Monday, 21 December 2009

Ilfayne's Bane by Julia Knight, a review/pimp.

(Listening to - AC/DC - Have A Drink On Me)

Since my Dark Tower review was pretty well received, I thought I'd have a crack at another. It has nothing to do with any threats of physical violence from the author. No sirree, not at all.

(As with my other reviews, I shan't spoil anything, and harbour nasty thoughts for people who do.)

As I said in the title, the name of the book is Ilfayne's Bane, and the author is one Julia Knight.

The book is a romantic fantasy, or possibly a fantasy romance, set in a whole new world of Julia's devising. I've always been in awe of anyone who can create a whole new world, and that's what Julia does in this. Continents, countries, creatures, races of people, traditions, customs.. Veeeeery impressive. It also reminds me of what my trunked fantasy is missing...

That's not to say that the story is heavy on the world building, because it's not. It's just obvious that she's taken a great deal of time creating this world and the people within. Speaking of people, I should talk about the characters!

(I know, I know, my review technique is awesome!)

So, the main characters in the story are a half kyrbodan, half human woman named Hilde, and an immortal one handed wizard who goes by the name of Ilfayne.
Hilde is hated by both humans and kyrbodans, as she's neither one nor the other, but finds a friend in a certain badass wizard with a stump.

Like I said, I don't want to spoil the plot, so I shall quote the blurb here:

Condemned to four thousand years of loneliness and regret, Ilfayne finds a rare thing in Hilde: a friend. For that, he will do anything to keep her safe. Just as he gathers the courage to reveal the tender feelings he thought he’d lost, her kyrbodan blood forces her to bond with a man of her own race. To deny the bond means she could die. Either way, she is lost to him.

Now llfayne’s oldest enemy has resurfaced, a sorcerer who will stop at nothing to destroy him. Including targeting their greatest vulnerabilities—Ilfayne’s hidden love for Hilde, and Hilde’s guilt-wracked conscience.

When the sorcerer makes his move, Hilde holds the lives of two men in her hands—and faces a terrible and deadly choice. Loyalty…or love.

From start to finish, the story grabbed me by the unmentionables and pulled me along (I finished the book at 5am, as I didn't want to stop). The more you get into it, the greater the stakes become, and Julia does an excellent job of ramping up the tension. By the end, you truly care for the characters (I was practically in tears at one point), and don't want it to end.

So, to sum up: A well written, gripping story with 3 dimensional characters, a plot chocked full of tension, and some turnips.

What are you waiting for? GO BUY IT!


PS - I'm sure some are thinking "he's just pimping because he knows the author." That's not true. Granted, I know her, but if the book sucked, I wouldn't review it. :-)

PPS - Oh, and don't be put off by the romance element. I'd say it was 70% fantasy and 30% romance. Others may disagree, as I can be dense to romance elements.

PPPS - The sequel is out in January! Can't wait!


Anonymous said...

I made you snivel!

I am so touched :D

And I'm so glad you liked it! *does happy dance* the people most difficult to please are other writers, so I'm dead chuffed.

Adam said...

You're welcome! It's a great book, and needs to sell a million so you can keep telling the story! :D


Sandra Wickham said...

I've never seen your blog before! *hangs head in shame* It's AWESOME! ;)

I've seen the cover for Ilfayne's Bane on AW so often and have wanted to read it, now I really do need to read it!! Thanks for the review.

Adam said...


It's about time you came around lol ;-)

Yeah, it's definitely worth a read. :-)


Melanie Hooyenga said...

Adam, you totally rock at reviews. I want to read this now too!

Like Sandra, I've seen the cover a zillion times but didn't know what it was about. Very cool!

Adam said...

Thanks, Mel! You'll give me a swell head, as you foreigners say. :D

Grab the book when you get chance, you shan't regret it!


Dolly said...

It sounds interesting, so I shall add to my list. I have seen this book cover a lot around the Internet, but I always assumed it was romance so didn't bother to look it up. Nothing against romance (especially amongst my own characters), but I have had enough of pure romance books after my teenage obsession with them. However 70% fantasy and 30% romance is perfect.

PS: The dark blue font is really hard to read on black background.

Adam said...

There is a definite romance element to it, but it's not overpowering. Well worth a read. :)


PS - Oops, sorry about that, it looked alright on the white background of the text editor. ;-)

Moses Siregar III said...

Good review. I've just been holding off partly due to a little romance-a-phobia, so the 70/30 ratio is reassuring. I was definitely planning on reading it anyway, but this gives me a good, strong push ;-)

Adam said...

Jolly good! :D