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5 beautiful soul touching starsSing well and fly high, and may nothing and no one tear your feet from the path of the Star Dance againReread for the third time with my favourite ladies Mary Celeste and it just keeps getting better better, seriously each time I read it I love it a tiny bit everytime When I die I want this series buried with my corpse Please Thank youThe circular pool contained no water instead, to all intents and purposes, it contained the universe The real one, not the faint shadow that lights the night sky Stars reeled and danced, Suns chased each other across galaxies, moons dipped and swayed through planetary systems, luminous comets threaded their mysterious paths through the cosmos The sounds of vast interstellar winds roared out into the chamber and a luminous deep blue light pulsed through the Star Gate It s depths stretched into infinityOkay so this book is actually so hard for me to rate review, it was the first fantasy novel I ever read I can remember going into my mums room when I was around 14 years old and seeing it sitting on her counter, i asked what it was about and my mum turned into a total fangirl while explaining the plot she has read this series over 10 times I can remember never seeing my mum so excited over a book, she lent me her original copy with some rules I can remember the rules vividly as everytime I lend her a book now I give her the rules she created lol The rules were do not bend the corner of the pages, use a book mark instead DO NOT BEND THE SPINE lastly do not lose it.I treated my mums copy of Battleaxe like it was my baby, and to this day I still own it because I never gave it back evil laugh I know for a fact my opinion on this book is highly influenced by my mum If you knew me in real life you would know I m a total mummy s girl, I love my mum then anything, and I still call her mummy and mumma She is the most precious person I ve ever met and I literally cry everytime I see think of her because I adore her, she s my idol I know she will cry when she reads this review but hey I do my best to be made of rainbows mum That s enough about my badass mum Okay so this book is classic fantasy at its best, I absolutely adore classic fantasy and this is my favourite classic It definitely has so many flaws slow pacing, cliche, a tad annoying I feel these things don t ruin the book because the last 30% is intense and the rest of the series is a lot faster, full of action and has a huge twist at the end but I honestly couldn t care less about the flaws, this book is my child And I ll fight you in a cage until the death if you don t like it So eat shit book haters It is about a world called Achar, on Archar there are four races Acharites humans or groundwalkers They worship the plough are brainwashed from birth to hate the forbidden races.The forbidden races are The Avar the people of the horn the dark skinned people of the forest, they worship the trees and are powerful banes capable of forest magic although they do not believe in violence and are the most peaceful of all the races.The Icarii the people of the wing they are the beautiful winged people Some Icarii are born as enchanters and can use the music of the Stardance to create music and magic They are the equivalent of angels.The Charonites the people of the underworld, one of the original races born from the enchantress They guide the souls of the dead to the afterlife The story takes place 1000 years after the war of the axe and the plough with the races all magical beings are now exiled and killed on sight We follow our main characters Axis, Faraday Azhure So basically the story is about a prophecy yes cliche as hell but fuck it, I love it The prophecy says two children will be born Gorgrael our bad guy and the Starman our good guy, both of these beings are the most powerful to have ever been born not only can they use the Stardance but they can also hear the Deathdance black magic Both of these beings come from the same father so basically book one is about discovering whose who in the prophecy but not all questions are answered Gorgrael has an army of skrealings wraiths Skraebolds both this creature are made from mist and they feed on fear death Shit gets crazy and lots of people die Only one man can stop Gorgrael Haha I wonder who it is.the characters Axis I have so many issues with Axis but that s because I ve read all his books I can t decide if I love or hate him He is such a stubborn, strong headed asshole but then again he is the kindest man alive I just can t get past his arrogance, he is actually such a dick and so moody to everyone Faraday my sweet baby Faraday I can t say much about this character because her role is huge in all six books So I ll just say that I absolutely adore Faraday, it s horrible what she goes through my heart hurts for her and the upcoming events Azhure the queen of my heart and whole existence where do I start with this character She s my favourite character of the whole series, to be honest the only reason I m reading these books again is for Azhure She is absolutely incredible and it s safe to say she turns into an absolute bad ass as the books progress Belial a background character I fucking love him, he makes axis bearable for me I absolutely adore him and wish he had his own POV He is definitely my favourite male character of this series and one of most remembered characters ever, he