Read Flame by Hilari Bell Online

flame

Stories are old of a hero who will come to Farsala's aid when the need need is greatest. But for thousands of years the prosperous land of Farsala has felt no such need, as it has enjoyed the peace that comes from being both feared and respected. Now a new enemy approaches Farsala's borders, one that neither fears of respects its name and legend. But the rulers of FarsalaStories are old of a hero who will come to Farsala's aid when the need need is greatest. But for thousands of years the prosperous land of Farsala has felt no such need, as it has enjoyed the peace that comes from being both feared and respected. Now a new enemy approaches Farsala's borders, one that neither fears of respects its name and legend. But the rulers of Farsala still believe that they can beat any opponet. Three young people are less sure of Farsala's invincibility. Jiaan, Soraya, and Kavi see Time's Wheel turning, with Farsala headed toward the Flames of Destruction. What they cannot see is how inextricably their lives are linked to Farsala's fate - until it's too late. In "Flame" the first volume of The Book of Sorahb, Hilari Bell introduces readers to a world of honor, danger, and magic in this spell binding tale of self-discovery. ...

Title : Flame
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 854137
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 344 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Flame Reviews

  • Whitley Birks
    2019-04-06 17:40

    For all this book's good points (and there are many), it still fails because of one thing: I was rooting for the 'bad' guys the whole time.Bell created a kingdom, Farsala, which has no redeeming qualities. The peasants are treated like shit, their technology is stale, their legal system is so corrupt it has more holes in it than swiss cheese. Every part of every facet of every system they have is flawed.On the other side, we have the Hrum. More commonly known as the Romans. They have a fair everything. A fair legal system, a fair tax system, and their military and government is a meritocracy instead of a noble/royal system. Sure, they conquer neighboring countries, but they do so with a minimal loss of life and improve every country they take over. This isn't just a lit told to one of the characters, it's confirmed over and over and over again by multiple sources. These are the good guys, but we're supposed to hate them.We're supposed to hate them because they keep slaves. Really, that's the only reason. Roman slaves. I don't think this author knows what that means, or knows what the life of a Persian peasant was like. She says that the nobility treats their peasants "almost as bad as slaves" but, no. It's worse. Roman slaves are protected from violence and being overworked, whereas in this story a main character is maimed by the whim of a noble and no one bats an eye.So, the life of a Roman slave is safer and better than the life of a Persian peasant, but the Roman stand-ins are supposed to be the bad guys because...reasons. The author couldn't find any good reasons, so she harps on the slave thing and tries to make the commander out to be a monster, even though we never see the commander do anything bad-guy-worthy. He's just...sort of stern, but that's it. We're told he's terrible, but never shown it, so the whole thing falls incredibly flat.If I bother to read the second two books, I'll be cheering for the Hrum the entire time. Really, there's no reason not to.

  • Lexie
    2019-04-05 17:38

    This is the first book in Hilari Bell's Farsala Trilogy. We're introduced to Jiaan--a peasant-born bastard son of a noble taken into the Commander's household as a page, Soraya--the Commander's fiery, willful daughter and Kavi--a spy perhaps, but who knew where his loyalties truly ran? Each chapter follows from a third person viewpoint of one of those three young people--who's lives are intertwined together no matter what the distance (of land or experience) forces upon them. Additionally there are short chapters that fill in the legend of Sorahb, a legendary figure who will rise again when the need is great.And frankly the need is pretty great as the book goes on.I'll be frank I was recommended this book by a friend who thought it would be a fun joke to see me stumble through it. Its heavy on political intrigues and machinations as well as a healthy dose of murder, revenge and fighting. I hesitate to say its a hard book to go through because its not, its fairly simple as long as you keep the players of the game straight and their movements. In particular Kavi creates problems because he is a trickster, a guy who wants to watch out for himself and himself along, but finds himself caught up in plots that go over his head. He's not a bad guy, but he's blinded by his hatred for Farsala nobles who have only ever treated him like dirt beneath their boots.Since this is the first book in a trilogy, the end is not tied up in a neat bow. Honestly by the end of it everyone is so far removed from who they were in the beginning, that its hard for me to remember (as I re-read the book) that Soraya really was that bratty or that Jiaan never spoke up for himself. Despite her flaws though Soraya is my favorite character--she's a brat, true, but she is also young and unable to fully understand what is happening around her. All she sees is her father sending her away as an unruly child when she wants to be seen as a young woman ready to embark upon her own life and hold herself equal to everyone else. She doesn't see that the Hrum (the enemy) has learned from their past failures, that the easy victory Farsala took for granted for so long is not a stone cold fact, that her father wants her to live and be free of what the Hrum will do to her if they caught her.Kavi and Jiaan are interesting polar opposites. Very easily Jiaan could have been Kavi if the Commander hadn't taken him in and raised him far above what his peasant (bastard) status demanded. They also view the Commander and his 'generosity' in entirely different ways. Jiaan is grateful for the chance while Kavi is suspicious of a noble man who would act the way he does.Overall this book is a great way to start a fantasy that makes you think and scheme like the characters. Nothing comes easy in Farsala, least of all answers to what it means to be a hero.

