Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Iron Butterfly By Chanda Hahn

Iron Butterfly by Chandra Hahn. 
Firstly, this is the first book in a trilogy.  Book 2 is Steele Wolf and the third book is yet to be released, so I will review only Iron Butterfly and not the entire story.
Brief Summary
Thalia, was held in a torture prison, where the evil Septori performed medieval style torture on her.  It is unclear why or for how long until she escapes with the help of Kael, a worrier who fight the Septori guards and directs her to safety.  With no memories, Thalia is found by two Denai travelers on their way to the Denai capitol city of Haven where the younger of the two, Joss, is to be a student at the Denai School called the Citadel.
Thalia is brought before the Denai high council and found to be harmless and I put to work at the school.  A series of events leads her to become a student at the school and because of attacks against her from an unknown source, she begins combat training with the schools professors and eventually learns of her heritage. 
So many questions were raised in this book that were left unanswered.  Who are the Septori? Who are the Denai? Where and in what time does this story take place? Why was Thalia taken? Why is she so special? Who is Kael and why does she have this pull to him and why does he want her to hate him?
I understand that this is part one in a series, but as an author, you can’t leave so many questions unanswered and then open more in the last chapter-why does her family suddenly show up? Why do the Denai just let them take her? Why does her family clan hate the Denai so much? 
I was confused most of the book because I felt like I was already supposed to know the people who lived in this (unnamed) land.  I have no idea what everyone looks like and how Thalia is different from them physically (because it’s mentioned more than once that there are physical differences between Denai and other races). 
I felt that there wasn’t good flow throughout the story.  The author just told me what was happening instead of taking the time to create a story, setting the scene and showing me what was happening.  It was choppy and storylines seemed to be introduced out of convenience instead of necessity.  For example, Thalia had apparently been spending time in the stables with horses, but no mention was made of it until she had to meet Faraway the horse.  And then Faraway ends up being her guardian that she called upon, but then it’s not explained what a guardian is or why he was summoned, only that Thalia is the first person to call upon one in hundreds maybe thousands of years. 
This story is also written in the first person, but when new characters are introduced Thalia seems to know their names and who they are and what they do.  She also knows the names of buildings and places even though she has no memories and has never been to Haven before. 
Even with all the confusingness, I’m still drawn into this story.  I’m invested in Thalia and finding out who she really is and where she comes from, and what makes her so special.  I want to find out her relationship with Kael and Joss. 
I will continue to read the series and hopefully find out the answers to all the questions. 
Over all, it was well written, the ideas needed to be fleshed out a little, but the story is very intriguing and I can’t wait to continue with it.  

Thanks for reading!


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