is so loyal and honourable he is a dreamboat.Raum another background character I love to death One of the Avar banes and he is awesome.Some of Sara Douglass s quotes melt my heart seriously like I cried my face off , she s such a fantastic author She died a few years back and it is so horribly sad to lose someone so talented.So yes it s cliche but awesome and interesting this book has some of my all time favourite book quotes and some of my favourite book moments, it is also one of the reasons I love the moon so much So I m sorry for my over emotional word vomit review, it s just hard to find words to describe something so dear to myself Who would I recommend this series to Anyone who loves classic fantasy, I bet you will adore it and fall in love with everything about it just like I did.Everyone go read it NOW Within the first 150 pages, this book contains An absurdly terrible prophetic poem about non specific evil that must be defeated by a band of plucky heroes going on a quest An obnoxious heroine who inexplicably has 20th century values in her generically medieval world, who is also amazingly beautiful in that way that only fantasy heroines in terrible books are A douchey hero with an absurd name to go along with the other absurd names in the book that sound like they were made up by a 4th grader A guy we re supposed to hate despite the fact that we are given no actual reason to do so other than that the aforementioned unappealing hero and heroine seem to Their hatred also appears to be for no reason other than that they read the book beforehand or something Juvenile prose with a wandering POV that changes from one sentence to the next in various instances Generally, this seems to be because the author was apparently too inept to handle writing a scene with multiple people thinking and feeling at the same time without just jumping into each character s head in turn to tell us directly what was going on with them.This is an AMAZINGLY terrible book It s as though the author took a list of crappy, generic fantasy tropes and used them as a guideline.How was it published Your guess is as good as mine.
Reviewed by Rabid ReadsIt d been approximately ten years since I last read THE WAYFARER REDEMPTION by Sara Douglass, and while I had not personally experienced the what was I thinking this book is crap phenomenon that so many readers have encountered during rereads of favorite books from eons past, I d heard an awful lot about it.Still, I wasn t worried my superior taste had consistently kept me from disappointment thus far, so why would this reread be any different Pfft.This book was crap.My only possible defense is that I read Terry Goodkind s SWORD OF TRUTH series around the same time and it was significantly worse.But even I don t buy that What was wrong with it you ask.Well After half a dozen chapters, my overall impression was that of a cheesy 80s fantasy movie like Legend or Willow.Don t get me wrong, I like cheesy 80s fantasy movies as much as the next person In fact, I like both LEGEND and WILLOW.BUT.It s infinitely easier to forgive a several decades old movie for being cornball, especially when you re watching and laughing at it with a bunch of friends then it is to forgive a book that s making your eyes roll back into your head All the genre clich s were present lengthening and intensifying of the harshest seasons, incontrovertible hatred between half brothers, one legitimate, one not, a hero who suffers gut churning guilt over a tragedy beyond his control, a bright eyed, inherently good but extremely naive heroine torn between the brothers , a monstrous evil threatening ALL of them grimaces At times, it almost felt like a parody of fantasy If an IDIOT S GUIDE TO FANTASY existed, it d look like this book, or better yet, a Write a Fantasy by Numbers tutorial Part I 1 Create three disparate races Humans who fear the other two magical races b c puny humans and adopt a rigid, fundamentalist religion to compensate for their weaknesses A forest people with an earth like magic who worship nature and hunt and gather Peacefully B c abhor violence An ethereal winged people who practice refined magic and are extremely arrogant 2 Create a prophecy foretelling DOOM should these races interbreed.3 Interbreed.Part II 1 Force a beautiful young princess to marry a rich old man she doesn t love.2 Have Old Man leave Beautiful Princess at home alone for a year b c reasons.3 Have Old Man return home from his year long absence to discover Beautiful Princess swollen with child.If this sort of thing had been limited to the world building and or the plot, but had well developed characters, I might have been able to handle it.But it wasn t.Without exception, the characters were woefully exaggerated in their behavior.Like when the king receives bad news that he must pass along to his councilThere is worse, Priam whispered, and Axis felt a finger of ice trace through his bowelsrepeats in a baritone Through his bowellllllls Which was quickly followed withBut that s not all Priam s voice dropped to a whisper and his face blanched to a sickly yellow. Then when he finally gets around to revealing that his sister s tomb had been desecrated during an attack, his nephew and heir reacts like thisThey stole my mother he screamed, his eyes wild, his hand still half raised. And of course all of this draws attention toother illegitimate nephewAt least Rivkah loved and respected my father enough not to betray