Book Review: King (Books of the Infinite: Book 3)

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Well, that was an interesting ending. I’ve now realized that though this is a series, each book could be a stand alone except for the fact that Ela and Kien’s relationship grows and changes as the stories progress. It was a good conclusion, but not what I expected. I just feel like it needed something more.

Akabe Garric is now something he never wanted to be: king. He’s a warrior, and he has never faced the responsibilities of being king. To prove to himself and his people that he is up to the task, he sets his sights on rebuilding the Holy House of Siphra. But if he wants the land he will have marry a worshipper of Atea, a idol. What should he do? The Infinite doesn’t answer. So Akabe makes a rash decision that sets off a course of events that may lead to the destruction of Siphra. Ela ponders over whether it is the Infinite’s will to marry Kien. Kien faces a trial that could lead to his exile.

Ela faces more suffering and sadness, but she is stronger and has more confidence in the abilities the Infinite gave her. Kien is put through sadness, anxiety, and suffering unlike anything before, but he’s prepared to follow all of the Infinite’s commands. I must say, it felt like Ela and Kien’s relationship as friends to something more very quickly. It felt rushed. So I loved the direction it went, but I didn’t like how it was done. Akabe is probably my second favorite character after Kien. I was really happy to see more from his point of view. I connected with him well and I felt his struggle to make the right decisions. And I understood why he made the decisions he did, even if I didn’t necessarily agree. Caitria was a great new character that I loved from the beginning. She is shy and afraid at first, but she develops so much to become the lady who can handle the responsibilities she’s given.

The book moved very fast. From one moment to the next, the characters were always in danger. There were assassins, battles where the characters were way outnumbered, kidnappings, and more. It was certainly not boring. For me the ending just wasn’t very satisfying. It was good, everything was resolved amazingly, but I felt that there was something missing. But maybe it was meant to be that way.

In every book, at least some of there characters visit a new place. This book visited Aeyrievale and Belaal. It was refreshing and fun to see how unique each place is. The descriptions were really well done. It was easy to imagine.

I’ll recommend this to older teens. It is a beautiful allegorical book with a fantasy feel. I don’t think this allegory is my type of thing, but don’t dismiss this book because of me. Give it try, you won’t regret it.

-G. Paige

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Book Review: Judge (Books of the Infinite: Book 2)

Rating: 4/5 stars.

So…I liked this one better than the first book. Probably the reason is because there seemed to be more of Kien’s point of view instead of Ela. The one before had focused mostly on Ela.

On the first day of military leave, the Infinite tells Kien to go to ToronSea and lead the people back to the Infinite before they stray too far. This is not what Kien had planned to do. He wants to court Ela, not go to some far off place where they may kill him as part of some ritual. There is no choice but to obey the Infinite. Meanwhile Ela is given a vision that shakes her to her core. Parne has turned away from the Infinite and is now in danger of suffering terrible judgement. She feels that she must go to warn they before it’s too late. Pulled apart, they go their separate ways, hoping the Infinite will bring them together soon.

Kien is my favorite character in this series. He is very humorous and makes many mistakes, usually with good intentions though. He also, to his detriment, speaks his mind quite freely. Ela is kind and caring, but so sad and in a way angry. She’s given the hardest task she has ever faced in this book, but she follows the Infinite all the way. Akabe is probably in second place for being my favorite character. His is a king who never wanted to be king. He is sarcastic (even more so than Kien), but kingly when he wants to. He follows the Infinite’s orders to the letter, even when he doesn’t necessarily agree. Tzana was like a flower that fades away. She was sweet, but didn’t play much of a part.

This was a faster plot than the last one. Ela is sent to Parne where the people have rejected her and hate her with a vengeance. So with a feeling that her death is near, she heads into the thick of danger. She suffers so so much. Kien is sent to ToronSea. Definitely not where he wanted to go. He makes some big mistakes and is put in worse danger than before. Only by the Infinite’s mercy can he be saved. Forever on his mind is the danger Ela is in and that he must save her. He is in love.

There is a big battle. So much death and heartbreak is poured upon her and her family. Suffering becomes a part of everyday life. Danger is at every turn. It was pretty exciting. Sexual abuse was hinted at and almost happened.

The parallels this and the Old Testament is very prevalent. It is very allegorical and I wonder if that’s the reason I don’t care for it as much as other people. I don’t think it’s my favorite type of genre.

I’ll recommend this to older teens for some of the content. It was a great allegory, but I’m not sure if that’s my thing. We’ll see how the next one goes!

-G. Paige

Book Review: Veiled Rose (Tales of Goldstone Wood: Book 2)

51rvKT3snrL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Rating: 4/5 stars.

I’m sorry to be the odd one out, but I didn’t get into this as much as Heartless. I dragged through most of it. Maybe it was because I had forgotten stuff from the first book, so that I didn’t make the connection until I was reading something random about Heartless. But once I got closer to the end…it was great!

