Eye of the Sword: A Novel Paperback – Mar 13 2012
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Praise for The Angelaeon Circle
“Karyn Henley spins a lyrical young-adult tale of mythical and legendary beings, of reimagined angels and terrifying malevolents, in a small kingdom where the world’s fate rests on a young priestess’s shoulders.”
—Kathy Tyers, author of Shivering World and the Firebird series
“Karyn Henley’s novel starts with a jolt, grabs the reader by the collar, and doesn’t slow down one minute. This author infuses her text with imagery, suspense, and a cast that will appeal to all ages. In addition, it has a feeling that I can only describe as “folklorish,” with all the best elements that come with that—music, magic, and mystery. I think it’s destined to become a classic.”
—Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath, National Book Award finalist, Newbery Honor Book, PEN USA Award
“This lusciously written fantasy has it all: epic battles, earthbound angels, immortal humans, and a bright, engaging heroine. Henley’s young priestessturned-warrior is forced to put her past together like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces
so sharp they cut. Her story is nearly impossible to forget, so readers will be eager for more!”
—Louise Hawes, author of Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand, AAUW Juvenile Literature Award nominee; Gold Award, Hall of Fame, teensreadtoo.com
About the Author
Karyn Henley is a best-selling children’s book author and an Emmy-Award winning musician. She is the author of the original Beginner’s Bible, which sold over five million copies and was translated into 17 languages, and Breath of Angel, the first novel in the Angelaeon Circle. An accomplished songwriter, Karyn has been a Dove Award nominee and received a regional Emmy Award as music composer for a Christmas television special. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is a book set in a fantasy world very similar to the Middle Ages of Europe. The host of angels, half-angels, and other supernatural figures give the plot so many possibilities. Anything could really happen.
It's the story of Trevin who has had a dark past and has a chance to prove his loyalty to his new king. His plans are quickly thwarted in the first few chapters as he is accused of murder and leaves on a quest that could defeat the First Born. At stake is Trevin's reputation, the love of his life, the life of friends, and the world as he knows it. Along the way, he finds himself looking into the Eye of the Sword and discovering parts of himself he never knew existed.
I did not read the first book. I found that it was hard to understand for the first few chapters with the different terminology used and the different types of people and beings. Once I got the hang of it, the story was much more enjoyable. I would recommend reading the first book before picking up Eye of the Sword.
There were a few places in the story that should have been edited better. Trevin acted surprised to find out his brother was a spy when in reality he knew about it early in the book and was told by his brother. There were a few other instances of such inconsistencies.
Otherwise, it was a good read. I now want to read the first one and get a better understanding of what I read. This is a good book for young adult and adults.
Note: This book was supplied to me by the publisher.
Eye of the Sword, by Karyn Henley, is a fantasy book rich in the tradition of the Wheel of Time series (by Robert Jordan). The characters are interesting, and while some of the drama is expected, the resolution of the plot was a total surprise! I am not a big reader of fantasy, so through the first half of the book I read quickly, but as I became immersed in the story, I realized I enjoyed the characters and how Henley created their relationships.
The plot of the book surrounds two mysteries, and, of course, the relationship between Trevin and the princess. The first is the mystery of the harps. It took me a bit to figure this out, because I did not read the first book in the series. The premise is that long ago, a prophecy was declared that required the uniting of three harps. The princess has been drawn to complete this prophecy by searching for them. Trevin has agreed to help her.
The second is the mystery surrounding Trevin's background. There are a number of references to his childhood and his life before this book, but he admits there is much he doesn't know or understand, and wants to find out about.
Again, while some of the book was too busy for me, not normally a fantasy reader, I did enjoy the book quite and highly recommend it for people who enjoy the fantasy genre. I will be passing this book on to my 15 year old daughter, as well.
Disclosure: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program, but this review is completely my own. I chose the book I wanted to read, they mailed it to me, and I have given my honest opinion of it. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
You know, there's something about reading into the life of a character with a "lower station," a very stout heart and many questions that they must quest away to find their long awaited answers that excites me down through my core and keeps me turning pages faster and faster, instead of having to read all about a Princess the whole time. I guess I just love my under-dogs! That said, I think this is why I actually loved this book more so than the first, because it focused on Trevin and his journey to find not only the last two harps and the missing comains for King Laetham and Princess Melaia, but also himself, his heart and more about his dark history.
I don't usually read too many books with male leads very often, but I loved the quick manly dialogue and the chance to climb inside the mind of a "lower status knight", if you will. I also loved that there were two tasks at hand for Trevin (finding the two harps and searching for the lost comains) which seemingly stretched him (as the newly named comain of Camrithia) and grew him as a person most worthy of being loved by himself, his comrades and most importantly Princess Melaia by novel's end.
Some of my favorite scenes and characters were introduced outside the walls of Camrithia, leaving King Laetham and Princess Melaia behind. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Windwings (horses with wings), Windweaver, Seaspinner, Flametender, the gash trade (which involved child trafficking by the Dregmoorians [human trafficking is a serious thing and I loved that Ms. Henley thought to shed some light on it in Eye of the Sword in her own way]), a new way to house souls for ill fated intentions (I won't tell you how), the eye of the sword in Eldarra, new characters like Prince Resarian and the feisty sword maiden, Ollena, both of which I adored. I also love getting to know Pym and Jarrod more in this installment. I hadn't felt a real connection to them earlier on, but now I quite like their characters.
Oh, and I just must gush over the swaggering gash running, vomit inducing, Prince of the Dregmoorians. I thought his character was brilliantly vile and I savored reading through each scene where Trevin and him had to face each other. Varic totally made my skin crawl. He is the perfect villain, really. He's charming, deceitful, trying to steal the Princess away from a man of lower status, etc. ((spoiler alert)) I don't like how things went down with Varic. I really don't. Actually, I found it quite disappointing. I think he deserved something a bit more just and sinister, truth be told.