  • Aurora Dimitre
    2019-03-29 16:41

    Re-read April 2015, rated 5/5 stars You know how I put this under shelves 'dramatic music necessary' and also 'liferuiners'? May or may not be totally connected. I'm just sayin'. Everything is so much more depressing when it's set to sad instrumental music. (view spoiler)[ Damn it, Commander, did you really have to get killed during the slow piano part?(hide spoiler)]But I love these books. I love these books more than anything else in the world, probably. I mean, I go on and on about Knight & Rogue, but I really do think that this trilogy is my favorite of Bell's work. It's just so well put together. It's so good. So good. I love the characters. I love Kavi the most, of course, because it'sKaviand everyone loves Kavi. Especially in this first book, when you don't see enough of Fasal to really like him, because what you do see of him is brattier than Soraya, which is really saying something in this book. but I'm rambling. I'm rambling so much. Because I love these. And am glad that I already have a review for book three, because that one always destroys me, and when I get to it - eesh. But yeah read these. Hey, I re-read this trilogy last year in April, too!First read a long, long, long time ago, and I've always loved it.

  • Trish
    2019-03-26 11:52

    The vocabulary was a little bit of a hindrance in getting into this book, but once the definitions with their cultural understandings are in place, this book was hard to put down. The biggest benefit -- from a parent's perspective -- a youth could get out of reading this book is an understanding of politics. Hearing the thoughts of a cunning peasant peddler while being taught along with him the ways of a foreign people he has agreed to spy for is the easiest way to comprehend the waxing and waning of political power without being put to sleep. The side story that appears in between the actual story also shows how rumors make their way into the history books. A great story is weaved along with a bit of magic are elements that serve as the sugar to make the medicine go down. There is not much to be surprised by in the end, as the title gives it away, but an eagerness for the story to continue makes you antsy for the second installment of this steady and patient story.

  • wishforagiraffe
    2019-04-03 15:48

    Definitely a YA book (the line spacing and the font were both huge), it was still enjoyable. Three main protagonists, 1 female who is actually pretty unsympathetic and 2 male, all with very different views on their world and the war that their country is involved in. Based on real world Persian mythology (I'm pretty sure that is what it said in the back of the book), the invaders are Roman analogues. Definitely plan to continue the series, as the political side of the story had very interesting potential for development.

  • Hallie
    2019-03-24 17:35

    Have just lost the *second* review of this book, and this one was finished and just getting tweaked, so is most frustrating. Briefly, I had gone on at length about the major problem I had with this book, which was an anachronistic presentation of the way one of the three main characters reacted to slavery. The kingdom of the title is Farsala (lightly fictionalised and fantasized ancient Persia), and it's a pretty rotten one, unless you're a deghan (noble). Farsala is about to be attacked by the Hrum, who are pretty much the Romans. There are detailed descriptions of how the Hrum treat their own people and their (many) former enemies, and everything the character is told about the Hrum by the Hrum is verified by disinterested reports. It is infinitely fairer than Farsala, and even their slaves have rights and protections, unlike the so-called free people of Farsala. Despite this, the fact that the Hrum do have slaves becomes the sole reason for the character to make a massive about-face turn - an extremely important one for the next books in the series. This seriously weakened the book for me, because I loved the political discussions and ruminations, and wanted the character's thinking to be consistent with the world depicted. Instead, slavery became the absolute deal-breaker it would be for a modern reader. That out of my system, I liked Kavi far more than the other two protagonists, and found him much more interesting as a character. The fact that friends have said the same and like the rest of the series even more than this gives me hope. Oh, and these are fellow Megan Whalen Turner fans, though Kavi is no Gen. Then again, NOBODY except Gen is Gen.

