Still catching up…
Here’s my review of another one I read this winter.
I’m a huge fan of Kris Rusch’s writing blog, and in awe of her specialised knowledge of the publishing industry, but this is the first of her novels I’ve tried. I think I might have to try a different series.
The Sacrifice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kristine Kathryn Rusch is a multiple award-winning author with a huge catalogue of books behind her. The Fey is an old series she’s been meaning to get back to for years. Enter the Kickstarter she ran to, well, kick herself back into action, and where I picked up the entire series. Naturally, I began with book #1, The Sacrifice.
I had no real idea what to expect, but I must admit this wasn’t it. The world building is detailed and vast, the numerous characters well drawn and well written. The plot was where it fell apart for me. I assumed we would follow Jewel’s story, as she was the first character we met, but it turned out she was just one of (too) many, and after a fast, grim, start, the story settles down into not really going anywhere, with even the characters frustrated with the lack of progress. I found the number of viewpoint characters rather over the top, and some story threads that clearly lead onto the following books rather unentwined with the main plot of this volume.
But for me, the biggest turn off was the unpleasantness of so many characters. I am not averse to vile things happening in fantasy – when stories involve wars, that’s only to be expected. But so many of the characters were horrible people, with no redeeming features, I didn’t enjoy reading about them. I also found it a great stretch to imagine a race (the fey) who possess such drastically varied and mostly hideous, magical talents. It was like the author’s head was swimming with ideas, and she felt compelled to bestow them all upon a single race.
Yes, I finished it, to see where it was going. Will I read more? The jury is out on that one. I might try the prequel novella she wrote for the Kickstarter, and see what I think then. There is a resolution of sorts at the end, for which I was grateful, but I’m not sure I loved either of the (sort of) main characters enough to follow through, especially when they seemed rather secondary to the plot.
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