Rose Red has a secret. A secret that has her living in isolation in the mountains with nothing but an old man she calls father and her nanny goat. But then she meets headstrong Leo, who quickly becomes her friend, when no one else would. Together they play and search for a monster rumored to be in the mountains. But their trust in each other is tested when something more real and terrifying than anything they could imagine, comes to their land.

Leo, oh Leo. I must say, he was one of my favorite characters. His humor and his temper were fun to watch. There was times when I disliked him and the decisions or actions he took, but that made him more real. People have faults; they make mistakes. Don’t you at some points dislike real people? So when I disliked him, I still considered him one of my favorites. I’m glad to watch him learn from his choices. And I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of that in the coming books. Rose Red was…interesting. I didn’t connect with her very well, but she was still really great to read about. I loved how far she was willing to go to keep her promises. I enjoyed watching the way she and Leo conversed together. It was so cute and sweet.

I thought about the first half was slow. I just couldn’t get into it, maybe because the characters were so young at the beginning and it kind of put me off. I’m not sure, because there was plenty of mystery to keep a person interested. But it did pick up speed towards the end and there was so much action and danger. I started to worry for a bit! What a conclusion! It was kind of sad. Thank goodness there is more to this series.

The tale switched between Leo and Rose Red’s point of view. Randomly, there were a few other points of view that added intrigue. This book went through a whole decade and more of time, but at no point did it get confusing. I still felt connected to the characters even after skipping over years of their lives. I have to say, that is quite an achievement.

This is a perfect blend of fantasy, fairytale, and allegory. I’m just beginning to realize how allegorical this series is. I don’t think I realized that in the first book. This is for all the people who like this kind of story. You don’t want to miss it.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Prophet (Books of the Infinite: Book 1)

Prophet-TP_Cover(PH).inddRating: 3/5 stars.

I’m not exactly sure what to rate this book (or what I think about it). It was good, don’t get me wrong. But it didn’t really connect with me and I’m not totally sure why.

Ela of Parne can’t imagine why the Infinite would want her, a mere girl, to become his prophet. But after experiencing his presence, she can’t imagine being anything else. She takes up the sacred vinewood branch and sets out with her little sister, Tzana, leaving Parne and everything she ever knew behind. Soon she is in the land Istgard, a nation falling apart at the seams. They have abandoned the Infinite for other “gods”. She wants to turn them to the truth. But will anyone listen? To top it off, Kien of Traceland is thrown into her life. He wants to enact revenge on the king of Istgard or die. Can she help him? Throughout everything, Ela wonders, when will she die?

This was very interesting and I quite enjoyed it. It had the action, the adventure, the danger, and a bit of romance. Ela was so sweet and felt so real, if you know what I mean. She seemed really natural and realistic. Kien, oh I loved him, was hilarious and such fun. He was so strong and had a lot of spirit.

There was just something that didn’t “click” for me. The last sixty pages or so felt like an add-on from what I had thought was the main plot. Then I never really connected with the characters much. Well, I think I connected with Kien pretty well. Also, I haven’t read many allegorical books. So maybe allegory just isn’t my thing.

Above all that, I still really don’t want to scare you away from reading this. It was really great, and I still want to try to the next book. Maybe it will work out better for you than me. Or maybe I’ll enjoy the next book more, I don’t know.

I’d recommend this to anyone who really likes allegory. Christianity is very prevalent, but not definitely overwhelming. You will probably enjoy this more than me.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood: Book 1)

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Rating: 4/5 stars.

This was a beautiful fairytale with quite a twist. I positively loved this book. The only reason I wouldn’t give this book five stars probably was because it was very fairytale-ish and I don’t think that is my favorite type of story.

Princess Una of Parumvir is now eighteen and so will soon marry a man who has come to “pay his respects”. She has dreams of a handsome and charming prince but the first to come she considers stodgy and boring. The Prince of Farthestshore has come a long way to prove his love to Princess Una; Aethelbald will not give up. He also brings dire warnings of a dragon coming to Parumvir, but is ignored for all his effort. Soon Una gives her heart to another prince, so when the Dragon King himself arrives, she is in mortal danger along with all of Parumvir. Will anyone come and risk all to save her and Parumvir?

So, you see, it sounds and is very much like a fairytale. But it has such a twist (that started about halfway through the book) that made me really like it. It was a really really good book. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of it. There were a few twists (as I’ve already stated) and turns that surprised me more than a bit. It had plenty of danger and excitement that was just wonderful. The romance, ah, was so sweet. It was such a perfect “good” book. Do you know what I mean? It had that happy calm feel throughout most of the book

I do wish the author had explained why the Prince of Farthestshore loved Princess Una so much, because, to me, it felt like she never did. Besides that, I really have no complaints. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes fairytales and/or fantasy. It is fantastic! I’m very excited to read more from this author.

-G. Paige