For today’s Book Review Wednesday, we’re going for some old school high fantasy, complete with the lost princess and the secret magical powers. Sounds cliché, but surprisingly good!
The Falcon’s Eye
The queen of Aundour is assassinated. The Falcon’s Eye, a talisman of great power, is sealed within the infant heir to the throne, who is exiled for her own safety.
Sixteen years later, land pirate Ava is rescued from execution by a stranger who reveals that she’s being hunted for more than her crimes. Aundour’s sworn enemy seeks the amulet hidden beneath her birthmark, and the only place where she will be safe is with her real father, the king who sent her away.
A dormant power now awakens within her, a destructive force too strong for an untrained mind to handle. But Ava never asked for magic, wealth, or even a father. All she wants is to escape the lords and liars trying to control her. When the web of evil closes in, and Aundour’s fate hangs by a thread, Ava must make a choice: her need for freedom, or the kingdom doomed to fall without her?
My Review: 5 Stars
It’s rare that I give books five-star reviews, but this book definitely earns it overall.
The minute you’re introduced to the main character, you come to like her. She’s very prickly and defensive, but it makes sense given her back-story.
I have to say that the story was a wee bit cliché–lost heroine, daughter of the king, destined for greatness, etc. There was a lot of action in the beginning that sort of detracted from getting to know the character, and the book definitely dragged on way too much. It was nearly as long as one of the Malazan books, and longer than even the Wheel of Time books. It could have been shorter and with fewer diverging story lines, but overall it was well done. The writing was absolutely solid, with perhaps three typos in the entire book.
Overall, though it’s not my new favorite, it’s a book I would recommend to anyone looking for a great read.
Here’s a Taste
Ava and Durhaeus stopped at a small oasis a safe distance from Nardarac. Durhaeus led the tired horse to the water and let it drink while he filled his canteens. Ava retreated to one side and wrapped a borrowed cloak tightly around herself. He stoppered the canteens, led the horse to the trees, and tied it securely.
Ava took the canteen Durhaeus offered her and drank deeply. Just a few hours ago, she had been unsure whether she would live to see another day, and yet, now, she was alive. She was with a stranger who knew about her past and had saved her from both a prison and a man who had immobilized her without touching her. She handed the canteen back to Durhaeus, her hand unconsciously moving over her arm, where the hooded stranger had made it flare with agonizing pain. She remembered a tugging feeling inside, as if there was something within her trying to come out.
“We’ll rest here for a while,” said Durhaeus. “Nardarac will be too busy trying to control a riot and a fire. Are you cold?”
“I’m fine.” She sat down next to the horse and drew her knees up, making herself as small as possible. “Who was that back there?”
“I don’t know,” he replied.
“Yes, you do. Who was he? A Scorpion Brother? A Death Cleric?”
“He wasn’t any assassin’s guildsman.”
“He had to have been. No ordinary man could have done what he did.”
Durhaeus remained silent, twisting the strings of the canteen.
“Tell me,” said Ava. “I’m a hunted woman in many cities in Aesolys, but nothing to merit something like that.”
“This has nothing to do with you being Ava Noface.”
“Then what is it?”
“You should get some rest. I can keep watch.”
“I’m not tired. Answer me.”
“Are you hungry?”
“I was nearly killed today,” she snapped. “Twice. The only reason I’m still sitting here is because you haven’t killed me yet. I don’t know how you know about Cawhirith or claim to know my birth parents. I don’t know what that man did to hold me in place like that or how he made fire out of nothing, and I don’t care to know. Just tell me this: is he going to come after me again?”
“Yes,” said Durhaeus.
About the Author:
S. Nathan took to writing to calm the stories bubbling in her cauldron of a mind. Her love for fantasy stemmed from her interest in legends, folklore, and the seemingly impossible, and her interests in art and history only fanned the flames. Raised in both India and America, she has traveled all over Europe and Australia, getting a taste for different kinds of people, cultures, and the tales they tell. She is also an architect, UX designer, music junkie, and a pop culture nerd. The Falcon’s Eye is her first book.
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