  • Robin
    2019-04-09 10:53

    Inspired by a Persian legend and originally titled Flame, this is the first book of the Farsala Trilogy. The new and improved title, while dramatically distinctive, has the drawback of giving away the ending. But since the story is only getting started, that's probably all right. The kingdom that falls in this book is called Farsala, a society that has held its own for many centuries against hostile neighbors on both sides. Its strength is also its vulnerability: an aristocratic class of cavalry officers, called the deghans, that has ridden down every enemy it has faced in battle. But the deghans are also proud, prickly, jealous of each other's position, and apt to treat the peasantry as a lower life-form than their horses. There is also something about their religion, which propitiates eleven evil djinn—sometimes to an extent that corrupts the rule of law—while doing lip-service to a single, benign deity called Azura. Throw in an enemy empire with a relatively liberal system of laws and a tradition of either conquering a country within a year or giving up—which sounds like an easy foe to beat until you realize how seldom they have given up—and you might begin to see why Farsala is poised, tipping, ready to fall.At the heart of this tragedy are three young people, ranging in age from fifteen to about twenty. Teenaged Oraya is the spoiled, haughty, willful daughter of Farsala's military commander. Merahb dotes on his daughter above all things—more than his wife, his younger male heir, even his illegitimate son Jiaan, whose career he has advanced with a patronage that makes Oraya jealous. Jiaan, for his part, has to put up with a lot of hazing from full-blooded deghans his age, who refuse to accept him among their ranks, and from the half-sister who seizes every opportunity to call him a "peasant-born bastard." The unlikely third side of the triangle is a young peddler with a maimed hand, who nurses a deep grudge against the deghans, their social system, and especially their treatment of peasants like him. Kavi travels up and down the trade road with his beloved mule Duckie, trading with miners and farmers and travelers from foreign lands, and keeping his shadier dealings just a click downwind of the law.The book, alternately told from the point of view of each of these three characters, doesn't spend much time introducing them before events start swirling and sweeping them into a collision course with their country's fate. Rumor has it that the Hrum Empire will soon be ready to invade Farsala. Merahb fears for his country's future, especially if his political rivals succeed in replacing him as high commander. But thanks to the twisted church-state politics of the deghans, young Oraya must be sacrificed to the djinn—supposedly to enable Farsala to win the impending war. Merahb has other plans for his daughter, however. Plans that involve a skillful deception, a hiding place in the mountains, and a little help from the Suud—strange, nocturnal people who live in the uncharted desert beyond the mountains. Both Jiaan (willingly) and Kavi (unwillingly) play a role in Oraya's escape. But as calamity descends upon Farsala like a thunderstorm, each of them faces sudden changes in their status, their importance, their role in history. By the end of this first installment, it looks as though at least one of them may be the great mythical hero, promised to return in the hour of Farsala's greatest need.Though this book is very fast-paced and oriented toward teen readers, it is also a challenging book in several ways. Oraya is not an easy character to sympathize with, even after she begins to transform under the magical influence of the Suud. Jiaan's first taste of battle is humiliating and heart-breaking, yet somehow he seems destined to become a great military leader. Most surprising of all is Kavi, whose loyalties are up for grabs and who may not seem to have the strength—either of body or of character—to influence events other than toward disaster. While you're still deciding whether you care about him or despise him, or to guess whose side he will end up on and whether he will live long enough to make a difference, everything changes in a rush of emotionally staggering events. And just like that, you'll be on the hook for Book 2, Rise of a Hero (originally published as Wheel).Denver-based author Hilari Bell has written a dozen and a half books, of which I have only read one so far (The Wizard Test). After dipping another toe in her work, I will surely pick up more of the Farsala Trilogy on my next trip to the library. Other titles of hers that interest me include The Goblin Wood (also the start of a trilogy), a trilogy (soon to become a quartet) called "Knight and Rogue," and the conclusion of this trilogy, Forging the Sword.

