storytimewithbuffy

Light of the Kerrindryr

In Book Reviews on November 24, 2013 at 9:46 am
H. Anthe Davis 2013

H. Anthe Davis 2013

I would like to start off this post by stating that I hate living in England in November. December is ok because it’s Christmas and I’ll be taking some time off for that, but November sucks. I don’t mean to be so negative but unfortunately, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This will be my ninth winter in this country so I know what signs to look for and it makes it easier to deal with, but it’s still painful. I’m not lying when I tell you that I wish I could just hibernate during this month. January is fine even though it’s colder. It’s the dark I have a problem with. It gets dark at 3.30pm.

This is totally relevant to this post, believe it or not, because it’s affecting my reading schedule. I spend 40 minutes on the underground every morning which means that I can read 60 – 80 pages easily. I should be tearing through books! However, I keep falling asleep on the damn train.

I know it’s not a race, but I like reading books in large chunks because otherwise I feel that the story becomes fragmented. Not through any fault of the author, but this is how I digest books the best.

I guess I just want to say that I won’t be tearing through books this month because I just can’t keep my eyes open.

Anyway, on to the book.

Nutshell blurb: Cob is a slave who is months away from freedom when his bff decides to free him only to later chase and try to kill him.

This is a damn good book, people.

Let me start with the things I had problems with first, though.

I love reading fantasy and sci-fi (this book is fantasy, but I mention sci-fi because sometimes they suffer from the same problems) but sometimes I’m put off by long, unpronounceable names. I am less likely to read a book if I see that it has a bunch of strange names in it. I don’t know if you remember, but in a couple of my posts I’ve mentioned that I like to read books aloud sometimes. That’s my benchmark for good names. They don’t have to be one syllable, but they have to have some form that I recognise that won’t twist my tongue in a knot trying to pronounce. This book has some great names in it: Cob, Lark, Darilan, but equally there were a few names that I would have no hope of saying out loud. I’m not even sure how to pronounce the word in the title. In fact, I would say that most of the names are pronounceable, there were just a few that had me frowning as I tried. (Because yes, I always try to pronounce things. I don’t just skim over the words and hope that they go away.) So, in this book, it’s not a huge problem but it is just a bit distracting at times.

The other problem I had was another problem that I see in sci-fi and fantasy is that I can’t always picture what the author is describing if it’s something that doesn’t exist in our world. This may be a problem with me, however, and not as a result of any deficiency of the author. For example, I couldn’t fully comprehend what an eiyenbridge was. It seemed like some sort of portal, which was fine, but then at one point it had teeth? I couldn’t really wrap my head around it.

Those were my only problems with it. Hard-core sci-fi and fantasy fans will probably not have the same problems so it’s entirely possible that they are subjective.

On to the good things.

Ms. Davis’ imagination is phenomenal and she has crazy super world building skills! I found out about this book because I am a follower of her blog. She puts so much detail into her world. When I see that she has done a blog post, I have to make time to read it. It’s not something that I can just read on my phone. I want to have her posts on my computer screen with no distractions because I know that it’s going to be something really good. She plans her world down to the smallest details. Religion, politics, races; she has even created maps detailing the agriculture of each area. Not all of this information goes into her story but you can feel it there beneath the surface. It makes the world feel real and very rich.Ā I don’t think that some of the ideas in this book would have worked if not for the sheer level of detail that went into the planning. I can’t emphasise that enough. Details are so important!

The characters in this story are fantastic as well. Many of you already know that that’s a deal-breaker for me. If I don’t engage with the characters, I don’t enjoy the book. I like that there isn’t a good side and bad side. The characters fit in various stages between light and dark. Their beliefs and perceptions are constantly challenged and you can see their growth. You might not agree with some of their actions (and you certainly won’t) but you can see how they came to their decisions.

I love a good action scene and there were plenty of them in this book. It was really fun and really tense. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one!

 

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  1. My sympathies with your SAD (I’ve always thought the acronym is very apt, don’t you?) While I don’t have it I most definitely understand people getting gloomy from a lack of sunlight. I once lived in London for a few months, starting in January, and it really threw me my first day there that it was already dark by four. Especially as just the previous day in SA it was still light at 8pm. I can understand that the ancient druids celebrated the return of the sun during the winter solstice. Good luck.

    The book sounds interesting, though now you’ve got me wondering about all the Zulu names I’m using in mine. The Zulu language is full of clicking sounds, making the names a bit of a chore to pronounce.

    • It’s a very apt acronym! I came over here for uni in September (2004) and once November hit, I didn’t know what the heck was happening to me. It was too soon to be homesickness but I was just so depressed. It took a couple of years to figure it out because I didn’t really believe that SAD existed. I had never really thought about it. Then someone mentioned it to me and I did a little research. I found that it was me to the letter. I struggle so much ever year! I try to save as many holiday days as I can because I’m ok if I can stay at home and not have to commute. I can also nap as needed. šŸ™‚

      The best thing to suggest is to read your writing aloud. It sounds silly, but if you trip up over the names then perhaps some thought should be given to whether or not they can be tweaked for the purposes of the story. Maybe having friends try them out would be advisable. It’s a tricky thing because they should fit your story yet be accessible to other people. Pretty much anything that makes people stop and scratch their heads should be avoided.

      • SAD is actually caused by vitamin D deficiency – our bodies use sunlight to make that vitamin – and supplements help for some people. Maybe you should try it (if you haven’t already).

        The thing is, if your story features a specific culture you have to use names found within that culture to make it authentic. I also choose names primarily on their meaning, and not their sound. It’s a difficult trade-off with readability. The same goes if one includes words and phrases from a foreign language.

      • Yeah, I take my vitamins. We’re also going to get daylight bulbs for the house. I wish I could migrate south for the winter though! (And I don’t mean to Brighton!)

        Yes, that is very tricky. I’ll be interested to read your work to see what you decide to do.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, names or no names! (Speaking of, you scrambled the title a bit…) I’ve had a few people tell me they want to hear me pronounce the damn names, so at some point I plan to do an audio recording, maybe a video of it. For Kerrindryr though, it’s Keh like ‘meh’, rin like ring, drear like dreary UK in the winter. I probably should have used another title but I liked that one…

    And an eiyenbridge is a bridge made of eiyets, those spiky bitey black things. Wonder if I put the bridge before the critters. Oops…

  3. Thank you… @ ^_^
    kindness blossoms in your heart

  4. I remember those dark afternoons when I did study abroad in Oxford. :-/ The solution would be to pop over to Atlanta for some sunshine & hangout time with me when I get back from my trip! Lol! šŸ™‚

    This book sounds great! I’ve never heard of the author but now have put both on my to-read list!

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