February 3, 2012

Fantasy Review: The Traitor's Daughter

The Traitor's Daughter
Paula Brandon
The Veiled Isles Trilogy #1
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Rating 4

The intriguing first installment of the Veiled Isles Trilogy gives readers a taste of its rich world and the cataclysm to come. Jianna is the spoiled daughter of Magnifico Aureste Belandor. While on her way to a new land and a future husband, Jianna is kidnapped by an enemy her father discounted long ago. Jianna must overcome her pampered upbringing and naivety of her father's past deeds in order to escape the fate that awaits her.

The whimsy of this book caught me right away with the prologue and the humorous banter between Grix Orlazu and his automaton I never felt forced to read this as the style and quality of writing were wonderful, however I felt like there was a veil between myself and the characters. Although I wanted to get to know them better I could never really connect or relate to any of the character except Jianna. Jianna annoyed me at first with her bratty attitude and complete dependency on her father to rescue her, however as the story progressed and it become more and more clear that her father would not be coming to her rescue, I was pleasantly surprised at Jianna's development. . I especially enjoyed her nursing of the patients with Falaste Rione. Instead of complaining and getting grossed out, she rose to the challenge and helped heal the battle injuries of her patients. I loved her growing sense of responsibility and her eventual willingness to devise her own way of escape. It was nice to read about a heroine who tries to save herself rather than just waits for someone else to do it. I look forward to seeing how much she grows in the next book as well.

There was were very little romance elements in this book. You could tell the author is setting up Jianna to have feelings for Rione, but instead of focusing on a romance, the Paula Brandon focuses on her world building, characters, and story. Although I felt the chapters focusing on Vinz Corvestri slowed down the pace of the novel quite a bit, I still enjoyed getting to know the characters. Rione was my least favorite character in this story, mostly because he was a complete and utter wimp until the last couple chapters. I absolutely hated that he just stood around and let Jianna be hurt and treated as a prisoner. If Jianna does develop feelings for him and he becomes the love interest, I hope the author gives Rione a way to redeem himself because he is still on my shit list.

Readers will find this first installment to be more of a precursor to the main story which seems to be set to unfold in book 2. While reviews I have read complain about this, I was compelled to find out more and actually excited by the way it all ended. The end perfectly sets up book 2 for readers and gives them a pretty good idea of what is happening to the world around its characters. As a zombie fanatic, I am not completely convinced about the zombies of Brandon's world, but am looking forward to finding out more about them. I think Brandon had the right idea when she set up The Traitor's Daughter to mostly set everything up so that she could get into the meat of things in book 2 The Ruined City set to be released February 28th of 2012.

Recommendation: Fantasy fans will recognize the elements of an epic tale, but will want more clarification. Not for readers looking for a romance novel, this is pure fantasy and adventure.

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