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House of Blades (The Traveler's Gate Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 294 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
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4 for very good (definitely read a series or try another title by the author)
3 for enjoyable, 2 for I finished but wouldn't return soon and 1 for please don't waste your time
This was a solid 3 and I finished all books in the trilogy before writing. No spoilers, no content relating to the story here.
- Unique and original settings / worlds
- 'Some' interesting characters
- Some very good scene sequences
- Easy reading
- 'Some' not interesting characters and fillers
- Inconsistencies in statements about characters or environments throughout the book
- At times, reads like a YA title especially with some statements by characters (which sometimes seem way out of place)
Not a bad read and was interested enough to finish all 3 but wouldn't say this is close to a 5 star or even a 4 star title. What kept me drawn in was the unique way to achieve greater skills, the primary character and one of the secondary. If you try the first, the 2nd and 3rd are very similar. If you don't like it, it doesn't necessarily get better, just an extension of the same style of writing.
However, let's get some hyperbole out of the way. This book isnt a patch on the Malazan series, ok? Steven Erikson's work is on a different plane altogether, and perhaps only Brandon Sanderson's books come close. But that isnt a knock on this book - very few books match up to the tale of Mezlas.
Taken on its own, this - as well as Book 2 - is a very enjoyable and fun read. The action is fast-paced, the characters are interesting and have shades of gray (none of those Goody Goody Good Guys and Brooding Skulking Evil Types), and the story is a relatively original take on the coming-of-age tale. This isnt a deep, brooding fantasy with pages and pages of worldbuilding - it is a relatively straightforward, action-oriented tale, but with enough twists and originality to keep you guessing.
I finished the 2 books one after the other, and am now eagerly awaiting the third. Strongly recommended for someone looking for an engrossing but relatively easy-reading fantasy.
Spoilers (general theme)
This is the tale of Simon, who as young child must witness the murder of his father and torture of his mother by two 'travelers' (beings with magical abilities). Years later his village of Myria is savagely attacked and subsequently his mother is murdered by a similar evil agent. In an attempt to escape capture he is separated from his two friends (Alin and Leah) as they flee Myria. The story follows all three characters (Simon predominately) as they attempt to seek those responsible for the destruction of their village and the killing of their friends.
The Pros and Cons...
1.) well written with a style similar to Harry Potter in the sense that this outwardly appears to be a purely Young Adult (YA) tale, but the reader quickly realizes that there is more depth here than initially meets the eye.
2.) although there was some character development (especially Simon), this was a tale built and driven by sustained action orientated events.
3.) I liked our main hero, Simon, as he has some endearing traits... courage, justice, a sense of right and wrong, and touch of humor.
4.) overall the work featured some great battles, an interesting magic application, several intriguing settings for some new and inventive horrors and finally, a sprinkling of some subtle humor throughout. All in all an entertaining blend of components that simply and plainly... worked really well together.
5.) it appeared to be well edited with few, if any, grammar/spelling errors. Also the prose had an smooth flow and easy readability to it.
6.) cover art... dark and eerie, reflective of a setting within the story.
1.) no map... granted, this type of tale which employs magical transportation gates to other realms doesn't lend itself well to having a map, but there was significant 'real world' travel that could have benefited from a map. Maps, to me, are the icing on the cake (so to speak) that carries a really good book (like this one) another step up the ladder towards greatness. A personal, subjective opinion I realize.
2.) all action driven stories tend to develop at the expense of character development and thus is the case here. Besides Simon, and maybe a little of Leah, there was very little in-depth 'personality' seen in the other main characters. I hope this will change in the next installments as it is very hard to sustain a great story with action alone, because it really is the characters that make a story memorable.
Some thoughts on "House of Blades"...
Simply one of the best fantasy adventures I've read this year. Although YA in appearance this will appeal to any adult reader who liked books of the Harry Potter ilk.
It is heavily 'action' orientated and I just hope the author sees fit to give a little more character development emphasis to Alin and Leah in subsequent installments.
As it is... 4 1/2 Stars