This was the first ebook I uploaded onto my shiny new Kindle – a very smooth and easy process by the way… Certainly a HUGE improvement on the Sony e-reader I acquired two years ago.
It was a dark and stormy night when the Stranger came to call. Sarah Grey’s second child was breached; the twin was going to die. The Stranger offered help. Twenty years later, Raven Grey, the second twin born on that fated night, is now an extraordinarily beautiful woman. With a gift. But what is the price to pay for that gift? If Raven and her brother cannot escape the handsome and powerful elf prince, outwit the dark and dangerous bounty hunter, and defeat the ancient, mighty Death Mage – Raven is sure to learn just what that price is. And pay dearly.
The opening to this story certainly packs a punch and drew me in. And from then, the adventure just galloped off. There was action aplenty with a host of exotic characters and a variety of difficult situations that Raven was forced to negotiate. If your favourite fantasy is of the swashbuckling variety that swoops you up and doesn’t stop till the end, then this will certainly tick your boxes. Killough-Walden is adept at providing a vivid description of the setting and introducing the characters who are about to be plunged into the next episode in Raven’s life and despite the constant action, I was never in any doubt where I was and what was going on.
However, the author’s trick of head hopping – switching viewpoint characters in the same scene did at times hamper the characterisation and jarred with me. I would have preferred it if she had provided more insight into her main protagonists, which would have also slowed the pace down and given the reader a chance to draw breath and get to know Raven better when she wasn’t fleeing or fighting, which would also give the book a bit more depth.
There were also sections where the formatting of the book was slightly compromised – the left-hand margins moved to the Indent setting for no good reason that I could see. But, when is all said and done – this book cost me just 70p. Did I get I get my money’s worth? Absolutely. Despite Killough-Walden’s breathless pacing and characterisation flaws, her energetic writing and clear story-telling held me to the end. Which is something of a cliffhanger as this is the first book in a series. And although I’ve read a few reviews of this book criticising the abrupt ending, I did feel that all the main plotlines were satisfactorily resolved. It certainly enlivened a long train journey…