- File Size: 4721 KB
- Print Length: 344 pages
- Publisher: Fallen Leaf Press (March 9, 2014)
- Publication Date: March 9, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00IWOW2Y8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,587 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Fae: The Wild Hunt: An Epic Fantasy Adventure (The Riven Wyrde Saga Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 344 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 12 - 18|
|Grade Level: 7 - 12|
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First off, there was way too much description for my taste and it slowed the story down terribly. I started skimming descriptions half way through the book. Not that they were done poorly, they were just too drawn out for me. I’d also say that the writing and proofreading got a tad bit lazy towards the end. There were repetitive words and, sadly, I noticed quite a few quotation errors and incorrect commas. It seemed to get worse the further in I got. Or maybe I just noticed it more.
If I’m being honest, about 70% in I thought about putting it down. I had lost interests, I wasn’t invested in the characters, and I didn’t feel like the story moved at all. But I had a tiny bit of curiosity gnawing away at me so I skimmed until about 85%. I must say the ending was great. Really great. Seriously enjoyed it. I’d been following what I consider to be 3 main story lines and they came together in whirlwind of action in the last part of the book.
Though I didn’t feel invested in any of the characters, Devin was my favorite. I was more curious about his storyline throughout. He faced more adversity than the others. I will say that the story of Kloss dragged for me, though I did like him. I think that’s probably my problem with all the characters. Their stories were slow in evolving and I wasn’t invested in them enough to enjoy a slow moving plot. If I had latched on to any of them, I wouldn’t have minded the slower pace. Matter of fact, I would have loved it.
Overall, I think this was a book meant to submerge you into the lives of the characters, but besides Devin, the others didn’t go through enough hardships for me (personally) to be invested. And while Devin did, I think I just wasn’t in his mind enough to grow attached to him. Or maybe his reactions kept me at a distance.
I was also slightly confused on the timing of everything. At one point, I find out that we’d skipped five years. I’m fine with that, but I’m not sure when the other 2 story lines jumped. I would have liked a break or label to show me.
I’m curious about the second book. I’ll pick it up one day because book 1 left us with a cliffhanger. I mean, a serious one: ending it right at an action scene. So if cliffhangers bother you, you might want to wait until you have the second book in hand.
Overall, I think the ending and Devin saved this book for me. If you do pick it up, be prepared for an interesting, slower evolving plot, a few grammar issues, and a sprinkling of lengthy descriptions (said by a reader who doesn't care much for descriptions). If by chance you connect with one of the characters, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy spending chapters with them. It’s a decent way to pass some time and I don’t regret reading it in the slightest.
There are a couple of sex episodes in the book, but Mr. Austin-King presents them with a few deft, broad strokes which create the scene but which do not interfere with the plot. I have waded through dozens of Kindle books with the same dreary, cookie cutter, cliched sex scenes which are nothing but filler. This book is a very nice change from that boilerplate writing.
The book is divided into three story arcs. The first follows Devin, a young boy who escapes his abusive father with his mother only to be orphaned in a chance encounter with the fae. The second follows Kloss, a would-be Reaver who wants to prove his metal as a warrior. The third beat deals with Selena, the intelligent wife of a completely incapable Duke forced to deal with a looming crisis.
Graham Austin-King has a gift for making evocative archetypes so you really feel you're living in Devin's village and experiencing plausible, if not realistic, life in the Middle Ages. The little bit of realism like domestic squabbles, unrequited love, and other business grounds the story better than many stories. Here, the plucky young hero doesn't win the girl over the rich jerk because that's just not how life works sometimes and the story is all the better for it.
The politics in the book are surprisingly clear and precise yet intelligent as well as realistic. There's the Continent full of rich farmland but poor in warriors while the pseudo-Vikings have poor land but plenty of warriors. What this means is obvious to any historian as we see a full-scale invasion which has the potential to destroy the region, or at least depopulate it of anyone but Bjornmen. The locals are capable of putting up a much bigger fight than they first appear, though, which is good since too often it seems like these invasions just roll over everyone who resists.
I think the book could have benefited from a little story-tightening with keeping the perspectives always from Devin, Kloss, and Selena or even less but I never stopped enjoying the stories. I also think the tale made Kloss a bit unsympathetic as it's hard for me to care about his story when he's butchering and murdering innocent farmers as part of his journey to becoming a "real man." I doubt it will happen but I hope he gets slaughtered by the fae or some of the farmers he's trying to kill during the next couple of books.
The Fae, themselves, don't appear until much later in the book and I tend to view them in the same manner as I do the Others in A Song of Ice and Fire. They're interesting monsters, true, but I prefer the conflict among the humans. I could easily have seen this as a story purely about the invasion of the Bjornmen. Despite this, I like the depiction of the Fae who are treated as mysterious, alien, and cruel.
