Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review: The Rise of Aredor by Claire M. Banschbach

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Title: The Rise of Aredor

Author: Claire M. Banschbach

Series: The Rise of Aredor #1

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Teen

**4 stars**

I couldn’t help but give this one four stars. Though the beginning was a bit rough, The Rise of Aredor by Claire Banschbach was ultimately a great read for me.

The story starts off by introducing a young boy named Corin, his father and mother, who are the king and queen; and his sister, brother, and friends. We get to know them in this simple, happy setting, until something quite unexpected happens. From there, years pass, and we follow Corin as he braves incredible trials, engages in terrible battles, and ultimately becomes a young man known as The Hawk.

As I mentioned above, the beginning of The Rise of Aredor was a little choppy. Some incidents were alluded to, but the action skipped, leaving me feeling a bit out of the story. So for the first half of the book or so, I struggled to get into it, even though I was enjoying some aspects. There were all male characters, and the constant battling left me feeling like boys twelve and up might enjoy this story more than me.

But then … Oh yes, we definitely have a very bright other side to this! *smiles* I feel like sometimes new authors just have a hard time with the beginning of their books. (I know I’ve done that; the start of the book you’re trying to find your style and figure everything out) … and then suddenly, you find your flow, and it all comes together beautifully. So at some point, the writing did loose its choppy feeling and I fell into the story. Also, I think it helped when some girl characters appeared. After that, I finished The Rise of Aredor quickly, quite loving it! *smiles*

So Part Two of the story kind of had a Robin Hood retelling feel. I adored it so much!! *grins* I don’t know, it was just a fantastic idea that made a great tale! I know my younger brother would love it too, for the battles and Robin Hood feel, and also because of the fact that he loves hawks, and there’s a certain endearing hawk involved in The Rise of Aredor.

Oh, and there’s lots and lots of action. Battles, and sneaky raids, and daring rescues. Nothing too complex though. Though I got a little tired after a while of all the battles in the beginning (felt like perhaps it dragged on a little/the plot wasn’t progressing), Part Two was just so much fun for me, *smiles* I really enjoyed the humor, the different friendships, and the girl’s roles in The Rise of Aredor also.

There wasn’t any romance, though there were some sweet relationships between men and women. It was all pretty much a brother/sister feel … though some of them could perhaps develop into romances in the future … ? *winks*

As for spiritual, Lleu was alluded to at various times in the book. I’m not sure if he represented the Creator of the world, or just a “god” of one of the land’s. There is a scene where an angelic messenger comes to a man in his dream, which I thought was a really neat, poignant moment.

This is a non-magical fantasy, in case you didn’t know. Which, a note on that … I would perhaps call The Rise of Aredor a historical with made-up places and such over fantasy. There were no strange creatures, or special abilities, or anything really like that. But, I guess I don’t really know exactly what “fantasy” entails … so whatever. Doesn’t matter much anyway.

There was quite a bit of violence in this story, but nothing terribly graphic at all. I’m hoping to get my ten-year-old brother to read it, actually! *smiles*

To say what I’m thinking overall about this book; the hard beginning was definitely made up for by the spectacular-ness of Part Two. A non-magical fantasy … a retelling of Robin Hood … a harrowing, satisfying adventure … I’m happy to have read The Rise of Aredor! *grins* Looking forward to reading the second book.

I received a copy of The Rise of Aredor from the author in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Definitely think you gave an honest review!

    I agree the beginning started a bit slow, but I did enjoy the first half more than you did (chalk it up to my being a guy perhaps?). Certain things did feel skipped over, which I think that might have been a choice by the author to keep the intro from being longer than the primary story. That said, would I have liked to know more about the time between point a and point b? absolutely. All in all I greatly enjoyed the feel of the world established in part one.

    The story really did become something special in part two though, the ladies in the story not just being flat stereotypes often used in fantasy was a bonus for me, and when my daughter is a few years older I think she will enjoy them as much as I do. Tried to avoid giving anything away the way you seemed to as well, my apologies if I hinted at too much!

    1. :) Perhaps. I definitely think my brothers (younger and older) would enjoy the beginning a lot me than me as well. Must just be more a guy thing.

      I agree. I really feel Claire Banschbach did a good job with her world-building, :)

      No, it's all good. Yeah, I think a diverse audience could enjoy it... some maybe not quite as much as others... but all in all, it's a great book!

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  2. Thanks so much for the review!! I'm glad you enjoyed it and I hope your brothers will too!

    I have gotten mixed feedback on the first part of the book. I'm chalking it up to me still learning how to write (as you said) and loving action-y stuff. :D

    And I'm quite fond of that certain endearing hawk. :) Thanks again!! Hope you enjoy the second one even more!

    1. Your welcome! :) Yes, hopefully I'll get them to start reading soon! :)

      Yeah, well, I feel like a lot of books are like that. *Shrugs* I don't know, I guess we all just keep writing! :)

      :) A great "character", he is! :) Yes, I was glad to get the opportunity to read it! Excited to see what happens next in Book Two!