To wrap things up: I really felt like I got to know the characters on a much deeper level in this second book of the series than in the first one (Breath of Angel.) I enjoyed getting to know the new characters, seeing the story told through the eyes of Trevin and experiencing all of the plot twists that came about.
What I Didn't Like So Much: A few of the fight scenes in the book seemed a little too easy (especially one of the main ones towards the end of the novel) at times. I mean, it's not like I wanted to read about blood spewing and rampant brutality or anything, but I just felt that things worked out a little too easily for what should have been slightly more complex, wear-and-tear inducing brawl.
I really did like the whole idea of seeing the true reflection of your heart, character, and worth, within the eye of the sword, but there was a BIG hyped up "trial period" for Trevin while he was in Eldarra that took place before the sword came about and I kind of felt like things were, again, a little too easily fixed and remedied without much raucous uproar or a dynamic shift in the story as I would've loved to have seen.
I didn't like the unjustly manner in which Varic was dealt with. (That's all I'll say for fear of major spoilers.)
I'm Recommending This Book... While a few scenes seemed to come about a bit too easy for some of the characters along the way, the story of Trevin finding out more about himself and his heritage, while on his journey to find one of the harps for Melaia and King Laetham, quite excited me. It was refreshing to see the world of Camrithia through the eyes of a lowly comain who had much to learn about himself and a young princess' love to gain.
Also, I must applaud Karyn Henley for painting her scenes so vividly, and for not being afraid to write out-of-the-ordinary and very much so unique beings into the literary world (such as the Draks, Wingwings and Malevolents.) I'm really looking forward to seeing how this series continues on in the years to come. This one gets a 4 out of 5 stars from me.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
There were parts of the book that I had difficulty reading quickly. Not because it was boring, but because it took a little extra time to process all the tidbits of backstory that were being provided. By the end of this second book, though, I could pretty much tell you what happened in the first book (and before). So while the first half took me a little longer, it was still enjoyable. And I felt like details were provided in exactly the right way. I could definitely read this book, never read the first one, and feel like I could continue on with the series. However, I enjoyed this book so much, I plan to buy the first one, then loan both of them to my friend who has done tons of research on Nephilim and therefore would get a kick out of the series, so that she can read them too. And hopefully, the third book isn't too far away. Because my first thought when I finished this book was "Oh crud. Now I have to wait for the third one."
As a fantasy lover, I really enjoyed this book. So if you're into swords and magical creatures (or in this case, Heavenly creatures), this book would be great. My general recommendation is to read series in order, but really, you don't have to with this one.
Disclosure: In exchange for an honest review, I received a copy of this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah as part of their Blogging for Books program. The free product did not influence my opinion.
Newly-appointed comain of Camrithia, Trevin, seeks to fulfill his duties to the king by searching for the missing comains and securing an alliance with the neighboring kingdom of Eldarra. But even more importantly, he races against the aligning stars to help Princess Melaia find the kyparis wood harps that can restore the Wisdom Tree, and along with it, the stairway to heaven. While Trevin works to accomplish these tasks, he uncovers the startling truth about his past and wrestles with a deceitful Dregmoorian prince who would seek to snatch Melaia's hand--and the throne. Will he recover the harps and help Melaia fulfill her destiny? Will he prove his worth to the king, the princess, and, ultimately, himself?
Eye of the Sword is Karyn Henley's successor to last year's Breath of Angel: A Novel (The Angelaeon Circle). I enjoyed Breath of Angel, with the exception of a few minor things, and thought that Henley had a great start with her first YA fantasy offering (she is a wildly best-selling children's author). But I really, really liked Eye of the Sword. I felt like Henley settled into Trevin's voice even better than she did with Melaia's in the first of the series. I found Melaia to be likable most of the time, but perhaps a little too naive for me to relate to personally. I connected to Trevin's self-doubt, shady past, and quest to discover his true character and destiny in the massive chess game that is life with the Angelaeon. He has always felt like he has more depth than our female heroine, and I really enjoyed going on the journey of Eye of the Sword from his point-of-view. He possesses humor that I think Melaia lacks, which always adds to my personal enjoyment when I'm reading a story.
There were a couple small downsides. I still believe there to be an issue with a lack of payoff for some major moments in the plot, like I noted with Breath of Angel. Henley does a great job of building tension, and then sometimes the payoff is one or two sentences and we're off to the next scene/bit of dialogue/whatever. The one upside to this is the nice stride of the pacing. I never found Eye of the Sword to drag. But I do wish there was a little more drama in those moments that are meant to be...well, dramatic.
The Angelaeon Circle books are both heavy on the romance element, which sort of sets this apart in the fantasy genre. I've heard that some even describe this as paranormal romance, which I totally disagree with. Our world + romance plot + a paranormal element = paranormal romance. Think Twilight. Eye of the Sword is clearly high fantasy with a strong romantic pulse. And Henley finds a good balance between keeping it steamy and keeping it clean (steam-cleaned?), but I do have to note the fact that there is a lot of procreating going on between angels and mortals and immortals, some of whom are married, others of whom are not. It makes for a lot of half-siblings...and a lot of questions about the morals of these angels and what place all of this has in a Christian fantasy. So for a younger audience who might have a hard time discerning between fact and fiction, perhaps proceed with caution.
Bottom Line: Recommended for fantasy fans and romance lovers who don't mind taking a walk on the speculative side. An improvement on the already-good Breath of Angel. Oh, and on a side note, I'm becoming a really big fan of Kristopher Orr's cover art.
Note: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.
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