Friday, September 19, 2014

Damascus by Jad Ziade

Title:  Damascus
Author:  Jad Ziade
Published:  May 10/14 by The New Radio
Length:  218pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  historical fantasy
Shelf:  review
Rating:  ★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Damascus is in revolt. The king's agents move to silence dissidents raising arms against the monarchy. Legions of a faraway empire surround the city as diplomats and spies arrive to infiltrate the king’s court. Two boys are caught in the middle and flee to the snowy mountains west—for their lives and for the promise of ancient, buried gold. Rich with adventure and deceit, with sorcery and murder, DAMASCUS is the first book of The Syrian Revolution.

My Review:

Being the first novel in a fantasy series, it’s quite understandable that it takes a bit to get into, what with the build-up of the world and characters and such. At the same time, I found that the descriptions and narrative took a bit of getting used to. I felt like the first chunk of the novel was the history of the place. The writing was a bit dense at times making it difficult to fully immerse myself in for the long haul. It definitely wasn’t a one sitting read. At the same time, it was enjoyable and intensely thought provoking. History, mythology, magic, and fantasy all combine throughout to create a unique whole.

Ziade’s in depth characters are definitely in the forefront of the story. There were times when they overtook the storyline as we got to know them, but in general they added a great deal to what was going on around them. Although the dialogue takes a bit of getting used to, it was consistent throughout, adding realism to the characters.

Overall this was an enjoyable read, and an intriguing introduction to Ziade’s series. By the end I was very intrigued with his unique outlook in this fantasy world.

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