The Cursed Ground 1 - The Child-Stealers (The Edhai) Kindle Edition
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This is a very good start to a new series. It's a historical fantasy book based on Genesis. This is what kind of lured me to read it. And then the blurb reeled me in with the mystery of the kidnapped children.
The book starts off with the introduction of the people of Till. Then it slowly expands to show the other people and their customs and habits. The book is too short to fully showcase each people's strengths and weaknesses but it does a great job of highlighting the needed elements to let me follow the story. This book is totally about the Till, Boon and his journey to get back his sister, Jewel from the kidnappers. The people Boon meets and his interactions forms the backbone of the book.
I was totally immersed in the book from the start of the story. Each element of the book adds to the overall story. The emotions of Tillmen and the people of Last on the destruction and plundering and the attack on their loved ones had me invested in their struggle and victory. The book is well written with good world building. I see that the author has given much thought to the world of the book and it is clear in the detailed descriptions. But I felt that the characters weren't given that much attention. I hope the next book would have more detailed characters.
The scenes followed each other well with no obstruction in any place. The pace was fast as I was plunged into the kidnapping at the beginning and it didn't let up till the end. It was a bitter sweet happiness at the climax. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the sequel would shed more light on the remaining questions raised during this book. Though the book shed light on the people involved in the kidnappings, the other questions like why are the children being kidnapped and who is behind it ( the mastermind ) , where are they being taken and the most important one, the importance of the mark on the kidnappers aren't answered yet. So the author hasn't let up on the mystery yet. Hopefully they will be answered soon.
I liked Boon with his leadership qualities and his courage to go after his sister. He obviously is one of the protagonists. I am thinking that he won't be the only one. We will see how true that is in the sequel. All other characters are kind of blurred and they don't stand out much though they add depth to the story.
Good thing I have the next book at hand to read right now, else I would not have been able to withstand the wait. While I am reading the sequel, I am expecting historical fantasy genre lovers to give it a try.
My rating : 5/5
My reread factor : 4/5
Floryie @ http://thebookdrealms.blogspot.com
This isn't my kind of thing, usually, not sure what you'd call it -- whatever Lord Of The Rings is, that same genre. Maybe that's why King wanted my opinion -- I read widely in most other fiction genres.
That said, King does a good job focusing on the storyline, and not getting bogged down or distracted by rabbit trails and unnecessary diversions. That's my main problem reading this kind of fantasy literature, the story usually seems to be an excuse for a lot of heavy-duty social preaching, and there's page after page of unnecessary prose dragging the story down to a crawl.
Refreshingly that's not the case here. King takes some time to get comfortable with the narrative, but as it's the first part of a multi-installment saga that's understandable. Stick through the first part and the story hits a comfortable groove soon enough and develops a good, well-paced rhythm.
And he does focus on story, another plus. Okay, maybe there are a few too many characters, but that's probably a personal preference, I understand most readers King's aiming at like large casts of characters. King manages to draw fairly sharp portraits of those he needs to focus on, wiithout cluttering up the pages describing minor characters (another quibble I have with fantasy literature in general).
The story itself is a good blend of action and adventure with a larger, cosmic message that doesn't sound forced. King opens with a well-written scene of a child abduction that sets the narrative hook -- many writers would futz around for page upon page before getting into the actual story, King doesn't waste your time, but sets a strong narrative interest early on to get you through the back story to follow.
Then, yeah, okay, there's some futzing around with characters and tribes, but, well, it has to be somewhere in the book, and it's handled as efficiently as possible, then we're off on the suspenseful chase without undue delay.
Overall a better than average effort from a new author (new to me, I understand he hasn't published much else but maybe I just missed it), who is writing to entertain you with a thoughtful, interesting story, not to listen to himself describing scenery or yammer on about the ideal societies. I'd buy the next installment after reading this one. A worthwhile read for the price.