Tallis: review

TallisTallis by M.C. Rae

Kindle and ARC Cover

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Empire of Andresium is threatened by the corruption of the immortals, ancient beings given the gift of eternal life after the death of the last reigning empress. A prophecy speaks of their eventual downfall at the hands of one of their own, however. Tallis is known by most simply as “The Loren,” and seeks to avoid her destiny while trying herself to remain untainted by the decaying morals and indifference to the fates of men that plague her kind. As the events of the prophecy begin to unfold, Tallis finds herself conflicted between upholding her dedication to justice, and falling victim to the ramifications of following the desires of her own heart.

View all my Goodreads reviews

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Overall I enjoyed this book and would really like to read the rest of the series.  One thing I particularly enjoyed was that the narrator did not try to explain the book’s universe in terms of ours.  The reader was assumed to be of the universe, and explanations were given with an amount of pre-knowledge assumed.  I really enjoy this kind of story telling as it makes me feel part, albeit an initially ill-educated one, of the world.

The language used in Tallis is beautiful.  I described it as “archaic” in my Goodreads updates as I couldn’t think of a better description.  I want to be clear that I think this is a good thing.  In some ways it makes the reading of the book a little more conscious…I found I was noticing the language and writing style almost as much as I was absorbing the story.  I particularly enjoy beautiful, well-used language and I relished this excellent example of its use.  My only concern would be that “the youth of today” (I’m not really that old!) won’t have the patience to perserve long enough with this style to develop a love and appreciation for it.  That would be a loss for them, and I hope that my lack of faith in them is misplaced!

In one of my updates, I queried the use of “Come again” as being out of context.  M. C. was kind enough to respond to tell me that this phrase is an Olde English phrase, seen in the US as something only stuffy, overly proper people say.  I explained my comment was because it’s a rather lazy slang phrase in the UK these days…not well thought of and with slight rude overtones – if I used it to someone they might well bristle.  It is really strange how a language can evolve so differently in two places when the contact is so great!

I did find the book quite slow to start, something I thought odd in a 58 page novella.  However, the story did move along before I got to the midpoint and completed this episode at a point that invites a continuation.

If I have any comments for change, it’s that I felt the characters to be a little fuzzy – I didn’t get to feel that I knew them particularly and therefore wasn’t deeply invested emotionally.  Some of the more descriptive passages I felt lacked something; they were more “tell” than “show” – I think show works better for a reader than tell because it flows more naturally and prevents the author interposing themselves between the characters and the reader.

As I said, I shall be on the look out for the next book in the series…I want to know if Tallis works out the solution to her conundrum…and if it’s the same solution I can see! LOL :-)

I have shown two cover artworks because the ARC I received has the grey cover on the right, whilst the Goodreads page has the red cover on the left, which I presume is the one people will see in the shops/on Amazon.

I’m claiming this book as No. 15/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and No. 1 in the First in Series Reading challenge.
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