Legends of Abreia, #1
Take a bunch of cool ideas, toss them in a put, and stir. Add a feisty orphan masquerading as a meek princess at a foreign court, a kingdom desperately in need of an alliance, and a prospective groom you wouldn’t marry no matter how rich he is.
To top it off, add the hostile king’s mysterious bodyguard, and you’ll have something like The Faceless Mage.
Perhaps, the world building isn’t the deepest, and perhaps, the plot isn’t the most original, but perhaps, that doesn’t matter. This book offers an interesting premise, a likeable character, and a gently flowing prose that doesn’t give you a chance to ask questions until you put the book away and stop reading.
Much as I could poke and prod at little details, if I were so inclined, I won’t. It’s not what the story is about. This is about escapism. About a young woman – in over her head and trying to rise to the challenge – about magic, action, and a hint of romance.
What I’ll whine about:
The world building is a bit thin. There’s not much sense that anything exists beyond what’s mentioned in the story.
There are night elves. I can’t help but associate that with World of Warcraft, no matter what.
What I’ll gush about:
The writing. The prose is excellent, and the tension never really lets up. It’s not always high, but there’s always something to worry and wonder about.
Leisa, the main character, is easily likeable in a world full of mostly horrible people.
No info dumps. It’s mentioned early on that Leisa has magic, but it’s not until much later that the actual details of her magic are explained, and until then, it’s up to me to figure it out on my own. This is something I really enjoy, and which I wish more books would do.
This is high-quality fantasy brain candy. Enjoy.