What initially attracted me to this book was its cover art and its name. I found both interesting enough that I felt I could give reading it a try.
Silthara is the infamous Master of Crows. He asks for help from the Conclave to defeat a common enemy. Conclave is the home to powerful priests who look down at Silthara but fear his power as well. Conclave sends Martise of Asher to serve as his apprentice, in response to his request for help. She is also charged to spy and collect evidence against Silthara while sequestered in his domain.
A reluctant but strong attraction forms between the two when they team up to find a method to end the most dangerous enemy the world has ever seen.
Here’s what I felt:
First of all, this book is more Romance than Fantasy. Also, the story was predictable in essence. From the start, it is obvious that Martise and Silthara are bound to fall in love. Even the slow development of the attraction was a no-brainer. You have seen it before. What served as the saving grace was the way author formed her characters. Martise’s unfathomable power that is hidden, Silthara and his torment at the hand of Corruption, the pasts the characters had, the secondary characters surrounding them, the paces they go through, and the world as a whole, these are things which made this novel different from others.
The romance is a tad overwhelming , since many of the descriptive scenes do not seem required. Honestly, I found myself skipping through the sex scenes to begin with the next part of the story. It seemed the obvious thing to do since the description was a bit cheesy and slightly off-putting.
The final moment of suspense (the enemy’s downfall) is okay, nothing that will bore you, but it will not make you bite your nails either. But your attention is definitely captured. The ending is predictable. The author tried a bit too hard and it took the novel down a notch, in my opinion.
The imagination is good and the characters nice. The narrative is tightly managed and has a good polish. The author seems skilled in painting images with her words. I was just disappointed because I felt that the book finishes with a few loose ends. That did not leave me happy.
I had initially decided on rating this a 2.5 but that would not do justice to the author’s skill. There are praiseworthy moments which capture your attention and make you sit up and notice. Though it has a slow pace, it manages to keep your interest. And the narrative (with few exceptions) is great. (I specifically loved the beginning of the novel – the part where Corruption is trying to entice Silthara)
So, after I had some time to think, I altered my previous opinion. And changed it from okay to really, really good. With a definite scope to do better, of course.