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The Perfect Player Paperback – October 26, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Kimberly Grenfell (a.k.a. Devon Winterson) has been an avid reader of fantasy books since childhood, and has studied creative writing and editing both on her own and through college and independent classes. Since 2008, she has been a line editor, a contributing editor, and an art director for Writer's Beat Quarterly, a free online magazine for The Writer's Beat writing community. Kimberly has contributed several articles to this e-zine under the regular features "New Writer on the Beat" and "Mechanical Snippets" to help novice writers understand and master the craft of writing and its mechanics. She has also served as an acquisitions editor and line editor at a small publishing company for two years.
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Top customer reviews
"His lips met hers, and Marisa leaned into his kiss, savoring it. Sweet. Tender. Passionate. Forbidden. Future lifemate chosen in secret. What would Abigale think ? Indeed, what would Father? A leader governed by example, after all, and for an heir to knowingly break Mynaen law, well . . . it was considered crude, brazen. But Tayib’s touch, months absent, erased all reason and shoved aside consequences. Bothersome mould. Really, forced chastity to satisfy a centuries-old mandate? Rubbish."
Marisa must find her inner strength when her world changes. She also must learn to recognize good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, as well as the shadings between them.
Devon Winterson offers an epic dark fantasy. The Perfect Player (The Caendorian World) is not for the faint of heart.
And I do mean what a world. Kimberly Grenfell (a.k.a. Devon Winterson) has something that most writers wish they possessed: the ability to construct an entire imaginary world with ease (I imagine she’ll be laughing at this point—ease, ha!). But the fact is that Caendoria feels so incredibly real that I can’t imagine anyone not becoming immersed within the pages of this book. Seriously.
Now, there were times when words were merely ornamental trappings that escaped the chopping block, probably because there’s nothing wrong with them other than being sophisticated language. For the average fantasy reader, this will be reminiscent of the days of high epic fantasy. This book is not a hard read, but it’s not beach material. There is layer upon layer of complexity without it being a complex read.
A few key terms were highly overused, but in the realm of fantasy, sometimes we have no other way of saying something if that imaginary world negates the use of anything else. For some reason, I feel like it might have come off less repetitive if the narrative were in first-person perspective. Repetitive thoughts sound more realistic when you’re actually in the mind of the character.
This is not for kids. At all. Dark fantasy means dark fantasy. As a fantasy reader, I don’t usually travel over into the sub-culture that is dark fantasy. However, as I said, the world is well constructed and immersive. Also, the characters are fascinating, even the bizarrely twisted and insane ones.
All I can say is that this book is definitely worth a read, whether you typically enjoy fantasy or not. Kimberly is a phenomenal writer. Writing is a craft, one that you can definitely see she’s been honing for years. Although this book is part of an upcoming series, the story has a beginning and ending on its own. I highly recommend The Perfect Player as a throwback to the days of high fantasy. This is truly an epic story. I’m excited and look forward to the next book in the series.
Winterson drew me in from the first page, where we witness an act of rebellion when Marisa of Mynae sneaks to the wood to meet with her secret lover. The tumbling conflict that starts with this meeting carries the reader through the book with perfect pace. The conflicts are intense, fantastical, and mysterious—I feel as though I'm reading a mystery-fantasy cross-genre. The dialogue is well-done, and nothing, not even the flesh-eating demons, is done without the extremely stylistic poise that Winterson manages.
There are a slew of different characters, and each voice is unique and believable. I feel that Donovan is really the voice of a man in turmoil over the responsibilities between his kingdom and his daughter. Marisa is truly the voice of a young woman overwhelmed by a world she can't fully comprehend. Lamont is the voice of a real villain—creepy beyond words. The way Winterson writes all these characters with their own unique voices is incredible. The language is her own unique, descriptive version of English. It's a deep, rich read and on par with J.K. Rowling as far as unique worlds and characters.
You won't regret diving into this one.
It’s a long book and it took me some time to read it because there was a lot on information I didn’t want to just pass along.
Devon transports you into Caendoria and it’s so real, so vivid that you forget were you are and you live in this magical place.
The story and its twist will blow your mind; the characters are so well written that you’ll hate and love them, be frustrated by them, feel their pains and their successes (to the point that if I even meet someone named Lamont I think I’ll slap them!).
The heroine grows with every adversity, you can feel her pain and her joy, Marisa is a character that will drive you insane with some decisions but she has her strong personality and won’t change to abide to any clichés.
I believe Devon Winterson is a new author to look for, her next book will be about Eden and I can’t wait! There are so many characters I would love to know more about and Eden is definitely one of them.