him, Axis said quietly, his eyes blazing fiercely as they locked with Borneheld s Would that your father had received such love and respect from our motherAt which point this guy had had enoughBy Artor snarled Roland, stepping between the two men, his massive flesh quivering with anger Is it not enough that we face this peril from the northern wastes How can we face outside dangers when we tear ourselves to pieces within He turned to Borneheld and abruptly slapped him across the face, sending droplets of blood scattering across the floor Is this how a WarLord acts in the heat of battle What will you do when your foes taunt you across the battlefield, if this is how you react in the King s Privy Councilsnickers See It would have made a truly excellent 80s fantasy movie Especially with the addition of sort of brother 3, the aforementioned monstrous evil he has face tusks and lizard skin and drools , who might not be such a bad guy if he weren t so terribly lonelyTimozel, will you be my friend it simpered. heart does not swell in sympathy Ye gods.There were also incalculable eye roll inducers like Axis penchant for yelling, Let s ride any time he and his axemen went anywhere, and his faithful 2 named Belial.Yes B c SATAN was always so happy in a subordinate role rolls eyes But somewhere between the 30 40% mark, my senses became dulled and it got easier to bear As hyperbolic as it was, it was still somewhat entertaining, PLUS there was the added benefit of seeing how my biggest objection from my original read had in reality stared me in the face unapologetically the entire time.Still there are too many other better fantasy series out there for me to in good conscience recommend this one Unless, you re entertained by all that is excessive, in which case step right up bows like three ring circus master So I m a little bit torn on how harshly I should judge this book I realize it s early fantasy, and so I understand it s not going to compare to some of the newer fantasy books I ve read But at the same time, masterpieces like Lord of the Rings were written and published before this SoI wanted to rate this a 3 stars, but the further I got into it, the I realized I would be lying if I rated it anything above a 2 stars My main issue is that I was bored for at least 80% of this book, and so I can t in all good conscience rate it higher.This story has all the usual fantasy elements War torn lands Magical races Prophecy Chosen One That in itself is not a criticism These elements are all very expected when I pick up a high fantasy novel But there was nothing new here.Nothing surprised me No new twists There were one or two interesting revelations, but noOh my godmoments When there are a laundry list of expected tropes and themes all crammed together into a novel, I need there to also be a few stand out features that compel me to care The writing style was also incredibly rudimentary Some of the dialogue was weird to say the least Take this exampleI don t care if we listen to the words of a pox ridden whore whose brain is riddled with the diseases of her trade Yea that s not an awkward thing to scream out in a perfectly serious situationI m very confused by the author s choice to write in third person omniscient perspective for the entirety of this novel More than once, situations were set up in one character s mind and immediately addressed in another character s mind It went sort of like this Character 1 does a risky thing Character 2Ah yes that was precisely the only acceptable thing that could ve happened in this situation It felt cheesy, and like the author desperately wanted me to believe her characterization by confirming it with her other characters And it needed to be laid out plainly, just to be sure we didn t miss it.There were only two characters I genuinely connected with Otherwise this book is teeming with pompous assholes I like morally gray characters, but these people don t seem redeemable It s just the first installment, so I ll try to withhold judgment, but I didn t enjoy reading about most of them.Overall, this wasn t my kind of story It was too bland, and it took me TWO MONTHS to finally slog through it Buddy read this with the boos, Sarah and Celeste Thank you guys for patiently waiting for me to finish a whole month after you both did Where do I begin in reviewing arguably one of my all time favourite fantasy books Perhaps the best way to do it is to provide some context I first read Battleaxe when I was 14 in 1996 I distinctly remember walking into the bookstore and browsing over the shelves in search of something to read After initially finding nothing of interest I went to leave, feeling disappointed and frustrated As I turned my eyes fell upon a copy of Battleaxe that was tucked neatly on the shelves below my eye level The cover wasn t eye catching, but the premise sounded fascinating On a whim I decided to give it a go, and I haven t looked back since Sara Douglass was the author who cemented my love of fantasy I devoured each of her releases as they came, year after year I adored the magical and unique worlds she took me too in those books, and the fact the she was an Australian author reinforced my love for her work I used to keep up to date on her news via her website, where she dispensed wisdom and advice to all those who came seeking guidance I even had the pleasure of meeting her once at an event, where her warmth and keen intellect shone through Suffice to say I