It's difficult to say who I enjoyed the most of the main characters. Devin is fun but I didn't much care for his entitled attitude toward his love interest. She's moved on, Devin, let it go. Kloss is a very cool protagonist but loses all sympathy once he becomes a murderous brigand. Selena has a very interesting story but it just doesn't have enough appearances in the books to talk at length about. Despite this, I loved them all and can't say which story should have elements removed to let another shine. The characters' flaws make them interesting and even when I'm wishing them ill, I'm appreciating they're not shining paragons of justice and wisdom.
In conclusion, this seems like an excellent series and I'm eager to read the rest of the books. While lacking in the sex, violence, and profanity so common to grimdark works--I think a lot of fans of the genre would enjoy this.
Top international reviews
Heavily male-dominated cast is a little disappointing and hearkens back to more 'archaic' fantasy typical of all that was available in my childhood. I hope that this changes as the story progresses; would be good to see more strong female characters (beyond the mothers and girlfriends of the main men).
Overall, one of the better fantasy books I've read for a while. I love the expert blending of cultures and beliefs that could be so akin to our own. Did we forget the 'old ways', to our peril...? Who are the real enemies and who are the 'good guys'?
I'm adding this after having decided to try book 2. It got better, pehaps 3.5 stars, so I purchased book 3 which was definitely 4 star.
There are several characters and plot threads running through this book, which all build up towards a stunning finale. Warning: it does have a cliff hanger ending, but a very successful one that leaves you wanting more.
Like the work of G.R.R. Martin, there is a welcome lack of black and white in this novel. None of the characters are 100% good or bad. In fact one of the most sympathetic characters, Kloss, is from a warlike race of raiders.
Overall, this is a great debut novel, which will take you on a fantastic journey into a believable and complex new world.
Kloss (an islander) is from a viking type background, his desire is to be am oarsman and reaver (a type of soldier who lands by ship in a different country and pillages for resources before bringing them back home) and Devin a boy from Kavtrin on a journey with his mother to escape an abusive father.
Meanwhile the boundaries which have kept the Fae from our world are breaking down.
The book develops the characters as they age and then Austin-King weaves the stories together for a dramatic finish.
Very well written, great character development and two good plots coming together for a good ending although Mr Austin - King a bit of a cliff hanger at the end!
And whilst this is not by any means a Pratchett-type novel I see similarities between it and Pratchett's Lords and Ladies (another exploration of the idea of the fair folk being mean and vindictive). And obviously there are parallels to be drawn with Tolkien's Middle Earth - the most complete yet familiar world ever created in fantasy fiction.
Graham has created some beautifully well-rounded characters who you are interested in and want to support - in fact there are so many that it's difficult to pick one to focus on. The story is perhaps a little slow at time but it's obvious that foundations are being laid for intrigues and intricacies in the sequels. The reader's realisation that the lives of the individual characters are actually all entwined is brilliantly done and you find yourself reading one account of an event and desperately wanting to know how other characters viewed it.
If I had one very very minor criticism is that the first chapter doesn't appear to bear any relevance to the rest of the story - aside from introducing us to two characters whose lives go off in very different directions. The characters themselves are obviously vital but I couldn't help feeling that their background could have been dealt with in a half-page summary in a late chapter. But again, maybe that background will have relevance later on. (if it doesn't, I'd knock off 1/2 a star)
I'm waiting for the next instalment - but could we have a glossary of names ? Or maybe a map (without wanting to get too close to Tolkien!)
I like the fast paced story but find the jumps between scenes a little too harsh at times. I also like the lack of sentiment about characters, once they've done what they were needed for they are allowed to fall. However, the shock is lost eventually and I end up wishing it wasn't happening so much. There is no shock when it's happening to everyone.
I'll read the other books in the set, to find out where the story goes. In some ways, this entire books feels like just an introduction for the actual story and, if so, it better be a good one to make it worthwhile.
I have to be honest; I was surprised and really enjoyed reading the story. It has to be one of the first books where I genuinely was rooting for characters that would end up enemies if they met. How could I choose between Kloss or Devin when the storyline brings both of these characters to life?
The majority of this book is dedicated to providing the back-story to these two characters and the world they live in along with other major supporting characters. It’s only really the latter part of the book that introduces the Fae and what they will do but this should be covered in the next book. The only disappointing bit was where the story suddenly jumps several years without warning.
The writing is descriptive enough for you to become immersed in the story and elements seem to be pulled from many different sources, either other stories (It would be a rare fantasy novel that didn’t have any similarity to those that came before it) or from folklore. That said, the differences are enough to make this book stand alone and not just be a rehash of others.
The story itself can be very dark at times so don’t expect it to all be nice happy families!
I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series and hope that Graham’s storytelling ability continues to grow.
As I said, a great read which I would highly recommend.
I found the constant switching between very different strands at the start, a trifle disconcerting, but a little patience is well rewarded as they start to weave together.
I took this on holiday with me and finished it in a day and a half, and was left immediately wanting more. My only question is... how long do I have to wait for the next in the series!