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As the Crow Flies: An Epic Fantasy Adventure Kindle Edition
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|Length: 357 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The journey is full of surprises and entanglements which leads to the introduction of many support characters. These consist of sorcerers, ancient ghosts from the past, the wise but foolish sidekicks, the young innocent, the hypocrite, the religious fanatics, the followers, the common enemy and the cannon fodder. This enables scenes with the usual magic, mayhem, mythical creature’s, unanswered questions and fears, displays of vulnerabilities, weaknesses and strengths of character. There are demonstrations of purity of goodness and the other end of the spectrum of humanity. Great action sequences secrete themselves throughout the story, where usually the hero ends up the worse for wear.
There is equal balance between plots and the plethora of characters where they are infused into a world that is rich and inviting for the reader to explore. The introduction of the self narrating was handled expertly and then seamlessly throughout the story it transfers from narrative to descriptive to conversational writing styles in no particular order. The expert word building and sentence structure allowed for the styles to blend so well, there are enough voice, tone and delivery differences within each of the characters to allow for delineation.
The intellectual, emotional and aesthetic qualities of the writers’ style allowed for great flow and rhythm for this story, with time rich bantering between the main characters, infused humour and wit with some laugh out loud moments.
The characters all maintained their likeability especially as friendships grew, first out of necessity, then from respect and finally from compassion, warmth and love. The journey within this book showed human failure with social and moral issues, at times mirroring today’s plights.
It was easy to be drawn in and feel part of the story not just an observer. Well written, very enjoyable and waiting for the next adventure of the crow and his trusty sidekicks.
Be warned, the plot isn’t terribly unique. A thief is blackmailed into helping a baron so as to save his kidnapped love. So why did I love it so much?
First and foremost, I can honestly say I loved the voice of Crow. That’s what drew me in. That’s what made me want to keep picking this up. So that translates into a very well written book, in my opinion. The voice of Crow was addictively funny and solidly consistent even as his character grew during his travels. I loved the dry, cynical, realistic, clever, selfish, selfless, and sarcastic nature of Crow, which played wonderfully against Tanris’s altruistic personality. The two had a sort of chemistry that worked together. It wrestled quite a bit of smiles out of me.
The other part of Crow’s character that I much enjoyed was his vulnerability. He had fears, and I love that in characters. I love to see them break down and not always be the stalwart heroes standard in fantasy books. Tanris had his moments as well.
Sadly, I had the plot figured out from the get go. I had already foreseen quite a few turns the book took. I don’t think many jaws will drop at some of the revelations. That’s not to say the book wasn’t enjoyable. Again, it was Crow’s voice that kept me entranced, not necessarily a complicated plot. Also, there were some definite slow parts. The farther along in the book we got, the more I noticed lengthy descriptions popping up. That’s not to say they weren’t there in the beginning, but since some of it is slow, I noticed these descriptions a bit more toward the end. The journey Crow takes is quite long. There’s some adventure in it for sure, but it is long and therefore slow in some parts. But the more addicted I became to Crow, the less and less I could put it down, even through some slow sections.
The world isn’t terribly complicated nor explored in depth. For me, I read for characters so it wasn’t a hinderance for me at all. However, those into heavy world building probably won’t find satisfaction in this book. What we were given was clear and simple and fit my tastes just fine.
I have high hopes that there might be a sequel. This is not part of a series, but I would love to read another adventure of Crow, Tanris, and Girl (yes, that’s what they call her for reason that would become clear if you decided to pick this up). Speaking of her, I actually quite enjoyed her character. I found her humorous in her own way and she added some comical moments to the book.
So overall, I would highly recommend reading the entire sample available on Amazon. If the voice of Crow appeals to you, I can’t recommend this enough. It was long, but fun and witty with a nice dose of adventure.
My husband, daughter and I compared notes after finishing the novel and we all agree that, while the story contains many expected elements - wizards, dragons, demons, thievery, hidden passages, arduous journeys - it differs from your typical Young Adult novel in that Crow's personality development is gradual and believable. Too many YA books spend most of their pages with an obtuse and immature main character who has some sudden, life changing epiphany within the last 20 pages. Crow starts off as an untrusting (and untrustworthy) smooth talking braggart who gradually develops a richer personality and meaningful relationships. Lythgoe possesses a youthful joy of storytelling paired with an adult understanding of how people and relationships mature. Her editing is excellent - the story manages to move along at a good clip while still including lots of important and sumptuous detail - and Crow is a delight to spend time with. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
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