Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Another Perspective of Fantasy Fiction

Heartless (A Different Perspective)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl

So I thought that it would be really cool to get another perspective on Heartless from a friend I lent the book to. You can see that we stand on two ends of the spectrum when it comes to fantasy fiction. My review of this book is somewhere down the page. Here it is: 

This book was suggested to me by a highly-esteemed colleague and I trusted her judgment as I dove into Heartless. However, as a person who reads action/adventure novels and dabbles only occasionally in fantasy, Heartless was definitely a difficult read. I guess I didn’t quite know what I was signing up for. When they say fantasy, they mean a complete and total lack of realism to the point of conflicting with the book’s own natural logic (or so I assumed there was). The plot was slow and there were definitely some characters I wanted to strangle (*ahem* Lionheart…). Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable book…why the contradiction? Despite the missing element of fast-pulsed action, mystifying suspense, and the fact that the main character was one of the most pompous, overly critical, shallow expression of feminism I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about, I was deeply enthralled in the surrealism of Princess Una’s situation and the unconditional love of Prince Aethelbald (even though she treated him like trash).

As far as plotline goes, things move pretty slowly in the beginning and lag in the middle. Nothing really heart-pounding occurs until much, much later than I was expecting. Aside from her beautiful descriptions and vivid scenery, Ms. Anne Elizabeth’s early plot sequences put me to sleep – many times. Keep in mind, as I mentioned earlier, I don’t normally read fantasy so your mileage may vary. As the action did begin to pick up and the dragon swooped in, I was majorly confused and had to re-read several times in order to get a clear-as-mud idea of what was going on. Maybe it was the fact that I kept dozing in and out of sleep or maybe it was the fluffy description of just about everything that I need clarity on or maybe I’m just stupid. In any case, the lack of any kind of familiarity in this genre drove me batty and I still don’t think I have a very clear picture of what exactly happened.

Overall, Heartless, was a good read for those who are more inclined toward the world fantasy where just about anything can happen. For those of us who enjoy books with a solid foot in the real world, this book will seriously make your question your sanity and make you loathe the name Una…or Lionheart, for that matter.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Part of Lionheart

Goddess Tithe

Anne Elisabeth Stengl

The Vengeful Goddess
Demands Her Tithe
When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home.
Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.
Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?
     Lionheart was a great character, fleshed out, with faults a plenty and good intentions to counterbalance those bad habits. In Veiled Rose, we get to see Lionheart's journey all over their world. It was wonderful, however, We didn't get an in depth look at the other culture's because Lionheart is a bit obtuse. Goddess Tithe allows us to see through the eyes of someone else. In this case, Munny, a young man who works on a ship that Lionheart stowed away on.
     Munny was cute, he had his own little back story that we got to fully explore, and he was realistic. The author accurately portrayed what I have learned is average ship life. Nothing about the realism was confusing, and it added to the plot. I would recommend reading Veiled Rose  first because this is about Lionheart's journey during the plot.

In addition, right now on Amazon Heartless is free. All the other novels are $1.99 and Goddess Tithe is 99 cents.