Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review: Becoming the Chateran by S. J. Aisling

Book blurb:
When Princess Rhea’s actions inadvertently condemn two innocent knights to death, she wakes to the hard reality that not even nobility is above the law. All her attempts to remedy the situation only complicate it, however, until she finds herself a fugitive in her own kingdom, having dragged her best friend into the trouble, as well. Their only hope for pardon? To accompany Sir Paladin and Sir Zephen in their sentence:
Slay, or be slain by, two legendary Dragons.
Travelling incognito, they meet with more malicious Phoenixes than could be coincidental, discover the mysterious disappearance of numerous citizens, and come face to face with a reawakened evil power. With the kingdom oblivious to the connection of these dangers, it’s up to Rhea and her outlaw companions to stop the rising threat and redeem their names – if they can survive their quest.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Author: S. J. Aisling
Publisher: Aniko Press
Publication Date: December 2013

The plot:
The plot of Becoming the Chateran was pretty original. However, it did start rather slow; according to my Kindle, the bit where Rhea and the knights start their quest to slay the Dragons didn't happen until you were about 23% in. However, the beginning was still pretty good. The first 23% is still entertaining, and it serves to showcase many of the main characters in a normal situation, before all of the condemning and Dragon slaying and such. But a little bit after that, maybe 24% in, the plot really picks up and moves at a fairly rapid, twisty pace full of complications for the characters. It contains everything from Minotaur attacks to deadly enchantresses.

The characters:
 The characters in Becoming the Chateran were, for the most part, amazing. I really liked Paladin, Zehpen, and Rhea's best friend Hiyliene. However, I didn't like Rhea too much at the beginning of the book. She was very bratty and rebellious. Not rebellious like she was being oppressed, or anything. She just ignored whatever anybody thought if it didn't mirror her own interests and thought that, as princess, she was able to do what she wanted, when she wanted to. Of course, as the story went on, Rhea matured and become much more likeable, and went from thinking that the title 'princess' entitled her anything she wanted to thinking it meant it was her duty to defend her country and be honorable.

The setting:
The setting in Becoming the Chateran can be summed up in one word: stunning. It's a very expansive storyworld, but Aisling manages to cover enough of it to keep you enthralled, while still hiding bits that makes you want to come back for book two. There are races other than humans in the book; the Fey and the Fallen. The Fey include beings such as elves, griffins, and centaurs. The Fallen are evil creatures like Minotaurs, Phoenixes, and Dragons. The Open World is definitely a wonderful storyworld I can't wait to return to.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Becoming the Chateran.The detail given to the plot and the setting were exquisite. I didn't like the main character at first, which is a bit of a blow, but as time went on I found her very likable. Becoming the Chateran is a very fun, lighthearted book. But it is very long; the paperback edition is 560 pages, according to Amazon. But after the first few chapters, you hardly notice the length of the book. Becoming the Chateran left several questions about the characters and storyworld overall unanswered, but these questions simply make me want to read the sequel even more. This book is definitely worth reading.

You can buying Becoming the Chateran on Amazon here.

About the Author:
 A native of the Midwest, Stacia Joy is currently studying book illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and publishing her debut YA fantasy The Chateran Series. She also enjoys writing science fiction and steampunk, and occasionally pens poems about dinosaurs or buffalo. When not huddled over her drawing table, she can be found researching any given topic to death in the name of a book, Irish dancing around her apartment, playing and composing for the folk harp, cuddling kittens, and watching superhero cartoons. She blogs at her website: http://sjaisling.com/

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