Sunday, December 23, 2012

Protector - Anniversary of the Veil #1 - Vanna Smythe

Release Date: March 10th, 2012
Publisher: Self-published
Age Group: Adult

Pages: 334
Format: Kindle

Source: Author - For review

Kiyarran just wanted to become a Protector of the Realm, a member of an elite order of fighters. Strange and powerful magical abilities awaken inside him once his wish comes true. The Priesthood that secretly controls the realm see his skill as a threat, and Kiyarran begins to learn that little about life as a Protector is what he thought it would be. To top it off, Kiyarran is falling in love with Princess Issiyanna, his friend of many years.

Issiyanna faces and arranged marriage, but she has been dreaming of another man, her one true love. Now her long gone mother is calling to her, promising she will return and take Issiyanna to meet the man from her dreams.

The world is split in half by a barrier called the Veil. A terrible sacrifice was made to put it in place and now, as the 1000th Anniversary of the Veil draws near, a second sacrifice is called for to keep it in place.

Both Kiyarran and Issiyanna are needed for the Anniversary. Even though they only just learned of the Veil and neither know the role they must play …

This book caught me by surprise. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this, as this is one of the first self-published books I’ve ever read. But I liked the cover and the description I got about the book, so I thought: why not? And boy, am I glad I took this opportunity!

The characters are easy to relate to and very diverse. The worldbuilding is fabulous and although it contained a few of the classic Fantasy elements, these were used very well and created a wonderful new world that was richly described and came to life through the author’s words. I really liked the idea of the Veil that separates the two worlds and the role it plays in the book. It’s original and imaginative. The notion of the Life Force has been used before, but that didn’t bother me, I liked the use of it here and the way it was described.

The writing style is very fluent and makes the reading experience extremely pleasant. I read this book in mere hours, I just couldn’t put it down. Every time I did put it down, I kept thinking about what would happen next to Issa en Kae, so naturally I had to pick it up again and read a bit more.

The Head Priest has the same cunning and ambitions as Waleran Bigod in “Pillars of the Earth” and the relationship between Issa and Kae made me think of the electricity crackling between Raisa and Han in the Seven Realms books. Those are two of my favourites and the fact that this book reminded me of certain aspects of them, means this novel is GOOD! I always like a book where I have to think twice about the characters and their true intentions. The conflict between good and evil, between several people or as an internal struggle always fascinates me.

The only real negative thing I can say about this one is about the first few pages. The Prologue was very confusing. We’re dumped into the middle of a ritual that has been a critical turning point in the history of this new world, without much explanation. All I have to say about this is: don’t stop reading because of this, because you’ll miss out on an extraordinary story! Throughout the story the meaning of those first few pages will become more and more clear and will play an important role.

Conclusion: really, really good! I can’t wait to read the second book and dive back into this fascinating world! 4,5 dragons!


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