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The Rite of Wands Paperback – March 10, 2017
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I liked the jumping between the POV of the two characters, and although there seemed to be sporadic leaps back and forth between places and time, I was able to follow along quite well without any feelings of disconnect. The author also does a wonderful job supplying the reader with the pronunciations of spells, and with Orlynd's Celtic dialect. You can tell she really put forth a lot of time and effort into the creation of this work.
One thing that I think needs improving however, is the fact that there were specific actions or behaviors of some of the characters that seemed off to me. There were a few moments when a main character performed an action that seemed unlikely of him because the information or knowledge that he had of a situation should have prompted him to act differently. I don't want to get into details for the sake of preventing spoilers, so I'll leave it there. But I did notice a few instances like this that caused either an inconsistency or a slight plot hole.
One thing that I think is very promising: I noticed, especially in Part II of this book, when the main characters who were teens in Part I are now adults. There seems to have been events in the gap of time between Parts I and II that may have changed these characters for the better or the worse, but we're unsure as they show signs of both cruelty and kindness (except for Orlynd, who seems steady and unchanging in morals and loyalty throughout), so it's difficult to tell who are the protagonists and the antagonists. At first this bothered me as I felt character development was inconsistent, but the more I reflected on the reading, I got the sense that the author intended to develop this theme that not everything is as it seems, which is very clever and unique if played out right. Perhaps that there is much that has happened in the twenty-four year gap between Part I and Part II, that will be later explained in future novels. I have a feeling that, when we read the series as a whole, we'll look back on those instances in this first book and go, "Aha! Now I get it! You tricky author who tormented me so! All this time I thought...but it turns out that... How wicked of you...but oh, so brilliant! Well played, ma'am!" The ability to cause long, drawn out surprises for the readers is what I call true storytelling talent, so I'd keep a close lookout for the upcoming books in this series!
All in all, this appears to be an excellent start to a new YA fantasy series, with solid writing skills and promising character dynamics, and I am anxious to see how it all progresses. Looking forward to being kept on my toes!
Flohr’s protagonists, Mierta and Orlynd, are instantly endearing but intricately complex as they seek their separate destinies and try to discover the truth behind their family secrets. When we first meet Mierta, he is an innocent and rambunctious, trouble-seeking 12-year-old who nearly loses his life trying to become a warlock in order to fulfill a prophecy and prevent a deadly plague that will destroy the world. As he matures into a young adulthood, he is consumed by his one obsession—to find the cure and save not only those unfortunates who have contracted the disease but his father and himself. While Mierta’s obsesses to find this cure, we find his preteen innocence and optimism being ripped away, and as Florh delves into the maturing warlock’s seemingly twisted thinking, she leaves the reader wondering at the duality of his character. The question of whether Mierta is good vs. evil easily drives the reader’s curiosity to find out which side he is playing in this dangerous game of cat and mouse.
Flohr’s other main protagonist, Orlynd, is a somewhat mature but inexperienced 14-year-old who, when he first arrives at King Francis’ court, is merely trying to find his place in the world—a world that has suddenly come crashing down upon him when his father suddenly abandons him to his demanding king. The young wizard’s coming of age is quick and hard as he desperately tries to fulfill his new role as the king’s seer, but finds himself up against a formidable group of spies and conspirators bent on assassinating the ruler and taking over his kingdom.
Flohr’s “The Rite of Wands” is a Middle Age fantasy fix for the mind, and readers will find no issue immersing themselves in this amazing tale which seems destined to become a classic. With enemies lurking all around, the plot thickening, assassins and traitors invading the court, and several more attempts to seize power and rule the kingdom, “The Rite of Wands” is a reader’s dream novel that will definitely leave one wanting more—much, much more.
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The story is populated by beautifully complex characters, among whom Mierta McKinnon and Orlynd O'Brien take the lead roles. Very few of the characters are transparent at all, so the story keeps on developing interest and intrigue as it progresses. The very fact that Mierta is so complicated and driven a character draws the reader into his thoughts and aspirations, and engages one deeply in the events of the story as they unfold.
It would be too simplistic to say that this is a story of a battle between good and evil. It may be so, but there are nuances and shades of truth and revelation, and of injustice and vindication, that obscure some elements of the characters and of the story so that the reader is never really able to foresee or predict what is yet to come. In this story, the only thing that is sure is that anything could happen.
The story finished at a logical point of resolution, although I really didn't want it to. A number of questions, both incidental and central to the story, remain to be answered in future books. I'm very keen for the next book!
All in all, this is shaping up to be the series I have been waiting for since I finished reading Harry Potter the seventh time over. It's not more of the same - the world, the characters and the problems they face are very different, but The Rite Of Wands does capture the imagination in the same fantastic, magical way.
Most recent customer reviews
My friend Connie bought your book at the Art Fair in Swartz Creek,MI.
She loaned it to me to read. We absolutely loved it. Can't wait for the next book.Read more
Had I been able to rate the book using half stars, I would have given it 3 1/2.Read more