Monday, April 9, 2012
"Candlewax" by C.Bailey Sims
This is a book I received from NetGalley upon request.
I really liked the story, because the idea was original. I loved the concept of the ferrier cats and the power of the Onyxes; the speaking aloud vs. speaking in thoughts only. I also liked how Catherine (the lead female) compared her studies at the castle with the much more helpful hands-on experience she got in the world outside. It meant that she was learning and growing, and that is important to see in a character.
However, the writing style really put me off. It felt like it was written in partitions. Some chapters sounded really good, really interesting, with depth to plunge in. While others felt like they needed more substance.
Another thing that wasn't quite to my taste was that the entire book was written in the manner of a fairy tale, i.e. with language quality more appealing to younger audiences (10-15), while the story itself seemed to have an older target audience (16-20).
Some scenes (like the longbow shooting) felt forced to me. As if the characters wanted to do something else, but the author forced them to just go along with her wishes. It felt unnatural and unrealistic. Made me feel sympathetic toward the characters.
In addition to all that, I'm quite sorry to say that not even one of the characters made me really love them. Catherine was brave and all, but she was too trusting and naive. Besides, she was a 16-year old pampered princess, who upon her running away from the castle is suddenly perfectly capable of taking care of herself. I am not sure how this transition happened. Also, there were scenes that should've scared her - if she was true to her character - but she simply dismissed them.
Cyril wasn't really the strong male I had expected him to be. He was more like a boy at the age of 22, than the grown king he should have been. I know that young readers can't realize this, but a king at 22 cannot allow himself to think like a boy where his kingdom and people are concerned. I'm afraid that Cyril wasn't really all that concerned.
Spelopokos, the ferrier cat, kind of made an impression in the first couple of chapters, then he faded in the background of it all.
The only strong feeling I got was for the villain - Kallik. He was ruthless, ambitious and ready to obliterate the entire realm just so he can rule it afterwards. When he was described, the images I got were grotesque and mind-shuddering. Perhaps, he was the only real, deep character in this book.
And just a final side note: I hope that the published version of this book has the characters' thoughts marked in Italic, because otherwise it gets confusing as to who is saying/thinking what.
I would recommend this book to readers 12-15, although there was some violence that isn't quite
appropriate for that age group.
My rating for this novel is