  • Brandy Painter
    2019-04-08 14:56

    Review originally posted here.Yay for a fantasy trilogy not set in a pseudo medieval Europe type place! Farsala is an ancient Persian type country about to be smacked down by a Greco-Roman type empire. The Farsalan nobility are haughty and arrogant. Everything in Farsala works to the benefit of the deghans (nobility). If as a peasant you serve a generous deghan so much the better for you. If not your life is misery. The religious system of the country is exploited by and used to benefit the deghans completely. Priests are easily bribed and do the willing, not of their god but the highest noble bidder. In Farsala only the deghans and their servants and peasant bastards are allowed to fight in the army. The invaders, the Hrum, are a systematic conquering machine. The situation in Farsala is not looking so good. I liked the way Bell presented both nations. This is not a story about a good and great nation fighting the evil conquering empire. Both governing systems have flaws. Both armies have good men and evil men. I like how it is made a point that it will matter little to the peasants which army wins. Their lives won't change that substantially. There is no great nationalistic pride or patriotism in Farsala except amongst the deghans, which is historically realistic.The book is told in third person limited and switches between the three main characters. This way you get the story in pieces and are never entirely aware of all that is going on at any given time. Bell did an excellent job of layering and placing the different perspectives so the story is never difficult to follow. The main characters are Soraya, the daughter of the Farsala's military commander, Jiann, the illegitimate though much honored son of the same, and Kavi, a not quite honest peddlar. I am not a big fan of the "spoiled princess is humbled and learns important lesson" plot so Soraya's sections were a bit tedious to get through for me. She is, in my opinion, the weakest part of the book. She is the one that is learning to work the "magic" that makes this a fantasy so I suppose she is rather important and only bound to become more so. I still would have been happy if a jackal had eaten her. As much as I dislike the spoiled princess character I love the devious inventive con man type. Especially when he is placed with and against the honorable to a fault soldier type. So Kavi and Jiann made this book work for me. Especially Kavi. I like him quite a lot. I think he was the character Bell did the best job fleshing out and giving a whole personality to. He is riddled with faults but he is extremely sympathetic. And he is a snarky conniving double dealer so it was impossible for me not to like him.The magical element of the book is not really well established. This volume is laying the groundwork, building the world, characters and conflict for the other two books in the trilogy and at times the execution of this is stilted and clumsy. There wasn't a whole lot of time to focus on Soraya's lessons which involve finding her inner spirit and communing with the inner spirits of natural elements (water and fire are her focus here). There is also an ancient myth foretelling the rebirth of an ancient warrior to come to Farsala's aid as promised by the Farsalan god. There are a lot of strands here and they are woven together very loosely (some are just left hanging) by the end of the book.I am interested to see where the story goes in the next two volumes. I suppose it is too much to hope for a scene where Kavi and Jiann combine their talents and shove Soraya off a mountain but I will be optimistic. I am not optimistic she will grow on me as a character.

  • Ithlilian
    2019-03-26 17:37

    I have to admit that I am a fan of fantasy books that take place in desert settings. I've yet to read one that I don't like, and Fall of a Kingdom is no exception. The book is decent, but I had some issues with it. First, the characters. Soraya is basically a spoiled daddy's girl, until she strikes out on her own and one event makes her completely change. I found her transformation sudden and a bit unbelievable. Jiaan, the illegitamate son of a king is treated very well for his position and is probably the strongest character in the book. He has flaws, but he is honorable in general, and that makes him the most complex character in the story. Kavi, much like Soraya, completely changes his personality after one small incident. Again, unrealistic, sudden, and strange. My complaint is that the characters are flat, driven by actions, and don't seem to have any complexity. I understand that this book is intended for young readers, but that is not an excuse to not have strong, multifaceted, realistic characters. My second issue is the kingdom of Farsala itself. It really seems like the invading empire would be a much better place than Farsala. I liked, and sympathized with, the invading army much more than the home team. I don't know if the author wanted this to happen, but since our main characters are fighting for their homeland, I really think we are supposed to side with them. Not agreeing with the main characters will pose a big problem for me if I continue the series, but for now it's just a minor issue. My third issue was the pace. For being a fairly simple and straightforward book, sections of Fall of a Kingdom are very tedious and slow moving. I can understand, forgive, and even enjoy slow moving passages in a deep, well thought out, complex novel, but not here.On the other hand, there were things I enjoyed about Fall of a Kingdom. I feel that the kingdoms were well thought out and portrayed. I understood why the noble class acted the way they did, and I understood the leaders' actions. Soraya's transformation and training was interesting and enjoyable as well. The book served it's purpose as an introduction, even if the ending felt a bit rushed. I wouldn't mind continuing the series, and that is a good outcome for a first book in a trilogy. Hopefully the second book isn't slow, as many middle books in trilogies are. If the characters grow and become less shallow, then this series could be very good indeed.

