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02/24/2004 Entry: "Carol Berg's SON OF AVONAR -- Suzanne's review"

Son of Avonar

This is the first book in a new trilogy by Berg. It's written in first person, and it dovetails the current impoverished exile of Seri, a noblewoman, with flashbacks of her painful past, when 10 years earlier her beloved husband was tortured and killed by the rulers of the land as a sorcerer and her newborn child taken from her and murdered. (Seri is a 35-year-old woman--as with PALADIN OF SOULS, I like having a mature woman protagonist.)

The book's plot starts moving when a naked man rushes out of the forest and attacks her. She saves him from capture by evil forces and finds that he can't speak and is amnesiac. After hiding and helping the man, Seri learns something of his past and his quest, and along with companions, sets out with D'Nathiel just ahead of more than one evil faction on the hunt for them.

Seri is uncomfortably drawn to D'Nathiel, and is also uncomfortable because it seems she has lessons that he must learn and only she can teach. As the group of companions flees from many dangers along the road, Seri must face her past and learn some lessons herself.

Though the first book of a trilogy, this book does have a story arc that stands alone. But there is not yet a happy-ever-after for a romance that has an interesting twist to it. We evidently have to wait for that payoff.

It's a well-told adventure that I think most of you will enjoy. I got a bit tired of the flashbacks to Seri's former life, but there's a reason for them that will become apparent into the story. I give this one a recommend, and will definitely want to read the next in the trilogy.--Suzanne

--SON OF AVONAR at Amazon

Replies: 3 Comments

If only Berg wrote shorter novels, I'd be gobbling them up. But the level of angst she writes over the course of hundreds of pages can be off-putting. I thought the suffering got to be too much in the first trilogy. Because of it, I like to remember TRANSFORMATION as a brilliant standalone.

Was there lots of suffering beyond belief in this one too?

Posted by Preeti @ 02/24/2004 08:35 PM ET

Well, I don't know if it was beyond belief -- maybe my suffering meter is set at a higher level than yours! I'm guessing most of you won't think the character-torture is too severe. We'll have to see if the next one in the series ups the ante in the torture department.

Posted by Suzanne @ 02/24/2004 08:49 PM ET

It's a good thing that Berg's characters are resilient for everything she puts them through.

In my opinion, she uses the same character and plot formulas through all her books. I guess if she's found a formula that works and has managed to sell it three times in a row now to the same publishing company, more power to her. I did enjoy the book and the plot, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. I'd just like to see her start with a protagonist that hasn't been through some traumatic experience that has horribly scarred them emotionally.

I'd also like to have a better explanation behind the motives of the antagonists other than they're evil and bad, but that's just me being picky.

Posted by mdbl @ 03/02/2004 01:33 AM ET

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