Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Author: Maggie Furey
Page Count: 599
Why I read it: recommended by sister-in-law
To the city of Nexis, where Magefolk rule uneasily over a race of mortals, a young girl named Aurian comes to learn the magic arts. Her dormant powers are coveted by the corrupt Archmage, who intends to possess her. When she rejects him for a mortal, the enraged Archmage plans his revenge.
When my sister-in-law, Felicia, first recommended this to me, I was a little hesitant. I've read a lot of fantasy, and even though there are a lot of authors I haven't read, I'm pretty well-versed in fantasy. And I'd never heard of this book, or the author. I figured if it was good, I would have heard of it.
But it was good. Excellent, in fact--and here I sit, trying to figure out why this book isn't more well known. I would put Maggie Furey on par with some of my favorite fantasy authors: Robin Hobb, Lynn Flewelling, Katharine Kerr, George R.R. Martin (okay, maybe not quite at Martin's magnificent level). The writing was solid; even though it's a fairly long book, there was not one spot where I felt like it was dragging. It jumped from one point of view to the next, barely giving me time to catch my breath before I was plunged into another action-packed scene.
But it's strength was also it's weakness, for me, although it was very minor and hardly dampened my enjoyment. There were times when a chapter ended, and the POV switched, and I didn't like it. I wanted to get back to the other characters story to see what happened. That's not a sign of weakness in the author, though. Just a lack of patience in this reader. The ending was a bit abrupt, but since it's the start of a series, I was expecting it. But Aurian is not a book that can be read as a standalone. Now I've got to get the second book to see what happens, and although I usually hate when authors leave books so open ended (forcing me to read more of their books), the writing here was so good that I really don't mind.
I would definitely recommend this to fantasy readers, especially if you like any of the authors I've mentioned above.