7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Slow-paced but compelling,
This review is from: Spirit Gate (Crossroads, Book 1) (Hardcover)"Spirit Gate" is the beginning of a seven-volume fantasy starring circuit court judges called reeves, who fly from court house to court house aboard gigantic eagles. The setting is sort of Oriental-medieval and the action begins in a land called the Hundred, although it quickly moves to other countries and Empires. Nine super-human Guardians once protected the Hundred and dispensed justice, but they've disappeared and the reeves are on their own against some very poisonous enemies.
Then the reeves and their eagles start to disappear.
This fantasy novel is a multi-viewpoint affair, sometimes confusingly so. There are enough love stories to warrant reviews in the romance blogs as well as "Sci Fi Weekly" and "Publishers' Weekly." The life-styles of the reeves, merchant families, mercenary soldiers, priestesses, and bonded servants are minutely detailed. There is lots of sex and violence--enough to require parental guidance if "Spirit Gate" were a movie, but not enough lingering close-ups for an `X.'
Except for the monstrous eagles, there is very little magic in this first volume. The reader is treated to careful world-building, as multiple characters travel hither and yon, building relationships, and fighting shadow-armies. A once peaceful land is toppled from its golden age into war and chaos. The peasants are slaughtered like sheep. Farms and villages are set to the torch, almost with impunity, until the reeves and an outcast band of mercenary soldiers begin to organize and fight back.
I found "Spirit Gate" a little slow in places, especially when the viewpoint switched to yet another new character. I also would have preferred a few more touches of fantasy. But the eagles were magnificent, and most of the leading characters held their own against mischance and outright slaughter. I moved right into the second volume, "Shadow Gate" and read through until I ran out of pages. Hopefully, Kate Elliott is hard at work on volume III. It's usually a good sign when a fantasy series starts out in paperback and segues into hard-bound as this one did.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 28, 2008 6:06:01 AM PDT
Karen Joan says:
This sounds very interesting. I will be interested to hear what you think of the rest of the series.
Posted on Jun 3, 2008 9:54:22 AM PDT
R. Kyle says:
Haven't read it yet. Think I might like her, though.
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