Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Are you going to tell me where we're going?"

The Wizard’s Promise (The Hannah Duology, #1)The Wizard’s Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 and a half stars.

This book is set in the same world as Cassandra Rose Clarke's books from The Assassin's Curse series. I loved that series. I loved the characters, I loved the writing style and I loved the setting. As such, I was extremely happy when I learned that The Wizard's Promise could revisit these places.

However, I have to say, it felt short.

This book tells the story of Hannah, an untrained witch who is a fisherman's apprentice, for a guy named Kolur. She is obligated to join Kolur in a fishing trip that takes an unexpected course. This sounds intriguing... yes, and fun too. But that unexpected course, ends up being completely open ended throughout the book.

Let me begin with what I found to be the most positive parts of this story: I love the narrative and style. Clarke is very smooth and crafty with her storytelling. You end up believing and visualizing everything she writes. The worldbuilding is very rich and flawless. I tasted the sea, felt the wind, smelled the fish and touched the sails. You end up travelling with Hannah in Kolur's boat.

But the so-so part in this story that I was iffy about, and annoyed, is perhaps that everything was secret and Hannah remains frustrated throughout the book because no one tells her the reasons of her predicament. In sum, we practically learn nothing, I ended up getting irked about this lack of information, in addition to the absence of connection (and sometimes empathy) with Hannah. I really felt nothing for her, taking in account that I usually have strong emotions towards the fictional characters from the books I read. But this is in no way critical to the enjoyment of the story. I liked it. I want to read the second book. I am curious enough to wonder what's going to happen to Hannah, but I just wished this book gave more clues and it didn't feel so incomplete with information.

I am introducing in my book reviews a Fictional Meals section, highlighting some food items characters have, interesting dishes I want to try and some curios ones.

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In this book, there are two:

The Start of Spring cake : made from hand-picked berries, baked by Hannah's mother with help from Hannah and her brother Henrik.

The Tuljan delicacy, Lisila fish : "The lisila was a sort of stew, with a creamy white broth that shimmered like moonlight. It smelled of herbs, fragrant and grassy like summer." It is said in this story, that once you try it, you won't want to eat anything more. When Hannah samples it, she said that the "flavour was savory and so complex I couldn't quite define it (...)" sounds yummy, right?

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This book was provided by the publisher, Angry Robot through NetGalley in exchange for Lisila stew an honest review. Thank you!

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