Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Emerald Flame by Frewin Jones

The Emerald Flame
(Warrior Princess #3)
by Frewin Jones
Summary from Goodreads:


Branwen has finally accepted that the Shining Ones have chosen her to save her country from the Saxon invaders. But the next stage in her journey includes a seemingly impossible mission, and the path before her is filled with darkness and danger. Branwen, and with each step she takes, she is being pulled farther from the life she once knew - the life she still desperately misses. 

Guided by the spirits, with both her fearless friend Rhodri and the dashing, sometimes maddening Iwan by her side, Branwen must overcome terrifying odds if she is to succeed in her quest. But a true Warrior Princess won't back down... even when an old enemy returns. 

"Do you not perceive the truth yet, Warrior Child? There have been no loose threads in the pattern of you life: All that has happened to you is but part of the same great design. All that you bear has its own purpose, its own part to play." 

Branwen gasped at her. "Have you been haunting my family's steps from before I was born?" she exclaimed. "Has there been no moments of my life free of your wiles and your ruses and intrigues?" 
Merion shook her head. 'You do not listen, Warrior Child,' she rebuked her. 'It is not we who chose you; it its not we who wove the tapestry of your fate. It is She!'"


This series started out a bit bland with Warrior Princess so I was skeptical to continue the rest of it. However, when I read Destiny’s Path and found myself enjoying it, I had high hopes for Emerald Flame. Sadly, I was disappointed. I thought it would be the finale for the series but apparently there’s a next book. I would have liked that idea if somehow this book had given me the same thriving endearment that I’ve felt with Destiny’s Path. However, Emerald Flame fell short of it. 

I enjoyed how medieval-like this book was; with all the fighting, as brutal as it was, I loved the action and blood infused in the scene. Jones’ writing was vivid and all the action was like watching a film like 300 or Gladiator. 

Another thing I enjoyed was the riddle and mystery of Branwen’s visions and the messages sent by the Old Ones to her. I’d draw my own conclusions on them and find myself wrong like Branwen was and the revelation of the truth was rather surprising. The deception and trickery gave an unexpecting twist to the story.

The drawback was how shallow the love interest between Branwen and Iwan was. I’d expected them to somehow develop a deeper connection with each other at this point but the book lacked it. My other problem was the pacing. The travel between lands was eventful enough as well as reaching enemy lands but the journey to and fro was so long that by the ending it seemed the climax was too short to suffice for the extensive waiting. Another thing that troubled me was the lack of development in the characters. It felt like starting with just what you left off. Nothing special. 

Despite my dissatisfaction, I will remain optimistic and see what the next book will offer.

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