  • Miko
    2019-04-10 09:31

    The Farsala Trilogy is brilliant, well written and captivating. The magic that isn’t really magic is one of the most realistic, creative well crafted interpretations that I have ever come across. Instead of magic it’s more like an affinity, a connection and telekinesis all rolled into one. The “magic” is a skill instead of a craft or revered position. Like riding a bike, painting or dancing it is an essential yet overlooked skill that, though it may need practice, is something that you never really forget. It isn’t subtle, instead it’s natural, interwoven into the story in such a way that it comes as no surprise and clicks into a place that never seemed lacking to begin but is essential to both the plot and characters’ development. On top of that Hillari Bell has a very interesting voice. It is one that seems very nondescript, or slow going at the beginning but slowly entices you in. the first time I read this, and even the last time if I were to be honest, I have found myself just saying “one more paragraph” or “one more chapter” more times than I can count, even in some of the more slowly paced chapters. I have found it impossible put down, or look away from. It is like you are interwoven into the story, like you were really there, yet detached enough to fully enjoy every moment. I often find myself comparing her writing style to everyday life in the way that each individual detail seems so important, each moment inevitable and filled with a sort of single, many minded focus.

  • Krista Ivy
    2019-04-09 10:00

    three young people work to live thru the day and achieve what they can as individuals. a girl of royal blood who is spoiled, but a good tracker. she is trained by magic wielders when her family has to leave her to survive with another family in the desert. She learns some humility and to learn of the unknown and not simply fear it. a boy of half-royal blood. he is deserved of the full title, but the others treat him as if a peasant. his father knows that he is more and expects it of him. He gives the opportunity to better himself, but not the full training required. a boy that is of peasant blood who has become a lying peddler. a blacksmith who had his hand injured when he was an apprentice all because of a royal brat. he is against those of 'higher' blood and wants them to be accountable for what they do, but not destroyed. An army approaches and these three young people will be important. the girl could be used for leverage or she could claim her own power later on. her half brother could hold a portion of the land for a year and win them the war. the peddler could find a way to help them and rescue the slaves that the invading army have taken captive.

  • Cathleen Ash
    2019-03-31 09:58

    Hilari Bell continues to amaze me with her ability to capture a reader immediately, and keep them hooked until the very last page (and beyond!). In this new trilogy, she introduces us to a cast of characters from two very different backgrounds (the indigenous and the invading army). Soraya and Jiann, who have the same father but were raised very differently. We also begin to get the history of Farsala and Sorahb's tale from many many years ago. All of it starts us on a journey, a quest to keep Farsala from the reach of the Hrum, who have conquered many other countries, controlling everything in their wake. With the Deghans in control of Farsala, and the peasants rebelling against them in as many small ways as they can, who will unite to stop the invading army? Find out in the first of the Farsala books.

  • Deirdre
    2019-04-02 17:57

    I love this series!And I'm adding re-reads to this year's reading challenge -- just to make sure I'll be able to re-read some of my favorites.Definitely, this series is one of my favorites. What I love most about it is precisely what some people hate about it -- that our "heroes" are not always right. It's really interesting to see the conflicts that develop when the "bad" side has so much good to offer. And I love how Hilari Bell incorporates the ancient Persian myths! I also love her depictions of magic -- not overdone, and not too easy -- unlike the magic in some other (admittedly fun) series I could name.Great world building, great characters, great fun to read!And I only didn't give this one 5 stars because the next 2 are even better.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-20 17:41

    It was okay. I found it a little heavy-handed to be honest. It sounds like it might get better in the sequels, but with so many other books out there, I really need to be convinced in the first to continue on to the second.

