This was a very good, very professional book, and my rating may seem a little contrary in this respect, but if I’m being quite honest, I did struggle with the writing a touch. Not that Chasser is not high quality – she most certainly is – but more so that with this particular standard tale of magic and medieval fighting fantasy, the problem for me was perhaps not so much its content, but its pace. To tell the truth, I always find fantasy extremely tough to bond with, and even harder to keep with for its duration. I’ve always felt that the reader tends to be simply observing goings on from one scenario to the next – there is a general overall narrative, but it is tenuously connected by all the unusual events in between. The Empress and the Arctic Tern is no different. It does feel long and wordy, and this isn’t helped by long chapters and an absence of scene breaks, both of which I would have liked to have seen more of.
Additionally, a lot of dialogue controls this book, which perhaps accentuated a big issue for me, and that is the fact that I don’t think English is this author’s first language (please forgive me if I am mistaken). Whilst Chasser’s grammar is to a superb quality, the phrasing throughout the book’s entirety lacks a touch of naturalness; the English language is interrupted too much, and this becomes very distracting from one paragraph to the next – I am sure this was another big factor in why it was a tough one to keep following, without the need to double-check scenes and events. I did get a strong feeling that in Chasser’s native tongue the reader experience would have been a significantly more complete and satisfying one, and every bit as flawless as her grammar.
And, this is because I can see the undeniable quality in this author – and a very good author she is, too, with a vivid and detailed palette. Despite what might seem like my critical comments, The Empress and the Arctic Tern is a wonderful book – a decent, classic, epic fantasy story, written in a colourful, vividly creative style. The characters are created and developed well, and I particularly like the way they interact with each other – this is certainly one of the more conspicuous of Chasser’s many strengths as an author. I would like to see the book more accomplished and polished in my language, with more of an emphasis on controlling the pace and narrative with, because I think it would be a lovely tale, and a superb showcase for an endearing writer.
In : Book Reviews
Tags: angie-chasser fantasy action epic