Citadel of the Sky (Thrones of the Firstborn, book 1)
written by Chrysoula Tzavelas
published by dreamfarmer press, 2015
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: I did, but I had some issues with it.
Even after finishing the book, I’m still murky on many of the details. I don’t know if it was just that my brain couldn’t quite connect with the writing style or if others will have the same problem. This book really needs more world building (so we don’t have to check the dictionary for “eidolons”), and perhaps a pronunciation guide (because how the HECK do you pronounce “phantasmagory?”). Maybe I just needed more detailed physical descriptions to solidify the different characters in my imagination, but I found myself skipping to the character guide several times to remind myself who people were–even the supposed main characters. I also found myself slogging through some narrator confusion . . . the beginning of the book switched between Tiara’s and Kiar’s POVs, and I thought I was in for a dual-narration. I got confused, then, when Kiar dropped out of the story for several chapters only to pop back in in fits and spurts. Again, not sure if it’s a writing style issue or my own (I’m awash in pregnancy brain right now, so it very well could just be me).
Chrysoula Tzavelas certainly doesn’t lack imagination, but I’ll be honest: her grammar can use some work.
One last complaint before I move on, and that’s this: insane people aren’t stupid, and I feel like Tzavelas could do a better job clarifying the difference.
The story, though — wow. The story is fantastic. I’m hoping for a bit more romance in the upcoming installments, which yes, I DO intend to read.
“Sometimes they could change the world just by speaking sternly to it.”
“I see that thing, that place, and I think maybe the reason the Blood is mad is because it takes a madman to fight against something like that.”
Would I recommend it: Go for it. Oh, and let me know what YOU think of the writing style, yeah? =)
About the book – from Goodreads: Her (not very) Serene Highness Princess Tiana tries her best not to think about the dark lords ravaging her country or how the magic in her bloodline makes her family go mad. The descendant of a legendary hero, she prefers bringing the myths of old to life on the theater stage, not on the battlefield.
Then a rash of suspicious deaths strikes the Regents —trusted advisors, friends, and guides to her troubled royal family —and the Noble’s Council tries to cover it all up. Tiana is determined to get to the bottom of the murders and the conspiracy, even if that means making a dangerous pact with a telepathic demon trapped in a magical sword. But he may just be the edge she needs to save the people she loves.
Cursed sword in hand, Tiana and her friends prepare to face the encroaching darkness —and the ultimate truth about her and her family.
About the author: As an Air Force kid, Chrysoula went to twelve schools in twelve years and spent a lot of time wondering what made people tick. Books, it turned out, helped with that question. These days she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, which includes many small and demanding creatures who fight over her attention. Her first book, urban fantasy MATCHBOX GIRLS, was published in 2012 by the small press Candlemark & Gleam, followed annually by two more books in the same SENYAZA Series, all of which explore the impact of the supernatural on those who are— or who want to be— ordinary. Her next book, CITADEL OF THE SKY, is the first of a new series about the descendants of a Chosen One and the legacy of power and mental illness they’ve inherited. It’s also about Dark Lords and kicking butt in nice dresses.