I was provided a free copy of this novel in exchange for a review. As always, the following reflects my true opinion of the work.
I rate this book 3.75/5 stars. Here is my breakdown:
Characters: 4.5/5. This is a real strength in this novel. Rockefeller created an intriguing world populated by interesting people. The motivations for the characters are realistic and solid, and the cultures in which they thrive are fascinating to read about. With the right mix of sci-fi and high fantasy, I cared about these people from beginning to end. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Corann and Anlei.
Plot/Storyline: 3.5/5. Okay, I'll be honest (of course); in a novel entitled "The Great Succession Crisis," I thought there would be more focus on the Great Succession Crisis. <.< >.>. The problem is mentioned in the beginning and is the backdrop for why Anlei needs to find a suitor, but it is resolved very quickly at the end of the novel. I loved the story (although it felt like it ended a bit quickly), but, at the end, I was left feeling like I must have missed something about what I thought was the main focus of the story.
Flow: 3.5/5. The story read well and smoothly, for the most part. Aside from a few grammar/spelling issues (addressed below), my main issue with the flow of the story is that the characters have a tendency to...pontificate? Is that the right word? They expound a lot, and the other character will just sit still for the five or so minutes it must have taken the first to say what he/she was saying. Corann was especially guilty of this :)
Spelling/Grammar: 3.5/5. There weren't that many spelling/grammar issues, although there were enough for me to notice. Another proofread of sentence structure might be a good idea, just to make sure that the issues are taken care of.
Overall: 3.75/5. This book is enjoyable, a solid read, and certainly worth picking up. I think that the author has a great imagination and has created a deep, realistic world. The few technical problems I had were not enough to steal my joy in reading this book. Keep refining your talent, and you will do very well!
Jason P. Crawford