Friday, 9 September 2011
Pale Queen's Courtyard (Moonlit Cities Book 1) - Marcin Wrona
Title: Pale Queen's Courtyard (Moonlit Cities Book 1)
Author: Marcin Wrona
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Pale Queen's Courtyard is the first in a series of novels that will be set in a fantasy world that has a Mesopotamian influence; this made it enjoyably different in my opinion to many other fantasy novels that use the standard medieval European influence. The book itself had a very enjoyable and exciting storyline that delved into this world's religion and politics.
The plot basically revolved around two major characters, the first is called Leonine who is a thief, musician and secretly, is also a sorcerer. Unfortunately for him, the land he inhabits has deemed that the use of sorcery will result in a death sentence. The second named Kamvar, is a soldier who has dedicated his life to this faith and is a member of an elite group that was created to hunt down sorcerers. When the young daughter of a high priest is revealed to be a sorceress, both men become involved in the hunt and are taken on individual but intertwined journeys that test both their beliefs and convictions.
I have to be honest and say that as I started reading I wasn’t very sure about the book. It initially moves along at quite a slow pace and was throwing up various names, places and details at me which I didn’t know about or really understand. This is the type of thing I always like to flick to a glossary for in other books but wasn’t present here. However within a few chapters I began to gain an understanding into who the various people were and how the world was actually set up which meant I could actually now relax and enjoy the book as it began to pick up into a slightly faster pace.
I was glad that this happened as Marcin Wrona has created a really varied and interesting world and has managed to add in sorcery into the story with a very realistic feel. Basically, the world and society he has created here in this book is one that I could imagine reading multiple books about without getting bored.
The main characters are well developed, Leonine is a superb antihero; who is initially unwilling and reluctant to face what has been forced upon him, but ends up fighting for something he really believed in. Then there is Kamvar whose honour, love and devotion to his family and friends makes him easy to understand and believe in. I enjoyed seeing the potential for both good and bad in these characters and how and why they ended up choosing the paths they finally followed.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book as I couldn’t put it down by the time I reached the final third. The world that has been created is basically superb and the plot once it picks up is fun and exciting to follow onto its conclusion. I am looking forward to reading more books set in this world that we have so far only seen a small but really interesting part of.