Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dark Fantasy Review: Ghostwalker (The Spiderlily Chronicles Book 1) by Nicole Martinsen

Ghostwalker (The Spiderlily Chronicles Book 1)
by Nicole Martinsen

Publication Date: June 10th 2015

The Tapestry of Fate is absolute. If a Thread determines that one will lead a life of fortune, then it will happen. If a Thread determines that one will lead a life in vain, it is inescapable. All things, save for the smallest of margins, are set in stone... unless you're a Ghostwalker.

In this world, where destiny is everything, a Ghostwalker has the ability to forge their own legacy. Through the mere act of living, they change the weave of the Tapestry, and each life they meet is affected in a similar way.

Ghostwalkers have been Kings and madmen, prophets, and paupers, and in this particular instance, a six-year-old girl...

"Ghostwalker" will take a young half-elf away from everything she knows and throw her into the High City of Lydia, where she will have to rely on wit and unconventional allies to survive long enough to make a difference in the world, even if it comes down to throwing it all away.

My Review:
Ghostwalker reads like an epic fantasy. Silhouette, kidnapped as a child, grows up in the High City of Lydia. Her kidnapper views her as a substitute for her mother, Kendra, who chose another over him. It spans three distinct time periods, starting when Silhouette is a child, jumping forward to her as a young teen, and wrapping up when she is an older teen.

One thing I liked was the complexity of most of the characters. Many of the good guys make some really terrible choices, and I found it hard to figure out whether to like or dislike some of them. Then again, the bad guys didn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities, making them rather one-dimensional.

Besides the characters, I liked the complex plot. However, it’s a bit much at first, and I can see how some folks might get lost and decide to give up. My opinion is that the author purposefully made the main plot hard to spot. Underlying the prominent conflicts that take over the story is a mystery. When I began to perceive that mystery, I began to find it hard to put the book down.

One thing that bugged me was that many of the undead and dead are almost the same as the living. It kind of muddies the impact of certain tragedies, giving them an “oh, well, they’ll be back soon enough” sort of feel. I have mixed feelings about it because I liked some of the characters that came back, even though their return didn’t quite make sense.

Overall, I really liked the story. It’s a bit complex, but the writing is solid and the world and characters are interesting. It reads a lot like epic fantasy, so I think folks who like that genre might like this as well.

I picked up Ghostwalker while it was a freebee.

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