- File Size: 3851 KB
- Print Length: 346 pages
- Publication Date: July 10, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01IALGCDE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$7.99|
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The Woven Ring (Sol's Harvest Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
The book’s structure does something a little different by flipping back and forth between flashbacks and the present with each new chapter. This type of structure can be risky due to the potential to come off as expository and/or clunky, but it generally works here, as it helps to expand upon the vast backstory of the world as well as provides key insights to the heroine’s character.
Speaking of characters, it’s refreshing to see a female protagonist in a fantasy novel, especially one with a darker, serious tone. Marta feels retable and sympathetic during her early scenes with her family, and her character’s trajectory over the course of the narrative is complex. She may come across as cold, distant, and even on the verge of psychosis (all of which make sense given her backstory), but there are some satisfying emotional moments with her, and by the end her journey is worth experiencing. Also, her brother, Carmichael, is an appropriately detestable SOB, who is equal parts loathsome and extremely capable. He makes for a great villain—due in no small part to his very personal connection with the protagonist. His effectiveness could be why he feels underused to me, but I’ll say it now: if he is the primary antagonist in the next book, it can’t get here soon enough.
The one qualm is that this is obviously meant to be a much more vast work than a single book (in case you didn’t gather that from the title), and as a result, the narrative does not feel like a complete experience, instead opting to try and strike that difficult balance between providing a sense of satisfaction and continuing the story. But depending on one’s preference, this may or may not be an issue, and the overwhelming majority of fantasy novels attempt to do this very thing. So if you like the genre, this in no way should cause you to hesitate picking this one up.
All in all, The Woven Ring is a tasty appetizer that has made me look forward to the next course.
I absolutely love the protagonist Marta, who is tough and active, a heroine worth rooting for. We follow her story in two timelines — she’s a spy in one, and a soldier in another. Feels like a creative way for the author to introduce different kinds of momentum and energy, all the while keeping Marta consistent as a character. By the end of the read, I felt like I knew who she was. I wanted to know more.
Next, relationships. I generally find it difficult to engage with narratives that don’t have strong central relationships, and I was happy to find that The Woven Ring gave me two. Marta’s rivalry with her sister Oleander is sweet, and the mystery about Oleander’s fate kept me curious for a while. Should more than satisfy Bechdel Test junkies.
Later, Marta finds herself in an uneasy alliance with Luca, a man who cannot be trusted — easily my favorite character. There’s a real spark between them, and the tension builds and builds and builds. His mysterious, meditative, calm demeanor creates solid contrast with Marta’s brooding, loner-type construction. I’m rather curious to see how their relationship develops in future instalments.
In terms of fantasy, the novel seems to be going for more of a slow-burn experience, which might work well for some, less so for others. But the worldbuilding is rich, and my favorite fantasy element is definitely ‘breath,’ a concept that reminds me of ‘dust’ from His Dark Materials — in a good way. There’s a lot of potential here, tons of mystery about this world, and I look forward to seeing it explored in future books.
At any rate, this is a solid effort from a first-time author. Put me down for Book Two!
Wonderful example of fully realized worldbuilding, where the setting itself is as well developed as the main characters. clearly the author has a plan throughout the story, as the two storylines (current and historic) are perfectly interlaced so that the motivations and backstory of the protagonist are only slowly brought to revelation.
The "system" of magic is interesting, well thought out, and unique so far as the stories i know.
Most importantly however, this book is both rational and internally consistent throughout the storyline, with just enough mystery left to make you wonder what else is going on, while still giving you a beginning and end you can sink your teeth into.
Definitely looking forward to the followups.