Title: The Rise of Aredor
Author: Claire M. Banschbach
Series: The Rise of Aredor #1
~ MY REVIEW ~
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.