  • Yoru
    2019-04-17 17:47

    Revisiting this book after a handful of years is a delight, I must say. For fellow lovers of world history, particularly any ancient world history centered on the Persian and Roman empires, this fantasy should likely be on your TBR list. The kingdom of Farsala and their enemy empire of Hrum are deadringers for Persia and Rome. This book opens the first part of the story, starting with the fateful Hrum invasion of Farsala, and the Farsalan attempts at defending themselves.We have three points of view to follow in this narrative, not counting the legend of Sorahb interspersed throughout the story. Our three protagonists are Jiaan, Soraya, and Kavi, and they each provide very different views and backgrounds throughout the story.The thing that I think causes many people to potentially DNF this book is Soraya. She is the hardest of the three protagonists to connect with emotionally because of her background and personality. As royalty of a sort, she is used to having things a very specific way and treating everyone around her in any manner as she so pleases. Thus her character can frustrate a lot of readers who don't want to stick around to see how she changes and grows from the different experiences that mold and shape her when she's forced into situations where her background and title are meaningless. But trust me, she does start to grow and it shows by the end of this first book.Kavi is a little easier to sympathize with. He was treated horridly by the rulers of his country and as such, is willing to betray them to the Hrum under the promise of lower-class peasants of Farsala having a better life under Hrum rule. He is a character who becomes very torn over time about what he wants and what he thinks is right, and this conflict and turmoil in his soul become evident by the last chapter in his perspective.Jiann is the most interesting, because he's sort of the bridge between the two worlds, being the bastard son of royalty, with a thirst to prove himself and just as much to gain as he does to lose. I would argue it's easiest for most readers to sympathize with Jiann as a character, and he's also very easily my favorite of the three protagonists in this particular book.There's very little else I can offer other readers, as the plot of this book is very much what it says on the tin, but it's worth the read. Seeing how Bell handles the world-building, the cultures, the characters, is wonderful and inspiring. I definitely recommend this one to everybody, at least to try once.

  • Courtney
    2019-04-18 14:35

    This book was really okay. It wasn't a stay up all night read for me and it didn't especially capture me. The different points of views left me confused about what this was all towards and there didn't especially seem to be a storyline (although this is probably because this is the first book in the series.) I also didn't connect with Kavi or Soraya at all until the very end when they actually resolved to do something. So far, I'm only interested in Jiaan. I don't understand why Bell chose to have such different stories in one book that are connected by miniscule spider thread strands, but if she manages to make them all come together nicely, it will be an ingenious series. In the end, I'd give it a 3.5 ish review.

  • Kevin
    2019-03-22 10:45

    Fall of a Kingdom was a title I picked up for its cover art. I had the book for about three months before I actually got into the story. I found the story a bit slow in the beginning, but then what story isn't? Once I got to know the characters the story took off I couldn't wait to read what happened next to each of the characters. I loved how Bell wrote each chapter from the view of one of her three main characters, Jiann, Soraya, and Kavi. Honestly the story only gets better and more interesting as the trilogy unfolds. I enjoyed this book but the 2nd and 3rd in the series are truly amazing works of art that every reader of fantasy should read. 4 stars for the Farsala Trilogy.

  • Sarah Maddaford
    2019-04-12 17:46

    I picked this book up solely because the cover was fascinating to me. I love fantasy books anyway and one set in a Persian/Middle Eastern type culture was even more fascinating for being slightly different than traditional fantasy. I really enjoyed the three main characters and the pacing was excellent. The world was expansive and intricate without having to stop and slow down for explanations every few minutes. This definitely read like a first book in a fantasy trilogy, but it wasn't quite as bad as some of the adult ones when it comes to introducing the world at the expense of action.

  • Becky
    2019-03-21 11:01

    It had all the feel of ancient Rome mixed with perhaps a little bit of China and Native American culture. It was a great beginning to a larger tale and I'm excited to continue the trilogy. These are real and imperfect characters who are not always predictable. How in the world are they going to get out of this predicament?

