Sunday, June 15, 2014

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Book: Beltamar's War (Malmaxa)

Author: C.G. Ayling

Published: June 6th 2011

Pages:  418 e-book

Rating by Katie: 4 out of 5 stars



Received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Where do I begin? There is so much in this book. So much that needs to be shared. I can normally read a book and post a review in two to three days. It has taken me eight days to read and post this review. Eight days…I was worried, truly worried that I wouldn’t like it. I kept thinking that it just might be too mature for my tastes.

So many points of view, so many different thoughts and ideas from all these characters. I didn’t seem to understand why there needed to be so many characters. It was pointless to me. Mr. Ayling said to me through a message to “ feel free to make notes.” At that point I honestly didn’t think I would need to. Upon reading the first chapter, I realized I needed to take notes.  I was also warned, when beginning the book, to use the glossary in the back…. Yes, this book has a glossary.

The book's chapters are set up like an outline. You have the chapter and then the subchapters. Each subchapter, mainly, is the same situation seen through a different characters perspective.  I really thought I wouldn’t like this book…. However, I made myself read it. I was certain there had to be something greater. There had to be a reason why the ratings for this book were high. I found it. I got to page One Hundred Fifteen. There it was in blazing glory. The battle…… Beltamar. He had only been mentioned several times before. I kept thinking… this book is called Beltamar’s War….where the heck is Beltamar?? Then he was there. A bright, strong warrior. My heart belonged to him from the beginning. I was happy….thrilled.

So let me introduce the characters. Well, introduce them enough that my review will make sense. Normally my reviews consist of two to three characters. This one isn’t like my regular reviews.

Beltamar is matched (married) to Daniskira. Their progeny (Daughter) is Selene. Then you have Ryntam, who is Daniskira’s twin. Ryntam is matched to Yitara. Their progeny is Eden. Selene and Eden are cousins and best friends. Liaju and Rethga are the two younger siblings to Daniskira and Ryntam. Liaju and her brother, Rethga, are also twins. The four siblings mother is Zunesan. Her match is Jalgar, the siblings father.

Beltamar is a warrior. His commander is Ripkira. Ripkira and her army are waged in war, while Beltamar’s family, mentioned above, are home dealing with their own problems. Mithial is a hunter, and is secretly in love with Ripkira. Adelmar is another warrior under Ripkira. He secretly hates Beltamar, while Beltamar believes them to be best friends. Okay there are more characters mentioned under Ripkira. However, if I were to name every character who plays a role in this book, we would be here for a while. Lets get to the review….

Like I said the first part of this book was a bit slow for me. I made sure to keep track of characters and read the glossary when I felt the need arise. As I was beginning to realize the book was almost over, I began to worry.  This novel is pieced together and written so wonderfully. How could I write a review for this book? I write reviews for young adult books, romance even fantasy. I really do not even know what genre Beltamar’s War is in… Fantasy? I have no idea. That doesn't really matter. It was genius even if I would not have enjoyed it.

Selene and Eden are beautiful little girls. I loved their relationship with each other. I loved them as characters. The author did such a wonderful job in depicting how a child should behave. These children were full of wonder and mischief. I enjoyed reading about them. When tragedy strikes these precious characters, I cried. My heart broke and I literally hurt.

Selene and Eden are not the only characters I loved. I actually loved them all. Even Adelmar. I hated him for a bit. However, something changed.  I became interested in him. I wanted to know more about him. The author has a gift when it comes to creating his characters. He is able to write them beautifully and you just fall in love with them.

Around page one hundred fifteen is when my excitement began. Ayling has created wonderful heroines, beasts and scenes. He has the ability to brilliantly  describe battle and war. Ripkira (commander) is one of the best heroines I have ever read about. She isn’t weak, she doesn’t need a man. Men follow her orders. When she says jump, they bow in respect and ask “how high, Commander?” She is a woman after my own heart. The woman I dubbed awesome was Faroene (I believe her real name is Lucinda). The male and female warriors loved her and respected her. She could fight better than most of the men and she has proven it countless times. I had to mention these two women. I think if a writer was looking for females to base their own heroines on… these two would be perfect candidates.

