1. I read Fantasy ever since I can remember. 2. My guilty pleasure is chick lit. And 3. You can call me Nya.
I am thrilled to give 4.5 stars to this book, the highest rating of 2015. Those who follow my reviews and procedures know that I round my numbers up (as per the mathematical rule) and this means that this book will get 5 stars from me on any websites that do not accept half-stars. As always, what you are going to read below reflects my own personal reading experience.
(You can see the original post here, which includes a guest post by the author)
Plot & Characters
Even though this dark fantasy tale focuses on the aspect of romantic love in order to strengthen the impact of the events, it is at the same time so much more than that. It is undoubtedly an epic fantasy tale with fantastic world building, with well-crafted places and lands having the perfect contrast between good vs evil, beauty vs decadence.
The characters have their deepest roots in folklore but are developed beyond what is common or typical. Stereotypical roles and characters are present but are given a refreshingly new dimension, to the point of being relatable. Due to this well-thought approach, Feast of Fates has the best of both worlds: the familiarity of the Fantasy genre, and a particularly poetic vibe to it.
If I had something to complain about (and I always do) would be the Prologue (being a sort of ‘pro-Prologue skipper’ myself). Brown grabs you during Chapter I, not during the Prologue, which I thought was skippable. I understand that Chapter I hints strongly towards the romantic aspect of the story – even if the book itself is not fully dedicated to Romance. This could be misleading and even potentially push Fantasy readers away, those that aren’t interested in reading ‘just another’ romantic story. Therefore, the author might have wanted to reveal a bit of the epic proportions of this novel through the Prologue. In any case, if you are reading this book and are not feeling particularly excited with the Prologue, I would recommend you to start with the first chapter instead (and then you can go back and read the Prologue).
A few additional warnings:
- Yes, the book is long, but I thought the pace was more than suitable to make you care enough about the characters and their own personal journeys.
- The book contains graphic violence and strong elements of dark fantasy.
- There are several ‘italic’ flashbacks which somehow I thought it worked within the context (I am not a fan of flashbacks myself).
I never thought the writing style would be what I would consider the strongest point in a book, but in this case, it is. Brown is a masterful storyteller, and I am quite impressed myself because his writing style approach was something rather unique and new for me. The overall omniscient narrator represents more than a classic writing style in this case; tales are told almost in a mystical way. The vivid descriptions and overall tone make you feel as if you are part of this magical world, being fed the stories and adventures of characters that grow on you. All of this without the need of using limited POV. The prose is not what you typically see within the Fantasy genre, and it blends a bit with the Literary genre, perhaps even a bit experimental at some points. I thought it was beautifully written.