Sunday, 9 June 2013

Review of Enchantress by James Maxwell

I've been on a reading kick, so have another review! I give it five out of five stars, based on the Goodreads ranking scale.

* * *
I want to start by saying that the moment I finished this novel I immediately went onto Amazon and purchased the sequel. 

The author has created an expansive world in Enchantress, and fleshed out the setting to the point where you can picture it in your mind. Everything is internally consistent, and the system of magic is particularly well thought out. Anything that needs explained is explained, and I liked that the author thought out how the extensive use of magic would affect the growth and use of standard technology, or even change it completely, such as negating the use of beasts of burden.

There are many separate threads of narrative that end up coming together beautifully at the end. The characters were flawed, and didn't necessarily always do the right thing, and they experienced personal growth. I really enjoyed Ella's blossoming as a character, and Killian's story line.

Another excellent point is the battle scenes: while there is perhaps an unrealistic number of soldiers and battles fought in comparison to what history tells us, they were well-written and intense without becoming eye-glazingly long. The sequences involving the bladesingers were excellent, and there was the right combination of describing technique/skill with a focus on the internal dialogue of a fighter.

To be sure, there were some cliches in the story line. There were some wise Obi-Wan figures, some mystical woods people, some warrior tribes people, orphans who find out that they're really nobility, and some minor conflicts that resolved themselves relatively abruptly. I am happy to skim over these facts, as they don't detract from the storytelling. The only point of irritation I have was the meticulous descriptions by the author of naked female bodies, repeatedly. They were all flawless and perfect, and served very little point to the plot other than to be admired by male characters. 

Aside from these few points, Enchantress is a fantastic read, and I recommend it to all lovers of a good fantasy story

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