Ashael Rising by Shona Kinsella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This confident and well-written debut novel sits firmly in the fantasy genre, whilst bringing something new and different at the same time. Ashael, the eponymous heroine, is a well-drawn and convincing character who puts me in mind of Jean M. Auel's Ayla, as did the the sure and deftly handled description of the People of the Cam. This is most definitely a compliment. Ms. Kinsella introduces the differing races - humanoid or not - and their milieus with compact exposition and yes, "shows" much more than she "tells". On Kaladene, the peaceful People of the Cam and others, some not so peaceful,are awaiting the arrival of the long-prophesied Vessel. All have their own expectations and some even have plans to profit by this mysterious arrival. Kidnap, an unusual ransom demand and attempts to escape result. To avoid any spoiling, I shall only say that the plot is engaging and had me turning the pages faster still towards the end. I very much look forward to Ashael's further adventures on Kaladene.
A tremendous read, which I thoroughly recommend.
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