Review of Pauline M. Ross’s The Plains of Kallanash
January 5, 2015
Book Blub: Thousands of years after a magical catastrophe reshaped the world and pulled the moons out of alignment, the secret of magic has seemingly been lost. At the centre of the vast, forbidding Plains of Kallanash lies a land ruled by a secretive religion, whose people fight a never-ending war against the barbarians in the wilderness beyond the border.
Amongst the nobility, double marriages are the norm. Junior wife Mia always dreamed of attracting the attention of the dashing lead husband, but never dared to compete against her lively older sister. Hurst has spent ten frustrating years as junior husband, longing to test his skill with a sword in battle, longing for his beloved Mia to turn to him.
The mysterious death of Mia’s sister thrusts the marriage into turmoil. As Mia and Hurst struggle to adjust and find out what happened, they uncover sinister truths about the ruling religion. But the gods are unforgiving; even Mia’s innocent questions carry a terrible punishment. Hurst is prepared to risk everything to save her, even if it means taking up his sword against the barbarians, his own people, and the gods themselves.
Rating: Three and a half Stars – Recommended
Similar Authors: Kristen Cashore, Rae Carson
Review: I’ve never had such a hard time deciding on a rating for a book. On the one hand, this was unusual and unexpected and the writing style is phenomenal. But on the other hand, I just couldn’t get past my dislike for the main character. I’m giving this novel three and half stars (I’ll round up on amazon and goodreads) mostly for the main plot line and the writing style. I think anyone looking for an unusual fantasy novel with fantastic twists and turns will be pleased with this book.
I loved the writing style. The depth of the description was balanced so well with the action and dialogue that it was a wonderful read for this English Major. The word choice was at times poetic leaving me heartbroken with the beauty of the description. For the writing style alone, I am so glad that I read this book.
The main character starts out mousy and painfully naïve. There is a turning point for Mia that comes after she has lost everything, and I just couldn’t believe how far from the docile introductory character she comes. At the end of the book, I just couldn’t get myself to like her. Her romantic choices seemed completely unrealistic and were frankly just not something that I was interested in reading. This is, of course, a very personal reaction to the character. But that’s the wonderful thing about books, right? Opening the same pages reveals such a different journey for each reader.
The main plot line is surprising. This isn’t your typical Tolkien style fantasy. Yes, there are journeys and governments to overthrow, but there is also an intense sort of personal journey for Mia and Hurst. The author uses character development more than action to drive the story forward.
So while I may not have cared for Mia personally, I would still recommend this book to anyone looking for something different with a stunning writing style.
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.