was devastated when I heard the news that she was sick with cancer Like in all things Sara approached this setback with determination and humour, and she kept writing and posting on her website about her garden or cats until she got really sick A few months later I heard the news that she had passed away, and I cried I was not a close friend or family member, and I had only met her once But I felt like I knew her, and I was heartbroken Sara had that gift She touched everyone who read her books, and we all felt her passing like the loss of a dear friend This 20th Anniversary edition of Battleaxe holds a special place in my heart for a number of reasons Firstly, it celebrates the impact that Sara has had on fantasy and speculative fiction in this country Sara was one of the first fantasy authors to write a bestseller in this country, and her books continued to be bestsellers year after year A rare feat for any writer, let alone a fantasy fiction writer Secondly it acknowledges the influence Sara has had over the industry here in Australia Many of us writers, publishers and fans alike still look to her as the role model for Australian fantasy, and her books still continue to have influence despite her passing a number of years ago We all owe her a debt that can be never repaid To think it all started with just a small plastic axe she discovered in her garden one day I only wish she could still see the happiness she brought into this world And Battleaxe itself Many people might argue that it has become dated, but I would disagree Battleaxe still to this very day retains its wonderful magic that I first experienced back in 1996 It is a powerful tale of fate, love, betrayal, religion and redemption Sara was a trailblazer, and in Battleaxe she unleashed a wonderful ensemble of themes, characters and ideas Axis, Rivkah, Borneheld, and Faraday all still entice and frustrate at the same time, and Sara was one of the first writers I read where powerful and strong women were the norm The world of Battleaxe is still unique and richly layered, and the lives and magic of the Icarii and the Skraelings are simply stunning I can t think of another book of the top of my head where such unique magical races have been depicted Battleaxe is also still an immersive, meaty and thoughtful book Arguably an allegory of the medieval world, Sara a medieval historian before she turned to writing brilliantly unpacks the role of the religion and the harm it brings to people and the natural world throughout the text And boy, her gift with language still remains unchallenged Reading Battleaxe is like slurping at a wonderfully flavoured soup on a cold and rainy night Sara had a way with words that was simply beautiful to read, and in Battleaxe this is highlighted to full effect The action sequences, twists and turns, and plot are all still top notch and cracking, and I still rate the assault on the Gorkenfort by the Skraelings as one of the best I have ever read And don t get me started on the betrayals The story still retains its impact twenty years later As writer and friend Karen Brooks writes in the introduction to this edition, Battleaxe is a searing insight into humanity and history through the lens of fantasy fiction I love this book, but I am always sad when I finish it, knowing that I will never read a new release by Sara again But I always go back and reread it year after year, no matter what That is the power of Sara Douglass, and of Battleaxe It is a magical and superb tale filled with love, violence, and betrayal It was her first book, but it is also arguably one of her best It is a must read for all fantasy fans, and it warms my heart to see a new generation will now get an opportunity to experience what I did many years ago with this rerelease 5 out of 5 stars smashdragons.blogspot.com.au Full review now posted To the best of my knowledge, this was my first foray into Australian fantasy And for the most part, it was an enjoyable journey The land of Achar is facing a supernatural invasion, and Axis, the BattleAxe of the realm, sets out to fight the incursion But Axis s history is not what he has been taught his whole life to believe, and there is to him than he thinks As he slowly uncovers his past and the powers latent within him, he is joined by two priests, a pig herder, a white cat, and a lovely young woman named Faraday, who just so happens to be engaged to Axis s greatest enemy his half brother, Borneheld Layer by layer, the Prophecy of the Destroyer is revealed, and Axis s life will never be the same.It didn t take me long to warm up to Axis, because I have a thing for surly guys who are actually really great people deep down Faraday, on the other hand, took a while for me to embrace She seemed in turns both too whiny and too accepting of any powers that manifested through her But grow on me she did My favorite minor characters were Azhure, a human who had lived through hell but was stronger for it and StarDrifter and FreeFall, Icarii royalty who were absolutely gorgeous with their incredible wings The Icarii, a winged race, and the Avar, a race of forest dwellers, were interesting additions to Douglass s world They had been slaughtered by humans Acharites in the distant past, and the humans had deforested as much of the land as possible In fact, the religion of the land was the Way of the Plough, and it portrayed trees and forests as almost demonic The Seneschal, or the ruling religious body, were truly awful The emphasis on deforestation and the implied evil of the action reminded me of Ferngully The true power of this planet was not found in Artor and his way of the Plough, but in the Mother, a nature deity whose powers manifested themselves through trees and lakes The nature religion of the Avar, Icarii, and those Acharites who were converted reminded me vaguely of Wicca.The story was interesting, and the setting and characters were interesting My main problem with the book was the writing itself One of my biggest pet peeves is the repetition of names in dialogue, and Douglass fell into that They know who they are you don t have to keep reminding them that you know their name I got bogged down a bit at times, as well, by an inability to find a character s actions believable I m looking at you, Borneheld, you beast by either overabundance or lack of description, depending on the chapter or by a constant reiteration of information that had been conveyed multiple times But beyond that, it was just a fun look back at the fantasy genre of 20 years ago I can absolutely see the nostalgic value of the books if they were one of your first forays into fantasy, as they were for my lovely friend Sarah I will definitely be reading the rest of the series, it will just be at some point in the distant future.Another buddy read with these loveliest of ladies Marquess Mary and Lady Luna. I started reading this series in the 90s when it first came out I got through the first two books, waited for the third to come out, then life came along and kept me really busy with a job change and a cross country move I had long since forgotten about these books until I ran across them the other day So, I decided why not go finish this series 23 years later.I clearly needed to reread this book, which I just finished The writing definitely reminds me of 90s fantasy A bit dramatic with the dialogue and overplayed hero s and villains It is a bit refreshing, actually I was also struck by the similarity to Game of Thrones A bit of research showed that this was written prior to George R R Martin s series An influence There is even a character named Jayme This series emerged during Robert Jordan s heyday, and the really huge fantasy novels were in vogue They still are look at Sanderson.In any case, I will have a good deal of time on my hands as I am hitting a hallmark of old age shoulder surgery My Kindle will easily turn pages for me, and as snow and ice pile on in this Minnesota winter, there is no time like the present for me to finish this series I began all of those years ago.4.5 stars A thousand years ago the people of Achar drove the Forbidden from their land in the War of the Axe They pulled down huge swathes of woodland in their fear and now live by the Way of the Plough under the benign guidance of their deity Artor Troubling rumours are brewing from the north Winter has come and stayed Icy wraiths are appearing from the mist and killing soldiers at the border stronghold before vanishing They are believed to be the Forbidden, massing in order to invade Achar and kill the Acharites.We meet Borneheld and Axis Borneheld is heir to the throne of Achar, son of Searlas and Rivkah Axis is his illegitimate half brother, also son of Rivkah from when she took a lover and disgraced herself Borneheld is the War Leader of Achar Axis is the leader of the Axe Wielders, the BattleAxe of the title Borneheld is sent the the border with reinforcements to try and hold back the Forbidden, while Axis is commanded by Jayme the Seneschal of the Brotherhood a sort of head priest figure, and Axis foster father to seek out information about the Forbidden in a bid to defeat them.Axis is also commanded to take with him Faraday, Borneheld s betrothed, a very beautiful and innocent young woman whom Axis falls in love with On the course of the journey Axis finds out about the nature of the Forbidden and the Sentinels and learns of the Prophecy This Prophecy is about to change the course of his life forever.Well, that is a basic description of the events that fill this novel, but don t do justice to the sheer amount of information that Douglass manages to fit in She creates four completely different races, with a shared history she sets up a family dispute that threatens to destroy the land and leave it open to Gorgrael, the foe she puts in a Prophecy and many mystical doings With this in mind, the pace is explosive I whipped through this six hundred page book in a matter of a couple of days, which even given the fact I am currently trapped in my house by snow is fast The writing is simple and easy to follow the concepts presented are smooth and Douglass builds up a decent fantasy world.It is just a shame the writing is so damn bad, and the book is rife with cliches Honestly, as I was reading through the novel I second guessed just about everything that happened, from Rivkah s surprise resurrection, and Faraday turning out to be than she seemed Oh, and when Timozel is mentioned as resenting Axis within the first paragraph of introducing him, what s the betting he goes on and betrays Axis What s that No bet, you say When you know how a novel will pan out, it doesn t give you a great inclination to continue reading.This book is in need of a heavy edit For instance, within the first ten pages or so we encounter the word perplexion Unless I m completely wrong, Douglass is making up words here and a decent edit should have picked