Sunday, 8 July 2012

Review: Illumination by Karen Brooks

Title: Illumination
Author: Karen Brooks
Publication: Random House
Source: Kindly sent to me by Random House Australia
Located Here: Goodreads|Amazon

A breath-taking and intoxicating finale in the Curse of the Bond Riders trilogy. Tallow flees, struggling to be accepted in a society she was never fit for, looking for her people- the Estrattore in the brink of war. Enemies hunt for her destruction knowing her place within the prophecy; she is betrayed, sought after and used. She has a choice but will the sacrifice be too much? And will she risk everything including the man she loves?

The elegantly written and beautifully descriptive prose really was at the forefront of this novel. The words and paragraphs eloquently blended together to form rich descriptions of sceneries that were beyond comprehension yet were formed so vividly in my mind. Intertwined within these luscious descriptions were historical facts dating back hundreds of years placed so inauspiciously that they to blended within the words and were extremely interesting to read about. I also loved how Brooks used many words deriving from the language that was spoken in her dialogue. The dialogue itself flowed from one sentence to another and was extremely intriguing and so was the excellent world building. I also loved the structural hierarchy of power from the Doge to the Council of Ten to the nobles and finally to the peasants. The constant hunger for power and money mixed with political intrigue against a backdrop of the beautiful city of Serenissima in Venice was very interesting and always gave that feel of tension and suspense.

First Novel
Illumination, although had many characters, were so unique in their personalities and traits ranging from murderer, thief, spy, hero, knight, queen, courtesan- basically you name it and it will probably be there and this diversity really made the novel what it was. Tallow was a great heroin that wasn't afraid to back down and never said no to a challenge. This mix of determination and courage as well as her mysterious abilities really gave the novel a sense of intrigue and brilliant character development as you could clearly see the journey of Tallow- something also symbolized in the varied covers of the trilogy. Each chapter was a new perspective of a character and being in their shoes, seeing everything unfurl from their eyes really made you see the justification behind their actions. Towards the end of the novel I had established a great connection with many of the characters throughout the various circumstances of betrayal and heart-break. I also really enjoyed the supernatural element and being honest I could not find any major flaws.

The ending was unexpected yet seemed right at the same time. The way Brooks writes really demonstrates that she's a natural born story-teller. It's sad knowing this is the last book of a trilogy having read each book over the years and eagerly anticipating the next but I extremely encourage anyone to read the series, you won't be disappointed and I assure you that you will be captured and enthralled in the beautiful writing.

A Favorite Quote from the Novel:
"Light can destroy dark, and dark can destroy light, but if they co-exist, can we not find harmony?"

Rating 5/5

16 comments:

  1. I have an interest in Renaissance history so I'll be sure to check these books out! Thanks for sharing and great review.

    Sarah @ That Teenage Feeling

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    1. So do I! I just really enjoy these types of books and Historical Fiction in general. Glad you liked the review :)

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  2. Hey Alex,
    This looks really good. But I guess I should purchase the first two and read those. Infact, thats what I'm going to do now.
    ~Daniel~

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    1. Glad you agree about the book! I would recommend reading the first two and then heading over to this!
      Enjoy.

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  3. This looks like a great read. Considering that it has 700 pages, I believe when you say it has everything in it

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    1. This last one is quite long but it's all worth in the end! The diversity great in the novel.
      Thanks for commenting :)

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  4. Hi,

    I've just nominated you for the Versatile Blog Award! Head over to http://laceandlavenderhints.blogspot.ca to check it out!

    -Sarah

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the Nomination. I will definitely be checking it out :)
      Thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  5. Looks like a really good book and I love your site. Wish mine looked that good...I am following you from book blogs, http://brandysbookblog.weebly.com

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    Replies
    1. It sure is! Glad you like the blog and thanks for following :)

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  6. Wow this seems really interesting! Very nice review. (:
    I'll be sure to add this to my TBR list. (:

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    1. Hey Karen,
      It's very intricate and interesting! Glad you liked the review :)

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  7. Hi Alex. This is a great review, thanks. I'm following from Book Blogs. My blog is:http://lowfellwritersplace.blogspot.co.uk
    You have a great blog here. Best wishes
    Suzy.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Suzy,
      Thanks for following and I'm glad you liked the review.
      Will follow you

      Delete
  8. Hey Alex!!!
    Another great review. Your blog is still looking sharp!
    If you can, can you please check out my first review on my working-in-progress blog:
    fortoonteller.blogspot.com

    Feedback would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Abraham glad you liked the review.
      Have stopped by your blog and its awesome!

      Delete