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Fae - The Wild Hunt (The Riven Wyrde Saga Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 344 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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