I adored this book and raced through the rest of the trilogy as soon as I finished this one (I even went out to buy myself book 3 in hardback as an early Christmas present, instead of waiting a week for the library reservation!). It’s a wonderful fantasy series aimed at young adults (but certainly one to be enjoyed by adults too). The characters are well rounded and they grow through the stories, maturing and changing as they discover more about the world and themselves. Warriors become disenchanted with war, princesses develop steeliness and young lovers discover the bitterness of disappointment.
I was initially a bit unsure, because of certain, shall we say, ‘parallels’ with George R R Martin’s epic Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones series – but don’t let that put you off. These similarities (and they feel rather substantial) are very quickly left behind as the books grow into something very much their own.
Although book one is dominated by a central male character, female characters are very well done and much more to the forefront in subsequent books – this was a real treat.
If you’re recommending them to teen readers, it’s worth noting that the violence in these books is much more restrained than in George R R Martin’s books, and that the young character’s first sexual experiences are superbly treated.
If you enjoy reading fantasy, be sure to pick these up, they are marvellous.