  • Aurora
    2019-03-20 11:32

    I just couldn't get myself interested in this book! There are great stories similar to this that enticed me right off the bat but for some reason, I felt disconnected from this one. Maybe one day it will catch my eye again!

  • Chloe
    2019-04-20 17:31

    4.5 stars

  • Sarah
    2019-04-06 11:39

    This is one of my favorite series. Complex and diverse characters, engrossing story, poignant mythology, and no romance!

  • Beth
    2019-04-10 16:58

    Series review here.

  • Bradley
    2019-04-09 15:45

    Not bad for a kiddie fantasy book. Far better than the romance I read last. =)

  • Gail
    2019-04-14 16:33

    Wow - what a fantastic, exhilarating story - it took me awhile to really get into this book - I was reading another so it was hard to concentrate. When I returned to this book I became griped by the characters and their personality, struggles, life styles and problems. I have to admit, I had to write their names down and who they were to keep them straight. There are 3 main characters that we learn about and follow. The author is great on her description of things, felt like I was right there. What is also fascinating, the author is mixing in another phase of the story that will be brought to light later. Traditions are strong throughout this book with the characters, hopes, wishes and dreams - don't always survive - but to reclaim what you've lost creates a drive that we see evolve in our characters. What does really matter? I have really enjoyed this and look forward to see what happens next.

  • Originalconcept
    2019-04-05 16:59

    Lacks any originality or excitement.All three protagonists all defined by a couple traits. There's the haughty, adventurous noble's daughter; the capable-yet-ashamed bastard; and the bitter, hapless merchant. Supporting characters are likewise flat, and dialogue flows predictably as each party acts out their chosen cliché. Both warring nations are similarly unimaginative. Faux-Romans are invading the Middle-East- themed Farsala. And while corruption and predjudice run rampant in Farsala, the Roman-like Hrun bring equality under law, beneficent infrastructure, and even allow self-governance. So what's the big deal? It's difficult to get excited about a painless, fictitious regime change for cardboard cutouts. A teenaged target audience is no excuse for a lack of creativity. Fall of a Kingdom is like an unseasoned meal: inoffensive, insipid, and utterly unremarkable.

  • Kirsten Simkiss
    2019-04-15 12:48

    I refused to finish this one. While I did not in any way find it offensive, I did find it very boring. I could not bring myself to enjoy any of the characters or the aspects of the world. The characters were insubstantial at best, and while they were said to be ages fifteen and nineteen, they all acted as if they were around twelve years old. Not only that, but the vocabulary was incredibly simple for a young adult novel, even though it encompassed much more adult realities of fictional life. Furthermore, if I wanted to read a parody of Roman and Persian war times, I'd pick a different book.Some have said in other reviews that the later books make this one worth reading. If you're stuck with the same characters, I would have to disagree. Especially Soraya, who seemingly has no redeeming qualities.

  • David Akeroyd
    2019-03-20 17:48

    This book has numerous problems that ruin any merits. The invading Hrum (Rome) are so ridiculously built up as the ideal society (except for having slaves, and even that is the "milder" form of slavery) that you have no reason to care that they're invading. The society they're invading are run by a nobility that are all terrible people, except of course for the protagonist's father who is everything noble and just about his people.The bigger flaw is the silly rule the Hrum have that they will stop an invasion and ally with the invadee (with lots of benefits!) if they can't beat them in one year. No nation would or could work that way. It's a ridiculous escape the author gave themselves.

  • Ember
    2019-03-23 17:40

    Oh hey, this series! Really good character-arc-driven fantasy, and a lot more thoughtful and complex than the fighting-off-the-evil-empire story I was expecting from the jacket copy of the edition I picked up. The latter two books are when it gets really good, I love the trick those pull about legends arising out of the collective consciousness. I haven't reread this first one in a while - I own the other two - but I remember it mainly as setup for those anyhow. Important setup, you need it or the payoff won't work, but the payoff is better.

  • Maureen
    2019-04-15 09:37

    Medieval fantasy. This must have been written with the design of making money over writing a good story. This first book in the trilogy was soooooooooo drawn out, I'm guessing the trilogy instead could have been one long and maybe enjoyable book. The story moved too slowly, the characters were two dimensional and the writing was on the level below what I expect from a good young adult book/series. I will not be seeking out book 2.