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Prophecy Hardcover – January 2, 2013
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Oh puts her knowledge of Japanese history and her training in law to excellent use in crafting this high adventure featuring a female bodyguard who can see dimensions beyond our mortal realm. Kira has been an outcast in her medieval world, except to her father, a general; her loving mother and brother; and the royal family, whose young son she is assigned to guard. But she is an excellent, brave soldier and cannot be ignored when the king’s army is routed, and the prince must be taken to a safer place. Even as Kira pursues her certainty that there is a traitor in the king’s forces, she aches for her own mother and to be relieved of decision making that affects the lives of others. The supernatural elements here are more folkloric than fantasy-tinged. At the core of the story is the exploration of human traits, which leads to an exciting climax and an ending that clears the way for a sequel. Excellent for those who enjoy Lensey Namioka’s YA titles. Grades 7-11. --Francisca Goldsmith
"The author's exploration of Kira's realistically complex identity is compelling, and the themes of self-acceptance and self-worth are strong. While clearly a coming-of-age story, at its heart, this is a true adventure novel. The characters are well drawn, the plot is both well conceived and fast moving, and the ending is just satisfying enough, while still leaving readers ready for a sequel." --School Library Journal
"Oh puts her knowledge of Korean history and her training in law to excellent use in crafting this high adventure featuring a female bodyguard who can see dimensions beyond our mortal realm. The supernatural elements here are more folkloric than fantasy-tinged. At the core of the story is the exploration of human traits, which leads to an exciting climax and an ending that clears the way for a sequel. Excellent for those who enjoy Lensey Namioka's YA titles."--Booklist
"Newcomer Oh launches... a fantasy trilogy equally grounded in Korean folklore and the epic Western tradition of quest adventure. With its historical setting and focus on adventure, the story should have a broad appeal, including to even younger readers, though there are some scenes of moderately graphic violence. With solid pacing and dialogue, it's a promising start to this trilogy."--Publishers Weekly
"Fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling (2008) will be drawn to the despised warrior princess; fans of Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix (2009) will love the setting."--Kirkus
"What an adventure! I fell in love with the lush, richly woven world of PROPHECY. Kira is truly a force to be reckoned with. When I finished my journey with her, all I wanted was more. Spectacular!" - Marie Lu, author of the LEGEND trilogy
“Prophecy grabs you from the start and never lets go. Oh has written an exciting debut that promises more fantastic adventures to come.” (Cindy Pon, author of Silver Phoenix)
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I love a flawed protagonist and Oh's cast is full of well developed characters. The book is steeped in Korean culture from the their relationships to each other to the weapons and fighting techniques. It was great for me, as a martial artist, to see the exact moves that Kira and others performed, something pretty rare in action stories.
The writing overall reminded me very much of the few kdramas I have seen in both dialogue and prose!
All in all, I look forward to WARRIOR, the next in the series, as well as following Oh as she comes into her style and brings us more exciting books.
The main characters were okay, although I think Kira could have used a bit more personality aside from the kicking butt skills. It doesn't seem like she does anything else aside from fighting and protecting the royal family.The main cast also consists of mainly men and all the women --aside from Kira's mother-- get painted in a negative light. Of course, all the ladies in court hate her and make fun of her and she doesn't have a single friend aside from her brothers. I'm glad that at least her family didn't hate her guts.
Also, for someone who was practically raised to protect the prince, she is incredibly incompetent at protecting him. She constantly leaves his side when they are being attacked to fight the attackers. Listen I'm not a body guard, but you kind of need to stay by someone side when they are being attacked in order for them not to be killed. What, does she think the attackers will wait in orderly fashion to attack, or just not attack him while she fights them? Not only that, but she constantly allows him to accompany them into dangerous situations in which he may be killed. All he has to do is throw a tantrum and she bends. Listen, maybe if he was fifteen or sixteen fine, but the boy is twelve. He is incredibly immature and spoiled. He is also the last of his line, so maybe instead of letting him go on a dangerous mission, you-- Oh, I don't know, lock him up, throw away the key and put guards every two feet. But no, she lets him come, and of course, he gets captured, threatened with death, and she of course is subdued. Who the hell left her in charge?
The secondary characters were so static, that I honestly had trouble telling them apart sometimes. I did like the romantic interest and the slow progression of their relationship as they earned each other’s trust.
The novel starts off great, but I feel like the quality of writing deteriorates from the beginning to end. In fact, if I didn't like the story as much as I did, I would have most likely stopped reading. For one there is way too much telling and not enough showing, the details sort of ebb away, and we are just told "They succeeded. Kira felt happy now."
Also big spoilers but: I don't get why Kira has a tiger spirit and ends up being the dragon masado, why doesn't she have the dragon spirit? or would that have been too obvious? I mean it was obvious that she'd end up being The One, but really?
The story was interesting, but the characters could have been better defined and flushed out.The writing could have used much more editing towards the end as well. I’m not sure I want to read the rest of the series.
It's nice to have women routinely be heroic these days, but even after thirty years, it's awfully hard for any author to top Robin McKinley's books. Ellen Oh isn't at that level yet.
Most recent customer reviews
I've been hearing great things about Ellen Oh's books for years now. I've been wanting to read one for a long time.Read more