Monday, 16 June 2014

The Sacrifice: The First Book of the Fey by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Fey are a ruthless race of warlike magic user who are arrogantly determined to conquer the entire world and subjugate all others.  When an expeditionary force from this military juggernaut rolls up to the prosperous but peaceful inhabitants of the Blue Isle the outcome seems inevitable. Yet the Islanders who don't even have a standing army find help from a surprising source and a stand-off ensues.

I had never heard of this series before getting this opening novel in an e-book bundle but I am quite hooked. Rusch's characters are rich and complex and her plots are full of twists surprises. In terms of character and plot development this book bears favourable comparison to George R.R. Martin's game of thrones.  Indeed the Fey's ruthlessness far surpasses that of Martin's characters.

While the characters and plotting are very strong in the book the battle scenes and military strategy are a significant weakness. Perhaps I have been reading too much military Sci Fi recently but it strikes me there are huge gaps of credibility in the whole military aspect of the novel. The Fey for example have supposed to be a militaristic race who have conquered the known world. You would expect them to display some of the traits we have come to expect from armies and soldiers but they actually come across as quite inept soldiers. The residents of the Blue Isle were supposed to be peaceful which explains their initial ineptitude but a year after the initial attack they still haven't organised a proper army and seem incapable of implementing any form of strategy.

Regardless of the shortcoming on the military side this story has me hooked. I am determined to get the next instalment to follow the continuing machinations of those dastardly Fey.

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