Chosen of Trees and of Talons (The Eagles of Eldara #1) by Jeff Pryor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I got a copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This was a very different read. I am not sure about what to think about it but what I can say with absolute certainty is that I really enjoyed it.
The story is told through the eyes of a whole bunch of characters, and you never spend a lot of time with just one of them. This makes for an interesting read and you get to know all of them on a deeper level, but it also makes it a bit confusing. However, I did get used to it after a while and you always place the character after at least a few paragraphs. I should note that I am bad with names in real life as well, for me it is a lot easier to remember what happens to a character than their name.
In the story we mainly follow a group of Arneisian boys who are chosen by the Ones in a very Hunger Games inspired moment (they are not chosen on random though, and you cannot volunteer). Those chosen are taken from the village and never seen again. Keeping up with them is a bit confusing, since we get to see the story play out from the point of view of all the characters, but I loved getting to know all of them.
We also follow a family living in a forest. There’s a lot of secrets and things that has to be told at the right time surrounding them that will keep you intrigued. The forest itself probably sits on a lot of secrets that you only get a glimpse of in this book. It is very Fangorn (Lord of the Rings) inspired, but I like that there are differences.
The final big story we follow is Twilla and her husband’s. Living outside of the control of the Ones they know the Truth and have heard the prophesies of what’s to come. Through them we also get a glimpse of what is going on and how much is on the line.
This first book creates a good starting point for a story that will just become more and more epic throughout the series. It has a very different writing style, jumping between characters all the time, and moves forward quickly. Definitely good if you want to mix up the classical fantasy writing style and go for something that tells you what’s going on and doesn’t dwell on things.
“Hope is a fragile thread.
Imprisoned for over four-hundred years, the Arneisian people tenuously held onto that thread. Generations were born and generations died. Sons were Chosen and given to the sorcerers who imposed the chains of slavery on their people, hoping the one foretold would Return to lead them from their prison. The thread of hope is tested as a new group of boys is Chosen. Their secrets will free the Arneisians or break that thread forever.
The survival of a magical forest is in the hands of a young brother and sister. A father refuses to accept their destiny, and fights to protect them from the dark creatures who hunt them. A husband and wife only hope to reunite as he leads an army while she attempts to uncover spies for her king. Their futures, as well as the fate of kingdoms, hang in the balance as a boy fights to fulfill his destiny amid the gathering storms of war. “