Monday, October 24, 2016

Book of the Order Series by Philippa Ballantine

Book of the Order Series by Philippa Ballantine
Published between 2010-2013
Summaries on Goodreads
Buy Geist on Amazon
Buy Spectyr on Amazon
Buy Wrayth on Amazon
Buy Harbinger on Amazon

I’m not sure why this series is labeled as steampunk on Goodreads because it isn’t really…I would consider this more of high fantasy as opposed to regular fantasy especially with all the geistlords and creatures running amok in this series.  Also, I have mixed feelings about this book/series.  This was my first high fantasy novel, I think, at least in a while, and it’s not a genre that I’m supremely familiar with or fond of so it was a little slow going for me to get into the characters and the plot.

First things first, there were way too many characters, names, creatures and whatnot going on.  I felt like I was constantly confused or simply two steps behind when someone appears.  Other than the core crew: Sorcha, Merrick, Raed and later, Zofiya, I was thrown around when someone else appeared.  I just felt like there were too many different terminologies and names that it just felt really disorganized.  For example, there’s the geist world out there but apparently each geistlord has their own name and that’s in addition to the lesser geists out there and their names.  Then there are also the normal people and the Deacons who go by either Deacon [last name] or just simply the first name.  And, none of the names are common names so it was even harder for me to connect the dots. 

As for the plot itself, the first two books essentially had very different plot lines with different characters (other than the core ones) with a few underlying similarities whereas book 3 and 4 were definitely more correlated and seemed to immediately start up where the other left off.  I mean, generally, the books connected in the core elements but I definitely felt as if the first two novels were more of building up the actual plot so you can either look at it positively as if the author is spending a lot of time plot and world building or you can look at it negatively by stating it was very slow especially from the beginning.  So if that’s something up your alley, you would enjoy this series.

The three main characters: Sorcha, Merrick and Raed as a whole were well-rounded.  I found that some characteristics that one might be lacking would be found in another character.  For example, Sorcha was very quick tempered and not at all political whereas Merrick and even Raed knew how to say things in a manner that would cool the flames.  Also, I was so sure that there was supposed to be some sort of romantic relationship between Sorcha and Merrick but there wasn’t so I was a little disappointed at that but then again, I guess that would be too cliché maybe.

The one thing that confused me was the relationship between Raed and the Rossin (which apparently isn’t even his real name since Rossin is technically Raed’s last name but the author always went by this name to portray the geistlord which is also another confusing element).  I’m not sure what the dynamic was and it seemed that in the beginning that the Rossin controlled Raed during the change but as the books went by, the dynamic changed but it wasn’t exactly equal. I just wish this was something that was portrayed a bit more.

Overall, it was an okay series on my end but then again, I’m not really into high fantasy novels so if that’s something you really like this take a go at this one.




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