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Friday, October 9, 2009

"Dreamdark: Silksinger" by Laini Taylor (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Read FBC's review of Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer HERE
Visit Laini Taylor's Website Here

Introduction: Last year when I read about Laini Taylor's Faeries of Dreamdark series, I was very excited to see the characters were all warrior like faeries fighting and battling. The best part of the novel was the unique view that Taylor took on using faeries. With the publication of the second novel in the series I was very excited to not only see where Taylor took the plot line but also how the story was going to be presented. I was overly impressed with the series and this novel changed my outlook on the series.

Summary: Whisper Silksinger is the last faerie of her clan. By being the last member she in entrusted with the duty to restore the great Djinn and one of the creators of the world, Azazel

Magpie and her crew of crows have found out about Whisper's quest and have vowed to make sure that she can successful bring the great Djinn to the throne. Little does this small crew know that Whisper has someone looking out for her, a young faerie (Hirik) who is from a long lost faerie clan, and he holds a secret that will help in the quest to bring Azazel back to the world.
She must make it to his temple and restore him before she is caught by the evil band of devils following her, trying to stop the this quest from being completed.

Dreamdark: Silksinger stands at 449 pages, and is supplemented with very beautifully drawn pictures of some of the main characters of the novel.

Analysis: When I picked up Silksinger I didn't know what to expect. When I had read Blackbringer I left with mixed feelings, there was a love for the plot line and the characters but there was confusion with the delivery and writing style that Taylor had used. By the end of Silkersinger, my opinion was changed completely and I feel in love with Taylor's writing style.

One of the joys of Silksinger is that it's an action adventure fantasy novel with faeries as the main character. As in the first review the use of faeries as the main characters with a whole world of their own is a fairly unexplored territory in writing. While there are a few books written using faeries as the main character, Taylor takes a creature that most of the times is a side kick and turns them into something that readers will be rooting for until the end of the novel.

Taylor does a great job of developing not only the world that these faeries live in but also the culture and background history of the different faeries and their clans. For example, the faeries have a whole belief of where they go when they die. They also have a lot of history and rivalries between each other. What Taylor brings to the world is one of the major strengths of not only the novel but her writing skills. Everything appears to be carefully planned out and thought through.

The problems that I encountered and highlighted in my first review were fixed or improved upon in this book. There is a slightly different writing approach that is a little clearer and straight forward. The hardest part of reading Blackbringer was the feeling that I was missing something and not fully understanding the world that Dreamdark was or what was going on with the Blackbringer or the Djinn. With this slight change it made my reading experience a lot better and definitely moved the Faeries of Dreamdark series up in my reading list.

However as with Blackbringer I almost feel as though the book was a little long for the storyline. Unlike with Blackbringer where I felt a couple 100 pages could be left out, there were only slight moments where the story seemed to lag.

While Silksinger could probably be read as a stand alone novel, it's best that readers read Blackbringer first. Blackbringer highlights a lot of Magpie, where as Silksinger she is a major character but her role is more supporting, instead the novel focuses upon Whisper and Hirik. It'll help give readers a more well rounded picture and understand the quest that Magpie is on separately.

In the end Silksinger surprised me. Taylor crafted a quick moving action adventure fantasy book, with characters that are hard to find fault with. The slightly darker side to the plot makes me anxious to see where the next installment of the Faeries of Dreamdark will bring us.

(This has been reviewed based on a publisher provided ARC)


Emperor said...

Interesting read. It seemed a bit...confused at times, but overall a good review.

I think you tapped into a wellspring that is flowing in fantasy fiction as an undercurrent. Taking traditional fantasy concepts, and warping them into something alternative to the traditional, yet still believable within the realm that the book takes ple. This book is an example, with warrior fae. Another example would be WOTC Eberron game setting, with its magic as technology theme.

As a shameless plug, Id like to point out my own Setting. Sedallia: Land of Sails, about a Mercantile Elven Empire. I think, if your interested in fantasy that is beyond the standard fare, check it out.

Of course, thats not to say I still dont like traditional Epic Fantasy. It still delights me.

Cindy said...

I admit the confusing part was my fault in the editing. When I cut and pasted stuff got deleted and moved around. I'm running on very little sleep and a lot of stress so bear with me :).

You bring up very good ideas, what I love about fantasy is seeing how an author takes something that is a base for fantasy such as dragons and twists and turns it into their own world.

I've not heard of the books you meantioned but I will look into those.


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