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I have enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to what happens in the next. There is so much going on in the story and I definitely didn’t see the twist at the end. Definitely recommend this if you want a good fantasy story with plenty of intrigue and a strong heroine.
I’ve been on a bit of a Kate Avery Ellison binge lately. Which somewhat surprising, but in a good way. Usually I can only read one or two of the same author in a row before needing a break. However, Ellison is able to craft a narrative that cannot help but draw the reader in. And it appears she has a habit of leaving stories with the reader wanting to know what comes next. Ordinarily this would be annoying (and probably is if you have to wait months for the next instalment), but with Ellison it so how works.
A Gift of Poison is fairly standard fare for a fantasy novel. A group of heroes fighting against the odds to defeat a big bad. Nothing revolutionary, but why mess with a tried and tested formula? I will say, I was constantly expecting Kael to be revealed to be the prince, so was surprised when this doesn’t appear to be the case, even if I called the traitor from the moment they were I introduced.
Not thrilled with the abuse themes in this book and how everyone around Briand blames her for the abuse. That's seriously twisted and wrong, but never gets addressed. I also had a hard time with her lack of fighting back; it wasn't a statement of strength, but almost an acceptance of her victimization. Also twisted. I also think abuse victims gain some survival skills out of necessity so I expected her to read people better and have more of an instinct for avoiding traps and blows. At the end of the book, I feel like she has accepted people as friends who participated in her abuse or have it tacit approval by doing nothing to stop it, and all without any of these men having changed. While I agree that Briand has maturity to gain, I don't like the message that her abusers get to be forgiven because she's changed; it implies, again, that the abuse was her fault.
I will give book 2 a try, but if the victim continues to get blamed for the abuse, and continues to be abused, I am going to be very upset.
This was a good book. I love how Briand has a strong personality despite the way she is treated. I like the way the characters are introduced to us. It did however lack a certain character development. Maybe that will be something for the next books in the series? Like I said, it was good and I would like to find out more, but I was not completely sucked into the book. I will read the next book in the installment though because there were some elements that piqued my interest. I got a hint of something more between Kael and Briand, how will the dragonsayer-thing play out,...?
I really admire this author and the way she writes. She has a excellent vocabulary and way of describing scenes. This book series is interesting, and I enjoyed this first one thoroughly. However, I will admit I have a hard time with the main character. I almost have to steel myself before I begin reading, because Briand can be so angry and immature. The uncalled for agression and bitilchiness gets really tiring and draining on me personally as a reader. I feel bad for the way she treats other characters, specifically the ones who are nothing but nice to her who she must just be jealous of. Other than this quirk, I absolutely love everything about this book. It is certainly worth reading and is absolutely addicting.
This brilliant fantasy adventure unfolded with mesmerizing scenery, engaging characters, and a whirlwind of events that captivated me from the very beginning. I was extremely impressed with this independent author's first novel in her Kingmaker's War saga.
The kingdom of Austrisia is divided. A usurper, traitorous king sits on the throne while the rightful prince hides in the shadows awaiting the day he can win back his throne. But to Briand Varryda, that fight is not hers. She has always been a guttersnipe; unwanted, unloved, and unremarkable since her father's death. With her uncle's constant torture and with one last misstep causing her to be banished and probably killed, Briand takes a chance to save her cousin from death. What she didn't know, was that her cousin was a sympathizer for the hidden prince, along with the steward, Kael, an old druid named Drune, the soldier Titus, and the tutor Nath. Her reckless action has made her the dragonsayer, a rumored power that makes her indispensable to the rebels and a threat to the king. Her choice is to go with the Monarchist rebels or be killed by the king's men. And if Briand knows how to do anything, it is survive.
Following Briand and the troupe through the lands of Austrisia, the world building and depth of history the author unfolded was phenomenal. Briand is rash and impulsive, always quick to fight and react, but ultimately so desperate to be loved and belong. Kael, the leader and close friend of the prince, is detached and resolutely loyal to the cause. Together, they are equal parts fascinating and aggravating in an exquisite way. I loved seeing the glimpses of Briand's hard outer shelf get chipped away a little throughout their journey when she allowed herself to care for the people around her.
The story was fast paced, engaging, and ended with a definite need to know the rest of Briand, Nath, and Kael's story. I can't wait.
I was happily reading along (sometimes while walking along, which in turn turns into running into things), minding my business, enjoying the well developed characters and scenery and plot, and all of a sudden, the story ends. Just stops. Yes, the small plot is concluded, but there are bigger things afoot, and I for one, wanna know what happens next. There is no mention of this being part of a series, so I spend a few minutes stewing..... then I went into stalker mode and scrolled through the author's facebook page, and lo and behold, there's a post that she's working on a sequel. Hallelujah! But truly, this is a well crafted book, I just might have waited til the story was complete before reading it. (patience is not one of my strong points)
ARC. At first I was hesitant to read. Not saying the summary didn’t sound interesting, it didn’t capture my attention. So when it came up as an ARC I gave it a try. Best decision I made. It’s a quick read, but the pace of the story keeps up (not sure my thought came out the way I intended it to). Just read the book and grab the rest of the series. That is my next plan.
This is a great book! The book description does not do it justice. It is filled with adventure and intrigue and has great character development. Dragons are up played in the description, but hardly physically make an appearance in the book. If anything its about 99% talk about dragons, 1% actual dragons. If you are looking for a book with a focus on actual dragons, this might not be the one for you. Otherwise, I would highly recommend this book to anyone.