Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review: The Unfinished Song: Initiate

Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.
I'm a little surprised at how much I like this one.  That's not to say I expected it to be bad, just didn't expect it to be as good as it was.  The first portion of the novel was a mix of infodumping and not enough information.  I know, that's a contradiction, but I felt like we were given a lot of information right up front, but maybe not the right information.  Or maybe a glossary of terms would have been helpful.
But once I got past that, I was swept away in the story.  I loved how the fairies were weaved into the story, but not as main characters.  They were just a part of the world.  I liked how what at first seemed to be separate stories all came together and intersected.  The characters were written in such a way that I really cared what happened to them.  There were enough characters to keep things interesting, but not so many that I couldn't remember who was who. 
I quite liked the setting and worldbuilding.  As I mentioned before, I liked how the fairies were used in the story.  I actually wish the story would have been a little longer so the author could have expanded on certain things in the story that were a little unclear to me.  I'm hopeful that things will become more fleshed out and clear in the following books.  According to the author's website, the books are actually one story, split into twelve short novels, so that explains things a bit.
One drawback was that the story ended on quite the cliffhanger, and I hate that.  I hate having to wait to find out what happens.  I was definitely left wanting more at the end.  I would for sure recommend this one, as I felt that the story and the characters were very memorable.  This is an author I'll be following, and a book I'd actually re-read.
Book Details
Author: Tara Maya
Genre: fantasy
Page Count: 188
Publishing Info: December 2010, Misque
Why I Read It: review copy from author in e-book form
Grade: B+ (very good)
Cover Thoughts: The cover is gorgeous.  I really like it.

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