in her Cadence Drake series.

Holly had an ideal childhood for a writer...which is to say, it was filled with foreign countries and exotic terrains, alien cultures, new languages, the occasional earthquake, flood, or civil war, and one story about a bear, which follows:

"So. Back when I was ten years old, my father and I had finished hunting ducks for our dinner and were walking across the tundra in Alaska toward the spot on the river where we'd tied our boat. We had a couple miles to go by boat to get back to the Moravian Children's Home, where we lived.

"My father was carrying the big bag of decoys and the shotgun; I was carrying the small bag of ducks.

"It was getting dark, we could hear the thud, thud, thud of the generator across the tundra, and suddenly he stopped, pointed down to a pie-pan sized indentation in the tundra that was rapidly filling with water, and said, in a calm and steady voice, "That's a bear footprint. From the size of it, it's a grizzly. The fact that the track is filling with water right now means the bear's still around."

"Which got my attention, but not as much as what he said next.

" 'I don't have the gun with me that will kill a bear,' he told me. 'I just have the one that will make him angry. So if we see the bear, I'm going to shoot him so he'll attack me. I want you to run to the river, follow it to the boat, get the boat back home, and tell everyone what happened.'

"The rest of our walk was very quiet. He was, I'm sure, listening for the bear. I was doing my damnedest to make sure that I remembered where the boat was, how to get to it, how to start the pull-cord engine, and how to drive it back home, because I did not want to let him down.

"We were not eaten by a bear that night...but neither is that walk back from our hunt for supper a part of my life I'll ever forget.

"I keep that story in mind as I write. If what I'm putting on paper isn't at least as memorable as having a grizzly stalking my father and me across the tundra while I was carrying a bag of delicious-smelling ducks, it doesn't make my cut."

Holly Lisle

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tina_K on August 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Set in the world of Korre, same as her novel Talyn, but the book is able to stand alone.

Honestly, I was not impressed with this cover. If it hadn't been Holly's work I would never have picked the book up. It's lackluster, dull. Tor did not do her work justice with this cover art. Actually Tor didn't do much right with this book at all. Out of curiosity I looked up the artist who did the cover and he's capable of much better work. Such a shame.

The novel itself is amazing. Classic Lisle with a return to the richly developed and many layered world of Korre. Well fleshed out and believable characters and a killer story. A young woman who was taken as a slave now lives among the Osselene Order, an order that gets their power from stone eyes created by a power hungry Prince. Chosen from the ranks of the acolytes because of the strength of her secret Tonk magic the girl rises to power as an Oracle. Her eyes are removed and replaced with Hawkspar stone - destroying her natural vision and giving her the ability to not only 'see' but manipulate the rivers of time.

A young Tonk man named Arran is the best magical tracker of his kind, hunting slaves stolen from the Tonk and on a quest to find his sister who was taken years ago.

Hawkspar's magic reaches out and Arran is the one who picks it up.

There are two distinct story lines with Hawkspar and Arran and Lisle weaves them together beautifully, like an intricate dance. Point of view changes from 1st person (Hawkspar) to 3rd person (Arran) as the story progresses but it's done well and does not interrupt the flow at all. Evil is monstrous and seemingly insurmountable and the love between the two seems doomed.

Hawkspar knows she needs to sacrifice everything to save the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eluixa on July 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was introduced to Holly Lisle's writing with the first novel of Korre, Talyn. I loved it! It had richly developed characters exploring challenging(read: not for the faint of heart) themes in a well realized world...everything you might want. Since then, my wife and I have searched out and found nearly everything Holly has had published.

Hawkspar raises the bar! The Order of the Ossilenes is terrifying. Poor girls. They desperately need to be rescued. And Arran is absolutely determined to do so. What a wild ride in the attempt. Believable, perfectly consistent, or all entirely necessary for the story? Probably not. But this is fantasy. Fun, compelling, and engrossing? Yes!

I know some people will have a little trouble with the 1st person, 3rd person switching between the chapters. I didn't, though. I especially enjoyed moving back into the internal, personal viewpoint of the penitent(acolyte, etc.)

I would have liked to see the battles at the climax to be more difficult and elaborate. After all the obstacles that led our heroes into the most dangerous, hopelessly outnumbered situations (both of them), I felt like they went too quickly and easily. Of course, I didn't want the book to end, so that could be a factor.

I cried at the end...even though I knew it was coming. Ahhh...Holly!

Hawkspar is very good. It has joined my short list of favorites (Robin Hobb's Assassin series and Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series are at the top). Pick up Talyn if you missed it, then get Hawkspar!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By xenofan on September 3, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I didn't quite love Talyn, I liked it enough to eagerly anticipate reading Hawkspar, which (whilst not actually a sequel) is set about 15 years after the events of Talyn.

At first I loved this book. I was drawn into the story within the very first page. I was fascinated by the characters, by their world, but the idea of the Eyes and the powers that they possessed. I did feel, however, that the Order didn't quite make sense to me. I felt like there were such huge holes in the logic of things that maybe I missed something important. It didn't make any sense to me why people that were once slaves would be given such powerful artifacts as the Eyes. The whole concept felt totally flawed and, made it very, very difficult to accept that this world could exist. The longer this issue went on, the harder and harder I found it to immerse myself in the story.

After Hawkspar takes the Eyes, and leaves the Monastery, the book slowly began to fall apart for me. I loved the relationship between Aaran and Hawkspar, and how they both had goals that would keep them from being together. Aaran's search for his sister was touching and heartbreaking, and I really felt for his grief and his fear that he might never find her. I felt that Hawkspar revealing the outcome of that search spoiled things for me, even if she didn't say exactly how things would happen.

Yes, yes, I know Hawkspar can see the future, so it makes sense. But the author managed to find ways to keep other things from the reader. I wished she had done the same with this particular issue too.

Unfortunately, though I felt Aaran's search for his sister was a very clear goal, I couldn't say the same for what Hawkspar was up to.
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