Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Fallen Kings Cycle Book 1: The Sworn by Gail Z. Martin

The Fallen Kings Cycle Book 1: The Sworn by Gail Z. Martin

Completion Date: January 10, 2011
Reason for Reading: Received an ARC from Hachette Book Group through NetGalley
Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Tris seeks new allies from among the living - and the dead - as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle. Meanwhile, the legendary Dread are stirring in their burrows after millennia of silence and no one knows what hand wakes them and whom they will serve when they rise.

Now, Drayke turns to the Sworn, a nomadic clan of warriors bound to protect the Dread. But even the mighty Sworn do not know what will happen when the Dread awake. All are certain, though, that war is coming to the Winter Kingdoms.

THE SWORN is the beginning of a new adventure set in the world of The Chronicles of the Necromancer.
One of the things that really bothered me about 2010 was how little fantasy I read. I have decided to make reading more in 2011 an unofficial goal. With this in mind, I was browsing through the catalogue at NetGalley and saw this book by Gail Z. Martin. I have heard of her before and have the first book from her other series on my TBR pile, but for whatever reason never got to it. While this is a spin-off series, it didn't seem necessary to have read her other books first, so I decided to give this one a try. I am so happy I did! I put the book aside with about 50 pages left to go to sleep, and I wound up sneaking out to the living room at an ungodly hour to see how the book ended. I was so caught up in the story I had to know!

I have this thing with not reading the description of books that I plan on reading soon if I can help it. I picked this book entirely because I recognized the authors name. I had no idea what the book was even about. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. What I ended up with is a very good fantasy story with a paranormal connection. I felt no disadvantage from not reading her other series because she filled in the details if she felt they were important. I do plan to go back and read the other series now, though.

In the beginning, I was a little overwhelmed with all of the characters. I read a few chapters before they started repeating themselves again. As a result it did take me a bit to get caught up in the story, but once I did I was hooked. It was just refreshing to read a really good fantasy again. I feel like that didn't happen nearly enough in 2010. Even though there are a lot of characters, by the end I had everyone straightened out and now I am curious what will happen to them in the future. I do think that sometimes there was too much detail given about minor characters, but that is just because there are so many major characters to keep straight. In another book I would think that was a good thing. It might turn out that those major characters are important in later books.

When I was in the midst of this book I was reading a very detailed description of a woman and I commented on how you can tell this book is written by a man. The thing is, it isn't. It just slipped my mind who the author was for a moment. I am a girl who likes guys, so I really could careless how well-endowed a woman is in a book. Unfortunately, fantasy is stereotypically a male-dominated world and authors cater to that accordingly. I think that was my only major problem with the book and that is not really the authors fault. It is mainly just a pet-peeve of mine. Other than that, what you have here is a book that I really enjoyed and an author that I look forward to reading more from. The sequel, out in 2012, will definitely be on my priority list.

This book is listed to go on sale February 1, 2011.

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