Saturday, 31 March 2012

Book Review: The Riddler's Gift (Tales of the Lifesong 1) by Greg Hamerton


The Riddler's Gift (Lifesong, #1)"In a time when the world was ravaged by chaos, one kingdom remains; ordered, isolated, protected. Then Tabitha Serannon awakens an ancient power and the world begins to change.

She is hunted for her talent. The Shadowcasters whisper in her ears as their evil closes around her. Soon the Riddler walks beside her, but is he on her side? She has a moment to learn the magic before she loses her grasp of the Lifesong, but the path she must follow leads into Darkness; into terror, treachery and desire.

To survive she must give voice to a music that she hardly understands, an enchantment that will echo through all time." From Amazon.co.uk



I get lots of requests to review fantasy books and I decline more than I accept, but this one piqued my interest. This is a long book, approximately 650 pages, and could fairly be described as a fantasy epic. The author has created a kingdom with it's own lore and history, and pits the Lightgifters against the Shadowcasters. With the dark on the verge of obtaining the upper hand Tabitha becomes crucial to the survival of Eyri. 


While the story is primarily one of good versus evil there is also romance as she finds herself drawn to the Swordmaster Garyll Glavenor. She's young, innocent and in need of protecting and he is the rugged law keeper, devoted to his role. I found things to like about both of them, but really enjoyed the character of the title, the Riddler. He offers Tabitha cryptic guidance but his allegiances are unclear. He is a quirky character with plenty of mystery and magic about him. There are a number of other characters of importance to the tale and the story unfolds from a number of perspectives.


I enjoyed the level of detail in the world the author has created, and read on to discover whether the dark forces would triumph. However I found this book almost disheartening long. When I felt like I was well into the story I realised I had hardly made a dent and at times, wondering how much more could possibly happen before a final encounter, found my attention drifting. However unlike other books I have read recently, where I felt like an editor and could easily have suggested cuts to improve it, I didn't feel like there was a lot of unnecessary description or redundant scenes. Possibly the fault is mine, with so much going on recently having an effect on my concentration. There were certainly plenty of switches from joy to danger and vice versa, with twists and turns and a gradual building of the information available to inform the reader which kept me going.


The author uses the English language to good effect, using some wonderful vocabulary without it feeling like he was trying use unusual words just to impress, which I always appreciate. I found it well written and if there were typos I didn't notice them. I would like to see where the series is going so would definitely like to read the second book.


Format: Kindle, review copy
Publisher: Eternity Press
My Rating: 3*

2 comments:

Sarah said...

This sounds like a facinating book. I have found that long books intimidate me lately, but if it's engrossing, it's not always a bad thing.

TC said...

I now have the second book on my kindle so hopefully when I get chance to look at that I'll be in the right mood to enjoy it properly.