Friday, 16 August 2013
Book: The Fallen Star by Saffron Bryant
I received a copy of The Fallen Star from the Masquerade Crew in exchange for a review that can be found here, but on reflection I realised that I had a lot more to say about this book, so have written a further review here!
Laila and Sarin are members of an almost mythical race, the Draconum. At birth each Draconum is paired with a dragon who stays with them until their deaths. One year, during the unity ceremony, the Draconum are betrayed and the fallen star that gives them their powers shatters into its five original shards. Laila, Sarin and their dragons are the only members of their race not to be trapped beneath a stream, and it is up to them to set out on a quest and reunite the shards, and in the process rescue their people.
Link to Goodreads
The Fallen Star is a fantastic epic fantasy, it has adventure, magic, different races, danger, new settings, evil and of course, a little sprinkle of lust and romance.
Mentioning the lust and romance, it is worth noting that the act of sex is described during the book, including being heavily eluded to in fantasies. This does include one scene that could almost be counted as rape. Though it isn't present all the time, people may be put off by it which is why I've mentioned it. I did find it somewhat surprising as when I read the original synopsis I was expecting a young adult, or even a children's book, not that I am disappointed with what The Fallen Star really was. Personally I thought that the incidences of sex added to the character development, and in the case of the fantasies, made the characters much more believable.
I felt from the very beginning of the book that a romance between Laila and Sarin was inevitable, though what I particularly liked about it was that it didn't just happen because it was inevitable, it really did feel as if they were changing how the felt about each other in response to events. On top of this, despite the inevitability, it didn't stop Laila being interested in other people. even going as far as having sex with them. I'm actually really interested and excited to see where the next book takes Sarin and Laila's relationship.
I very much liked the way that the people who were against the duo, and their friend and guide, Gorak (a goblin) didn't always continue to be against them, and similarly, people who were helpful or kind towards them didn't always stay that way, reflecting a true nature of intelligent life.
The magic in the novel started out as fairly subtle, limited to the Draconum bonds and the dragons themselves. However as the story progressed, and particularly as Laila and Sarin became less naive, more magic is discovered, both in the form of other magical creatures and peoples, and in the the magic that Sarin and Laila are able to perform. However, it is made incredibly clear in the book that all magic has its price, mainly shown through the exhaustion of the character performing the magical feat.
The settings were fantastically crafted, and each was described in a detailed manor, that didn't bog down the text, a skill in fantasy writing it must be said! Each setting was very unique and different too my personal favourites being the tree village and the colourful dessert city.
I would say, read this book! Especially if you like the fantasy genre!