My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Note: I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Korinna’s life gets turned upside when the ghost of her father suddenly appears. Her father was duke of Kyratia City and he wanted Korinna to marry his warlord, the foreign mercenary Galenos, and inherit his title–but the city’s Council has other plans. When the Council denies Korinna’s right to rule, she decides to join Galenos’s mercenary company and tame a wild marewing in order to take the city by force. But people whisper that the late duke’s untimely death was murder, an induced madness that forced him to dance himself to death–and now that madness is spreading. Can Korinna become a marewing rider and conquer Kyratia in time to save everyone?
A Flight of Marewings is a solid fantasy with interesting ideas and a fleshed-out world. Its namesake, the marewing, is a flying demon horse, created by a mysterious magical force called “the Wyld.”
The book follows several people’s points of view, but the story centers on Korinna, the illegitimate daughter of the newly deceased duke of Kyratia. In this world, mercenaries are used instead of a city’s own military force because being a soldier carries a stigma to these religious people. Korinna has been targeted for marriage by the leader of one of these mercenary forces, Galenos, who was never able to convince her father to solidify a marriage contract before he died.
I was a little bit nervous upon seeing the table of contents and how many points of view are actually used, but it worked well. Ms. Walker introduces the characters logically, and we got to know them and their quirks gradually.
Because the story is told from both Korinna’s and Galenos’ points of view, I was sympathetic toward them both. First toward Korinna, the poor peasant woman who is simply trying to hold together the farm for the small village she oversees; next toward Galenos, who simply wants to wrest control of Kyratia from an evil, scheming Council so that it may thrive.
The romance between Korinna and Galenos seemed a bit forced. Of course they’re going to end up together, but I would have liked to see some sparks fly.
I loved the magic in the book: A parasitic bug that burrows into humans to cause them to dance to death, a killer vine that strangles anyone who struggles against it too much, and the magestone underlying the city that should protect the citizen from Wyld magic… until one of the evil Councilors brings the Wyld into the city on purpose.
A few typos exist, but because it’s an ARC, those will likely be gone in the final copy. Even if they’re not, there weren’t a lot: The grammar itself was clean and any “oopsies” were definitely typos.
While I liked the marewings, their relationship with the rider-that-tamed-them reminded me of Anne McCaffrey’s dragon/rider relationship. The dragonlings introduced briefly follow all of her rules and are described identically. Whirling eyes, starving when they’re born, imprinting on the first person who throws meat down their gullets. However, enough new and interesting concepts exist that it only perturbed grumpy old me slightly.
If you enjoy fantasy and are looking for a new world to sink your teeth into, I would recommend A Flight of Marewings. Ms. Walker also has several other books out, so if you find her storytelling engaging, you can dig into more. This book is the first in a series, and I eagerly anticipate more of the Wyld magic that winds through her world.
If you’d like to enter to win one of five eBook copies or a signed paperback of A Flight of Marewings, click here to enter the Rafflecopter drawing. Also, if you missed Friday’s guest post by author Kristen S. Walker, go check it out.