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Lady of the Haven (Empire Princess Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I very much enjoyed the story of a forrest/elite girl caught between two worlds. I understand that yearning for freedom that fairly leaps off the pages! I was drawn so deeply into this story that I felt like I was Stacy...driven to search and find her place.
The drive to find new lands, to go where no one else has been, I swear this story had my heart pounding in my chest at times! I look forward to continuing the adventure with Stacy, Elias, and Casca.
The only issue is this book needs another run-through with an editor. There are a few misspelled words that are a bit jarring.
Other than that, it's a solid 4 stars!
The overall scope of the world has expanded to where there is a new continent discovered and explored by the characters. The denizens of the new continent are all hostile to one another. There are the Nomads, a barbarous group of savages that prey on the civilized people of the new continent. There are the city dwellers, civilized humans residing in shalas, who must defentd themselves against the Nomads. But then there are also the beast-men, creatures that resmble yeti-like baboons. These subhumans prey on both Nomad and Shala-denizen alike, and do not discriminate in their predations.
In this book there are elements from other Diamond stories. For instance, the baboon-like "things" are similar to the Baboon people of his novel Thief of Kalimar. The long journey by ship to another land, and the trials and travails encountered en route is also borrowed from the same book.
The central character is Anastasia "Stacy" AKA Khalea to the wolves of the Haven. Stacy in discussions with a white wolf is influenced to seek out the continent that he comes from. With preparations made, the expedition is launched and after an arduous journey, the people of the Empire of the Haven make landfall in a cove at the cusp of winter.
The motivations of all the characters are extremely realistic. Each one responds to his or her own problem(s) and in the end is able to overcome them. Central to this plot is Stacy. She is the glue that holds the expedition together while also bringing into the fold the white wolves of the new continent to the side of those of Satra Shala against the Nomad barbarians. She grows from an impulsive risk-taking idealist at the beginning of the book to a mature leader that binds the expedition to her even as leadership is thrust upon her through unexpected injury to one of its leaders (Trevor). Stacy also posseses a ruthless and seductive guile as well, using her feminine wiles to dupe poor Kral the Nomad into slipping out of his clothes, thereby turning the tables on the hapless man, brutally slashing him as she makes her escape.
Although I have already read the second book: The Dungeons of Kuba, I plan to reread it before I continue on to the third book in this series (Fourth, If You Count The Haven As The First Book).
Why only Four Stars? I feel the first part of the book should have been truncated. There was no need to build up the character of Elias as he sought out the pirate-smuggler, Krebbs. Although somewhat interesting, it was not neeeded, nor was it necessary for us to see Krebbs be executed via the gallows. That made me feel a bit queasy. In the end, however, the rich detail of The Haven and Rhonnda and later Satra along with all the other tertiary groups earned this book Four and Half Stars.
Buy this novel and you will not be disappointed.
A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.
This book was good, but a little too descriptive at times. Also, the first half went too slow compared to the second, so maybe I'd have shortened the first 150 pages.
The heroine was likeable, as were the 'romantic interests' (if they can be called that, as there's not much romance in this book). What i hated the most was the whole 'everyone likes her at first sight', except the antagonist, of course. The rest of the characters were fine and felt real.
I found the plot very interesting, as this is how I imagined Colón must have felt when he traveled to what he thought was India. The strong heroine just made it that much better.
This is a book I'd recommend to adventure lovers who don't care much for romance and can't stand drama.