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Evensong's Heir (Songbirds of Valnon Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- ASIN : B00CD7AW4M
- Publication date : April 14, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 950 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 348 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1484100530
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,447 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As for the book itself: It would have benefited from slower pacing, and lingering a bit more to let the reader get to know the characters and the setting a bit better. It feels a bit like a lot was cut down or trimmed out, leaving it feel like what should have been two books crammed into one. Baird excels at hitting emotional beats, but the rushed pacing breaks suspension of disbelief in some parts, and when the author misses, it feels all the stranger because the author's displayed she knows how to do it well at other times in the novel and leaves it feeling somewhat incomplete.
The relationship between the protagonists also rubbed me a bit the wrong way. The helpless effete uke and capable, angsty seme dynamic never did anything for me, as a queer man, because relationships - even BDSM Dom/sub relationships - rarely play out that way IRL. I couldn't relate to either of the characters as men. They are clearly written as a female yaoi (Japanese M/M romance manga) fantasy. This is fine if you're into yaoi, but I struggle with that particular kind of relationship in fiction.
On saying that, I think this is a solid little fantasy book in most respects, and certainly hooked me in until the central climax. The worldbuilding is spectacular and the book is worth reading for that alone.
If you like coming-of-age stories, read this book. If you like music, read this book. If you like tasteful romance, read this book. If you like same-sex relationships treated like they ain't no thing, read this book. If you like fantasy and song-driven magic and prophetic dreams and politics and mysterious players and a world steeped in music and legend and mythology, read this book!
If there was anything I would have wished for, it would have been more points of view and more description of how things went from points A to B. A few times events would happen that, from one character's point of view, seemed utterly fortuitously random. The coincidence would be explained shortly after, but sometimes it made the pace of the book (which picked up considerably in the second half) almost TOO fast. Or maybe that was just me, page-turning feverishly to find out how it all ended! I would have liked to see more of Valnon, also: life in the city, how the average folk went about their lives. The same with a few of the villains, who I would have liked a bit more time with to understand why they made the choices they did.
In summary, this is a great book and the only thing wrong with it is that I want more of it. Cannot wait for book 2. :)
This is not just a romance. This is not an action novel, or a political novel. This is not the standard good vs. evil, and the side characters are anything but second string. This is an ensemble cast with a little bit of everything that comes together in a masterful whole to satisfy every taste. Even though Evensong's Heir wraps itself in a good stable place by the end I selfishly want more of these characters and more of Valnon and her people, and the "Book One" on the cover cheers me immensely - it means there's more to come!
The short version: Read this book, you won't be disappointed.
The long version: If you like non-fantasy-standard magic, if you like worlds with history, if you like knights with integrity and snappy dialog and a brisk but unhurried pace, if you like tasteful romance and intriguing politics and coming-of-age... You owe it to yourself to take a chance and read this book.
There's pretty much everything you could ask for: action, adventure, mystery, romance, and political intrigue, and it all works well, without one element overshadowing the other. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
Top reviews from other countries
The worldbuilding is wonderful, I love the vast setting and it's history and how it slowly unravels while reading - maybe a bit too slow at times, all the names, titles and events in the past are a bit confusing at first, but once things got rolling they were awe inspiring.
The plot is full of political intrigue and felt entirely fresh and breathtaking - not a single twist or turn was predictable, but always perfectly installed and smoothly integrated with previous details.
The writing is good, both the prose and poetry (or rather the lyrics), no passage or sentence felt out of place, and I was frequently moved to tears.
There's romance, but it's not dominating the plot, rather a side development between two of the big cast of believeable and diverse characters.