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Prince Garin decides to go on a quest to find the fabled Treasure of Isian. Along with his trusted servant Elani, he sets out to the mysterious kingdom Isian, but things don't go according to plan and Garin and Elanifind themselves spit from his soldiers. They continue on their path but Garin is taken from Elani and she will do anything she can to get him back.
This is a tough on to rate because, while I did enjoy it, I just found too many things that annoyed me or turned me off the overall story. I left the rating at 3 starts but I'm thinking it's 2.5.
Anyway, I liked world building of the book. There is plenty of amazing creatures and the mystery surrounding certain kingdoms was really well done. I liked the spin the author put on the Elves, it was unique and a definitely a different approach to Elves. I also liked the idea of the plot, a quest to find a fabled treasure from a mysterious kingdom, that is said to grant your every wish! It just screamed adventure. The execution of the plot though wasn't as adventurous as I'd hoped. The pacing wasn't consistent because there were a few times I wanted to skip ahead because it slowed right down.
The characters were kind of meh, to be honest. None of them appealed to me much. Initially Prince Garin came across as an up tight so and so. He expected everyone to do what he said and he grated on me first. He did grow a bit during the story which was a good thing, but I still felt like he needed to be more.... I don't know, likable I suppose is the word I'm looking for.
Meanwhile, Elani annoyed me so much at first. She obeyed Garins every wish and was always thinking of him and fawning all over him. I wanted her to grow a backbone!! But then we find out she is spelled to do his bidding, and it made much more sense. I started to warm to her then. But I still felt like she needed to be more capable to look after herself. She came across as weak.
In all, while this review may seem more negative than positive, I did still enjoy the story. I think if the author put a little more into the adventure, it would have been great.
Carolyn Kashner was clear and read this well. Her tones and vices were adequate and she did put effort into the narration, but I felt like her male voices were all the same and she needed to put a little more emphasis to her inflections to really capture the mood.
I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This was an engaging fantasy with magical creatures, princes and princesses, and of course a mysterious quest. Prince Garin hears of the Treasure of Isian and its ability to grant wishes. No one knows what the treasure is or where it's located, but Garin assembles his soldiers and his faithful servant Elani to seek it.
Elani has been Garin's shadow since she was four years old, when she arrived alone at the gates of his castle unaware of even her own name. When it was discovered that she's forced to obey his commands, she was given to him as a servant. Although Garin is betrothed to another, Elani has loved him all her life. She's delighted to go on the quest with him even if it's only as his servant.
Garin and Elani become separated from the rest of their soldiers and tumble from one adventure to another as they encounter giants, elves, witches, centaurs, dragons, seers, friends, and many enemies. Through it all they become closer, and Garin begins to rely on Elani less as a servant and more as a friend. Elani learns the depths of her own strength as she defends Garin's life and her own.
I love coming of age fantasy stories, and I thought we'd be reading Elani's. But Garin is the one who changes the most by the end. In the beginning he was hopeless, he was quick to anger, insensitive, and selfish. You want Elani to shove him into a lake occupied by TWO water witches! It's only through his reminiscing with Elani that we see why she fell in love with him. By the end he's changed enough that we can see him being a good man as well as a good king.
I thought the world with its magical creatures was very interesting. I'd love to hear more about the world and its different kingdoms, legends, and prophecies. There is so much potential in a series like this!
The narrator did a great job, her voice is light and clear and easy to listen to. She has a young voice, so she was the perfect choice to narrate a book about a young girl. I was provided a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful