My rating: 5 of 5 stars (10/10)
ORIGINAL READ: 10/10 (18 September 2007 – 23 September 2007)
Transformation – Carol Berg (10/10)
Fantasy; book 1 of the Rai-Kirah.
Another fantastic series. Carol Berg writes original fantasy that walks the line of dark fantasy with every tipping over. So we get a solid story with strong, deep worldbuilding and fascinating characters who are never simple and always flawed. The story follows both the complicated, building friendship between the slave, Seyonne and his princely owner, but their battle to save Zander’s empire from being overtaken by demons. Seyonne, once trained to fight demons, finds himself caught between his loathing for the empire and his needs both to stop the demons and save Zander. There are two more books in the series – both of which promise to be equally complicated and fascinating – and I can’t wait to find the time to read them.
REREAD #1: 10/10 (7 February 2013 – 11 February 2013)
This was equally amazing on a reread. Beyond Reality is reading it this month and I was going to let it slip by, but reading the comments in the spoilers thread reminded me just what a wonderful book this was. It also reminded me that while I have the next two books in the series (both in paper and as ebooks) I never quite got around to reading them. I did start the second one, but I don’t think I got more than a chapter or two into it. I don’t remember why now, but I think I found the two year time just to a different location difficult. I was also trying to read the paper book and even in 2007 I was probably finding that difficult.
I’m ever so glad I did reread this. The developing friendship between Seyonne and Aleksander remains an amazing piece of writing, showing something strong and true and yet not sexual (and both men give every indication of being heterosexual) that develops between two people who should be deadly enemies and yet somehow, defying all sense, become as closer, or closer, than brothers.
Outside of Seyonne and Aleksander, who are the heart and soul of the story (pun only slightly intended), the other characters are less well drawn, yet even then they are not cyphers, but instead people I would like to get to know better. I’m guessing it’s likely I’ll see more of Ysanne and Caitrin, but oh how I’d like to get a glimpse into the private life of Aleksander and Lydia. Those two could be the death of each other or totally magnificent. Personally, I vote for the latter.
Right now I want to race through the next two books and find out what happens next. I don’t want to stall out this time. Transformation could so easily be a complete book on its own, with the ends apparently tied up, that I actually find myself nervous to discover what Carol Berg is going to throw both at me and at her characters next. But this time, I’ll stick with it and finish the series. Everything I’ve read of Berg’s works and other people’s reviews of her work assure me it will be worth it – if possibly a little stressful along the way.