- Series: Children of Nalowyn (Book 1)
- Paperback: 420 pages
- Publisher: Kristell Ink (January 4, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1909845337
- ISBN-13: 978-1909845336
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,544,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In Search of Gods and Heroes (Children of Nalowyn) Paperback – January 4, 2015
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now
'Smith shows great potential in this tale that opens with death and demons and propels us rapidly into divine conflict.' - Mark Lawrence, author of The Broken Empire Series
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Sammy H K Smith is simply an excellent story teller. I admire her work and hope one day to be as well tuned to the craft as she is. Thank you, Sammy for writing such an entertaining novel. I am happy I had the privilege to read it.
“Good to see you, Adders! Dragons are going to help then, eh?” The cat stood and stretched.
“Yes, a female hatchling will be joining us soon to fly us to Linder.”
“Female, eh?” Sheiva’s interest was sparked. “Didn’t think the old lizard would send one of his ladies.”
“Apparently she is the closest, and the fastest flyer in this region, although I have been warned she can be a handful.”
“All dragons are a handful, the females are just a little more…fiery,” The fae snickered at his own joke.
I am looking forward to the next book in this thrilling series.
Before I say anything else, let me tell you I spent a good hour agonizing over this book and what to rate it. I've never felt constrained by my rating system before but I definitely do now! I'm just so conflicted. On one hand, the complexity that this author built up in 420 pages is astounding but on the other, there are clear areas of improvement kept this from perfection. If you couldn't tell, I have a lot to say about this book so strap in!
1. The characters. This is the area that I was most conflicted by. There is a healthy cast of characters that each have their own feelings and perspective. I loved getting to hear from each of the characters and their interactions are spot on. The issue I had, though, is the lack of backstory. It's hinted at (and briefly explained) in various portions of the novel in a broad, sweeping sense, but not on a personal note which kept the character's themselves feeling slightly vague and shadowy. The characters were anything but flat (Nathan especially!) but they are very murky which really bothered me.
2. The romance. I'm not sure how I feel about this. There's a very clear love square defined by about the first third of the book (and by love square I mean three guys interested in one girl). I'm very much not a fan of love triangles that are done in the wrong way but if they raise good questions for the characters, then I'm all for it. In this book, I don't see that happening very much (the two closest guys are both doing the typical 'I want to love you but I'll corrupt your soul/I swore an oath of protection and not love' deal which isn't very valuable. There is a question of lineage brought into play, though, that makes it more valuable for the MC (Chaeli). So overall, the romance is a meh for me.
3. The setting/world. I have a complicated relationship with this aspect as well. While the world is lush and rich, it isn't terribly well-defined, like the characters. There's a map in the beginning which was truly appreciated but I do wish there was a little more of an introductory period or a bit of help from the internal dialogue of the characters to explain some things (like the orientation of the different countries and which ones were countries and which ones were just cities and what land forms are where; that sort of thing). It's all included in the map, but it's nice to be reminded of these things now and again so you don't have to keep flipping back to the map. This is entirely personal preference but I'm kind of an impatient reader. Despite this, I think the world-building is the author's strength in this novel.
4. The POV's. This is one of my favorite parts of the book (along with the world building). We are given so many different perspectives that reveal our unreliable narrators and their personal lenses that they see the world through. The perspectives aren't labeled but you're able to figure out who is speaking within a paragraph. The voices are distinct although some of the character vagueness does carry over. Mostly, I enjoyed how many angles of the story we were able to see. I'll talk about this in the next section, but it also helped move the plot along and keep the tension up. If you just saw the story through only a few of the perspectives, the plot wouldn't be as engaging because there is so much happening behind the scenes. The book is slightly political which means there's plenty of backstage maneuvering.
5. The plot. And last but not least, the plot. As I said above, once you get past the halfway point, the urgency seems to die down from a couple of the POV's but it picks up in others which keeps it going. There's the typical action plotline, the political plotline, the romance plotline, the godly plotline, and the list goes on and on. The author does a stellar job of keeping them all in balance and weaving them together so you don't get too overwhelmed and everything ties together nicely. You have to use a little brain power and surmising but take it from someone who enjoys mysteries on a regular basis: it isn't too hard to keep up and any inferences you make are carefully guided by the actions of the characters. It may not seem like the author is leading you in a certain direction until you realize that you ended up exactly where she wanted you to be. I admit, it sounds strange, but it's exactly what mystery writers do when they write their endings.
The Final Verdict:
While I do have a complicated relationship with this book, the plot, POV's, and world-building are stand-outs with their complexity and finesse. I do wish the characters and the overall orientation of the world were a bit more defined.
So, what is the book about? Chaeli, who thought she was an ordinary girl before she lost all her family, now finds she is a demi-god and either the daughter of the Prince of the Eternal Kingdom, or the Prince of the Underworld. Both are fighting for her, but not everyone plays fairly. On her shoulders rests the outcome of a war between the two princely brothers and to help her decision she has three companions. Adley is a crusader, an champion of the Eternal Kingdom, who is in love with her and shouldn't be. Nathan is a former assassin affiliated to the Underworld who is trying to break free and also is enthralled by Chaeli. The third is a shapeshifting fae, normally appearing in the form of a talking cat and one of my favorite characters.
Other people are tied up in the outcome and have their part to play. How all this ties together will be revealed on reading the book. Very highly recommended.