- File Size: 591 KB
- Print Length: 254 pages
- Publication Date: January 4, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00B5I2K1I
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,295 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$0.99|
|Print List Price:||$12.50|
Save $12.50 (100%)
Mark of the Mage (The Scribes of Medeisia, Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 254 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Here's what kept it from a higher rating: It didn't engage me and I grew a bit bored. A lot of things were fairly predictable. We've all read this kind of story before. I also found it hard to believe that she was a good combat fighter.
Here's what kept it from a lower rating: While the story is a familiar one to us, it wasn't told horribly. Sure, it could have been told better, but compared to what is out there it wasn't bad. The narration didn't read as if it were being screeched in my head. The editing was okay as well.
The lore behind the two kingdoms is different. I looked at the reviews for the following sequels and it appears to get better and better; people say they were emotionally engaged. Since this book failed to do that for me, I probably won't be continue to be a bystander in this story.
Up until the ending I would have given it five stars, but Ryals made a plot choice that absolutely made no sense in the situation (for those who've read the book, I'll discuss it in detail below*), and caused me to lose my comfortable trust in her skills. Still a book worth reading, and I'll try the next entry in the series.
Why on earth would it make sense for Stone to give herself up to the king when the chances of running into a family member who could give her away were so high? Why would she depend on her father, one of the king's closest advisors, not recognizing her? Not to mention that her boy disguise would have lasted two seconds in real life. And why did she think she could get the crucial information and then get it back to the rebellion? There was no plan beyond "get captured and see what happens." These people were too bright actually to think such a dumb idea would work, and the author only barely made it work by giving them an unplanned dragon escape route. It's just not good writing to make your heroine/savior's continued existence depend on a fluke. I just hope there isn't any grasping at plot straws in the rest of the series. . .
My first pet peeve was that it was narrated in first person. Only the prologue was written in 3rd person and it was so refreshing, but then it drops into the first person passive aggressive voice of Stone, the heroine. I almost deleted it the first chapter because 1st person jars me personally. It's like watching the world through a toilet paper tube.
But fortunately for us it works for Stone, who is privileged with a gift where all nature communes with her, and we hear it through her ears and see it through her eyes since it is a singular experience. But aside from her gift, there isn't much that stands out about Stone. She is your typical smart heroine with bravery and hurts but no human flaws that we can perceive. It makes her rather one dimensional. The rebel leader and the dragon prince are much the same genre of tortured hero and snarky but brilliant prince who has lived for an age. The most interesting characters to me were the stalwart falcon, the noble wolf pack leader and the gentle forest with a sense of humor.
The attraction between the heroine and her suitor are just fed to us, leaving nothing to the imagination. For a girl who'd lived a sheltered life with no experience with them you'd think she'd be more wary of men instead of just throwing herself at them. It was men who ripped her world apart, after all and who painfully branded her a criminal.
There is nothing entirely noteworthy about these characters; I'm not thrilled with having to follow them, and I wouldn't care if they died, but that would certainly destroy the plot so I predict they won't. To me, that says everything about the depth and quality of the lead characters.
Perhaps the author wanted to portray her as an intuitive who leads with her heart, but it gets a little old reading hundreds of pages about a heroine who consistently wears her heart on her sleeve and needs a man to define her own strengths. It seems like everything is fitting into place as expected because it was where the author wanted to take us, and we could see that from miles away.
For a first person narrative, the writing style wasn't god-awful, for once, which is why it wouldn't be fair to rate it lower than a 3/5 because I didn't hate it and the pace flowed evenly. But the sentences are clipped and too short for a sophisticated adult audience and it's painfully obvious it was written for a younger audience with a shorter attention span. So it would be too generous to rate it over 3/5.
Given away free to entice you to purchase more but so short it surprised me when it ended. Yes, I wasn't paying attention to where I was in the book. I won't be buying the next book, I really don't have time for books that aren't great.
Now that I have read about 10 of these free books, here are are the issues I have with almost all of these "free" books and their sequels. They are written at a high school level and are very short. The 2nd book in this series is $2.99 for 289 pages which is better than most (usually you get around 150 pages or less). But, being a digital book I expect better pricing than a paperback. New paperbacks usually cost around a penny a page. This paperback is currently listed at $10.49. Who pays $10.49 for 289 pages? I think that is just to make the $2.99 look good!