this up A decent edit would have also turfed out some of the erroneous information Douglass info dumped into the novel.And, oh boy, is Douglass fond of her info dumping Every time she needs to introduce a new race, or the history of a race, or the religion of the country she over uses the naive wide eyed character that is having everything explained to them This happens over and over and over and over again It is a lazy method, and some of what Douglass brings into the story is just unnecessary for the story it seems she is so proud of the notes she produced when world building that she can t bear to leave anything out.An edit would also have prevented some of the oh, come on moments For instance, at the end of chapter 51 we hear about the Charonites for the first time on page 567 in my edition In chapter 53 one of the characters suddenly says they need to seek the assistance of the Charonites It makes me roll my eyes and jars me right out of a story when an author is as lazy as this All it would have taken was a brief mention of this long lost race during one of the many info dumps we have to endure and it would have been much smoother I also have to mention Douglass cutesy names for her Icarii characters, and also a method she uses throughout the book as a naming convention We have characters such as StarDrifter and GoldFeather yes, note the capital letter sat halfway through that word and places such as the WildDog Plains again, note the capital letter Axis is the BattleAxe I hate it Every time I read one of these names I roll my eyes, which, although common in fantasy Douglass is far from the only offender it is the first time I ve seen traditions of writing so cavalierly discarded.Alongside this is the way that Douglass names the months here, we have Raven Month, Hungry Month, Rose Month etc etc It makes the characters sound backward and childish when they say them.And I m not sure I am supposed to laugh at some of the sections I chortled at Everytime Axis and his Axe Wielders leave a place, they go through the following ritual Axe Wielders, are you ready We follow your voice and are ready, BattleAxe Then let us ride Douglass probably thought that this would sound stirring and majestic, but it just made me giggle a bit especially when they perform the ritual on those occasions when they are supposed to be silently approaching an enemy in order to surprise them There are many ways that I can be scathing the characters are self consciously made out to be good when they surprise, surprise turn out to be evil later on the military men immediately take on board the Prophecy as complete truth without any scepticism a lot of the time Douglass forgets the saying show, don t tell but it s just too easy to mock.What is sad is that Douglass obviously has a fantastic imagination, because the Way of the Plough, and the nature of the Forbidden are good ideas and could have been amazing in the hands of someone who could, y know, actually write This is the first in a trilogy on the one hand I don t want to read any of the books because it is so much cliched nonsense on the other hand I am compelled to find out what happens next So I award it three stars the two dimensional characters and bad writing on one side compared with the fantastic pacing and imagination on display makes this a distinctly average fantasy novel. (Download Pdf) Ä Battleaxe (The Axis Trilogy #1) á A Millennia Old Prophecy Was Given When The Forbidden Ones Were Driven From Achar And Now, The Acharites Witness Its Manifestation Achar Is Under Attack By An Evil Lord From The North, Gorgreal His Ice Demons Strike From The Sky And Kill Hundreds Of Brave Warriors In The Blink Of An Eye All Acharites Believe The End Is NearOne Young Woman, Faraday, Betrothed Of Duke Borneheld, Learns That All She Has Been Told About Her People S History Is Untrue While Fleeing To Safety From The Dangerous Land, Faraday, Rides With Axis, Legendary Leader Of The Axe Wielders And Hated Half Brother Of Borneheld And A Man Faraday Secretly Loves Although It Would Be Death To Admit It She Embarks On A Journey, Which Will Change Her Life Forever, In Search Of The True Nature Of Her PeopleThis Grand And Heroic Story Tells The Tale Of One Woman S Plight To Learn The Truth Of Her People And Change Their Hearts And Their Minds Forever She Fights Against Oppressive Forces To Share This Reality And Will Not Desist Until Everyone Knows The Truth Of The Star Gate Re read I have read this one so much through the years 8 11 17 Still awesome Still want to get my own copy again This was one of the books lost in one of my many moves I do wonder where all these lost books are I hope whoever has mine, enjoys them PIt was cute to look back at bb Krystle s spirituality influences I have seen through this re read how much my spirituality has evolved I still like that aspect, but I have changed I read this one about 11 years ago for the first time Where did the time go This was one of my last reads before school starts, before I study tons and focus on reading through all my own unreads It was nice to have this book be an old favorite to relax with Old review Okay, this book is what got me into the fantasy genre, of the medieval sort There is suspense, wars and battles, romance, and magic.Azhure is awesome, and I have a big crush on her.Also this book is inspiring to me spiritually Yes, I know it s fiction, but the paganism in this novel is beautiful and makes me happy.