Time was, time is, and time will be.
Thus starts the tale of the Wisdom Tree
and two brothers who rivals forever shall be.
- Dio's song, Eye of the Sword
Ever go to a movie, not expecting anything in particular but daring the movie makers to impress you?
That's how I approached Eye of the Sword, the second book in Karyn Henley's Angelaeon Circle. Hey, it's a fantasy series about angels. I'm as apt to read that as I am to read a book about pixies. Impress me.
And that's what Henley did.
I was immediately involved in the excellent writing, engaging characters, and intriguing story. Despite not having read the first book (Breath of Angel), I was never lost. Necessary information was given to the reader as needed, and I never felt cheated that I reached the series late. A few chapters in, I never even missed the first book. Events from it are referenced so that they lend a sense of history -- even deep history -- behind the events of the current book.
I'm an editor, though, so I rarely read purely for pleasure, even when that's my goal. One of the best ways for me to gauge a novel is how painless it is to read. During Eye of the Sword, my internal editor conked out, lulled to sleep by writing free of the usual speed bumps: awkward phrasing, trippy words, illogical character actions, and bland, boring, or laughably bad dialogue. Although no particular passage stands out to me as memorable for its style, the writing is smooth, and there are scenes and images that stick in my mind.
A note about style or voice: Neither of those elements should overwhelm the story. Style or voice should never become the star of the novel, but should serve the story. Therefore, when I say that no particular passage stands out due to style, that's not a bad thing. I'd rather have substance than pretty, pretty lights.
More about Eye of the Sword in the next couple of days; meantime, check out these other stops along the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour:
Julie Bihn Thomas Fletcher Booher Beckie Burnham Jackie Castle Brenda Castro Jeff Chapman Christine Theresa Dunlap Cynthia Dyer Victor Gentile Ryan Heart Janeen Ippolito Jason Joyner Carol Keen Emileigh Latham Rebekah Loper Shannon McDermott Karen McSpadden Meagan @ Blooming with Books Rebecca LuElla Miller Anna Mittower Mirriam Neal Nissa Faye Oygard Nathan Reimer Chawna Schroeder Kathleen Smith Donna Swanson Jessica Thomas Steve Trower Shane Werlinger Phyllis Wheeler