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The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles-Book I Paperback – January 28, 2013
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Full disclosure, not my usual genre. I'm not a big fan of elves, magic spells and curses, but this book did hold my attention. It starts a little slow and it took me a while to adapt to the writing style, but once I got past the first couple of chapters, it picked up steam. I didn't really connect with the main 'elven' character, but I did like that she was resourceful and not so dependent on men for her survival like most female characters seem to be written these days.
Given the vivid world that the author created, I would have liked a little more action and less internal reflection and dialogue. There were too many parts where it seemed like characters were 'preparing' to do something, or talking about what needs to be done instead of actually doing anything. Its a little frustrating to have an environment with so much potential only to have to sift through so much down time where not much is happening.
There are also some huge blocks of dialogue from some long-winded blowhard characters. Not sure if this is common for the genre, but I kept expecting to hear "Here ye. Here ye." every time a male character opened his mouth. Also, it's third person but the POV seems to shift focus between characters at different points. That was a little distracting.
There was even sex... most notably some elven sex, which if you'd told me that going in, I would have passed, but the author actually did a good job with it.
What I liked most was that the author wasn't afraid to let her imagination run wild with the details. The scenes where one of the main characters "Dii" has to use magic spells are very well done and written in a way where I could actually see what the author was describing. A lot of times when authors write scenes where supernatural abilities are involved, you end up scratching your head and going 'huh? what just happened?' or the powers are so ludicrous in scope that you're like 'well why don't they just use that spell/power/ability all the time? The story could have been over in five minutes.' It's a real pet peeve of mine and I was glad to see that this author knew how to describe the world of magic very well.
Yet, even though she gets very creative with her scenes, I didn't see much by way of filler stuff that didn't fit with the story. I felt like everything was done for a reason and that too is very rare.
I was a little bummed at the ending, mainly because it seemed a little drawn out, but it is a series and she made sure to leave a nice set up for the next book.
Overall, this book entertained me and I enjoyed the read. I was leaning toward 5 stars, just because I did get caught up in the story and the world the author created, but some of the technical stuff took away points.
It is always interesting when a writer takes a classic fantasy figure, in this case the elf, and does something rather quite different. When thinking about the classic elf, one tends to think of a very noble, highly intelligent immortal being, who seems to possess traits and knowledge second only to the gods. They are a race that all other races in one way or another are envious of. While this story does have some of these themes, essentially most elves in this story are “bed-slaves.” They are considered property, lowly figures that aren’t to be admired or sought after with the exception of satisfying one’s cardinal lust. So immediately when I began reading this I knew I was in for something quite a bit different to what I was use to.
This book dealt with themes that I had read about before, but deals with them from a different perspective. So for example the theme of a slave escaping or being liberated, when this occurs a slave normally does something of their own choosing that is clearly influenced by their time as a slave. Having recently read Walter Rhein’s Reader of Acheron, I shall use his character Kikkan as a contrasting example. Kikkan was essentially a labor slave, he was used to plow fields and the like, so his most useful trait was his strength, when he took his own freedom he began to use his strength to accomplish tasks of his own choosing. Dii, being a sex slave was eager to choose her own “lover.” It is the same theme of liberation but presented from two very different angles.
I’ve never been a big fan of erotica for the simple reason it doesn’t really interest me. Most erotica has a very specific purpose in mind and is meant to entertain in a very specific way. For me that is where this story outshines most of the erotic genre, it is rather quite clear that Alex Butcher has a genuine love for the fantasy genre.
I am not talking about how one “loves” fantasy because they are a fan of a song of ice and fire but haven’t read anything else in the genre. I mean no offense to anybody, but that is the equivalent of saying you love sea food because you love a particular crab cake a certain bakery sells, but have absolutely no interest in any other seafood. I am talking about a real affection for the fantasy genre has a whole, not one tiny corner of it.
This is first and foremost a dark erotic story, filled with plenty of scenes of sex, both consensual and often not. Dii is sexually desired by most males in this story and that is the biggest theme, but not the only one. Beyond the erotic aspects there is an interesting world and story taking place within the pages of this book.
I found the aspect of magic being illegal most intriguing, I particular liked the quest of Archos, why he was interested in Dii beyond her obvious beauty. The mythology of the Arcane realms I thought was as well presented as a lot of fantasy books I have read. The witch-hunters were capable villains, Lord Joset, the man who once “owned” Dii was a particular vile character.
This story is dark and gritty, but through all of it the author manages to obtain a subtle sense of hope, while never compromising the brutality and wickedness of her presented world. This certainly isn’t a world without heroes, but much like Dii a lot of them are victims of circumstance.
As I said in an earlier paragraph, this goes beyond simply being a stock standard erotica and tells a compelling story, one that I personally enjoyed reading.
Most recent customer reviews
In an unjust world where elves are enslaved and abused, hope arrives in the form of the indomitable elf mage named Dii'Athella.Read more