Thursday, January 25, 2007

Book Review: _The Aware_ by Glenda Larke

In recent years, new voices have added their contributions to the Fantasy genre. Many of these voices are coming from all over the world. One of the new voices is an Australian who lives in Malaysia. Glenda Larke’s trilogy of the “Isles of Glory” have been published in the United States. The first book, The Aware, is a lively book due to an imaginative setting, memorable characters and suspenseful plot.

The setting of the book gives it a strong sense of place by being very imaginative. through descriptive passages, the author brings the world on the Isles of Glory to life for readers. This Fantasy world consists of islands with different cultures on each. The Keeper isles maintain the peace by preventing pirates and smuggling. Keepers possess one of the two magics called sylvamagic, which is used for healing and illusion. They try to counter the corrupting dun magic and those who practice it. Another group of people, the Aware, possess the last talent of being able to see magic. Focusing on the island of Gorthan Spit, the story takes place on an island that is a dumping ground for outcasts, slavers and outlaws of the Isles. Gorthan Spit is a setting full of intense characters that makes the book interesting.

Another aspect of the book is the memorable characters. Blaze Halfbreed tells the story in the first person point of view. She is an outcast because she is a halfbreed. Wanting legal citizenship, Blaze works as an agent for the Keepers because she is Aware. A strong warrior with no friends, she is cynical and struggles to leave her terrible past behind. Flame is a sylvtalent woman that helps Blaze grow along with Tor Ryder who is Blaze’s love interest. Ms. Larke Brings these characters to life with vivid descriptions and snappy dialogue.

Finally, a suspenseful plot holds the reader’s attention until the end of the book. The main character, Blaze, arrives on Gorthan Spit. She is sent there on a mission to find a missing island heir. While searching for the missing woman, she is drawn into the mystery of an evil dun magic user. Blaze must discover who the evil mage is to save her new friends. Along the way she discovers love and friendship, and what is truly important to her. Ms. Larke weaves together several plot threads to create action and conflict.

The Aware By Glenda Larke is the first book of the “Isles of Glory” trilogy. The imaginative setting, memorable characters and suspenseful plot makes the book a lively read for readers. Ms. Larke is an interesting Fantasy author that is adding an entertaining Fantasy world to the genre. The other two books are: Gilfeather and The Tainted. These will be reviewed in the future.

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