Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review: The Plagues of Kondar by Lynne Kositsky

Plagues of Kondar (Trials of Kondar Bk 1)
By Lynne Kositsky
Publisher: Dundurn
Published: July 5, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

Planet Kondar has a light side that faces the sun and a dark side in eternal night. Lightsiders have never met those on Darkside, known as Oscura.
Arien lives in Kattannya on Lightside. When her parents fall through thin ice and drown, she is sold in the marketplace. The chief seer of Vor, Yaddair, purchases her.

Vor is very close to Edge, a grey wall of fog that divides Lightside from Oscura. The
 Oscurans are suffering from a deadly plague and some fly into Vor, bringing the disease with them. How will the Vorians cure it? And what will happen to Arien?

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My Thoughts:

Arien is a young girl, fourteen cycles old. Her parents drown in the frozen lake on their return crossing it while bringing grain back for their starving village. A neighbour claims that now Arien owes them for the borrowed burden beast that drowned with Arien's parents and so her parent's farm is given to the neighbour and Arien is sold as a baseborn (slave) to pay off the debt.

The planet Arien lives on is called Kondar and it has 2 sides. Oscura never sees the sun and Lightside, where Arien lives never sees total darkness. Arien is bought by the Chief Seer of Vor, a village very near the Edge, close to Oscura. Arien is devastated, thinking she will never see her childhood friend Radol again who recently moved closer to the center of Lightside.

Arien expects her life to be filled with misery and drudgery as a baseborn since they have no status or importance in her culture. But life does not always give us what we expect. Afterall, she never expected to become a baseborn either.

The Plagues of Kondar are filled with strange beasts and animals and difficult tasks that Arien must face. Arien discovers she has a skill that almost no one else on the planet has. You will need to expect the unexpected as you read this book.

The Plagues of Kondar is well written and well edited. There is no foul language and the book is clean as far as romance is concerned. The book is suitable for teens to adults. I liked the pacing of the book. It was fairly constant throughout.

I very much liked the characters of Arien and Yaddair. I even warmed up to Neretta, but I just couldn't like Gilan much at all. I can't see how anyone could possibly cry so much.

It was fairly easy to visualize most things on the planet of Kondar. The descriptions were fairly well detailed. The only thing I had some trouble visualizing were the Oscurans. We didn't see all that much of them. For some reason, in my mind they seem to resemble pterodactyls somewhat, but with clothes and purple, red and orange skin.

The Plagues of Kondar was an enjoyable sci-fi/fantasy read. I think that anyone who enjoys science fiction and fantasy  will enjoy this book too. I gave it 3 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the publisher via NetGalley who provided a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thought are my own.

About the Author:

Lynne Kositsky is an award-winning Canadian poet and author with a degree in psychology, another in education with specialties in English and drama, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Toronto.

Lynne has taught at the middle school, secondary school, and university levels, but resigned 15 years ago to pursue writing children’s and young adult novels full time. Her poetry has won the prestigious E. J. Pratt Medal and Award, and the Canadian Author and Bookman Award. One of Lynne’s novels, A Question of Will, concerns the Shakespeare Authorship question and has garnered considerable critical acclaim. It was recently on display at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington in the Library’s “Golden Lads and Lasses” exhibit. 

Lynne has just finished a speculative Y.A. novel, The Plagues of Kondar. It is the first novel of a three-part series, and will be published by Dundurn in July, 2014. Her latest project, A Terrible Grief, concerns Jewish refugees accepted in Shanghai during the Second World War.

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