Ripkira’s military went into battle with Groth, the Ancient Enemy. Some compare them to regular hounds. However, when you ask Beltamar he would say “ Comparing a Groth to a hound, is like comparing a seasoned warrior to a babe.” They are vicious and unrelenting. When in large hordes they can kill a whole army. You also have the Grolem. They are very large and their bodies are made of bone armor. One swipe of it’s tail could kill multiple men. They go to battle with these beasts and the whole time it kept me on the edge of my seat!

I became so involved in this book that I was proud for “my” army. They met every one of Ripkira’s demands. They were swift and knew their job. I actually shouted at one point “ Yeah! Don’t mess with us Groths!” I was just consumed, there was no way out. I was sideswiped. In the beginning I began to think I wouldn’t like this book. However, I was grabbed hold of and never let go until the end. Yet, somehow, it hasn’t fully released me.

There is secret admiration. Milthial secretly loves Ripkira. He will do anything for her. Crawl to his death if she asked him too. “What purpose life, if Ripkira is lost?”- Mithial.
During all of the missions Ripkira sent him on, his thoughts always went back to her. I would have loved to have seen more of them together. I wanted him to sweep Ripkira up and plant a kiss right on her mouth. I hoped for it! 

There is also forbidden love. Faroene longed for Beltamar. She loved him. I wanted to know more about that as well. Did they truly have a past relationship? He was matched to Daniskira. Normally this would bug me. Here, it didn’t. I wanted to know more.

I cried, I laughed, I was angry and screamed “Whyyyy whyyy whhyyyy?!” How could Ayling do this to me?  Here is another author who can throw away his characters to make his story more real and give you more feeling. I was so excited! On the edge of my seat full of anxiety and then when it works out great I  am consumed with happiness and warmth. It doesn’t last long. I am then immediately full of sorrow and pain. He took those I loved and hid them from me. Taking their breath to make this marvelous book. I didn’t care. I wanted them back, I wanted to keep them for myself. I was mad, furious. Then out of no where happy again. I had a multiple personality disorder while reading this book! My husband will tell you….he wasn’t thrilled.
How do you do that? How can you play with my emotions with just words? Words that should only effect my imagination. However, I was too consumed. There was no imagination, it was real. I would open this book, and my real world drifted away each night and I was swallowed by beasts, love, family, and honor.

I could honestly write another thousand words on this book with no spoiler included. Beltamar’s War is unique. I went through a dry spell in the beginning, but I knew there had to be a reason. These characters began to come together. Towards the end you will see what I am talking about. I have to assume they are brought together in the next book in this series “The Pilgrimage”. I will read the next book.

The writing style is not for everyone. I honestly didn’t think it was for me at first. I am glad I was wrong. If you are looking for a few characters, and a sexy romance…you won’t get it here. If you are looking for many characters to love, secret admirers, battles, excitement and of course treachery you are in the right place. 

I had to give this book 4 stars. It can be complicated read at times in the beginning. Having to keep notes was the main reason. However, this doesn't last long. Soon you know all the characters and you are able to read the book with ease. Notes are not needed any longer.

Thank you C.G. Ayling for allowing me to read your book for review. I did enjoy it. It is unlike any book I have ever read before. I loved it greatly. You truly surprised me and I am grateful for it. I will always want to review books for you.

9 comments:

  1. Great review Katie. Looks like an interesting read too.

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  2. Thanks Brigitte! I did enjoy it very much. You should give it a try. :)

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    1. You have convinced me. Will add to TBR list <3

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  3. Those who write real reviews are wonderful people.
    There is just no other way to say it. They spend their time for no reward, save immersion into another world. They are courageous, for when they dive in they have no idea what awaits. They are generous, willingly sharing their thoughts in difficult ways, for describing without revealing is no easy task.
    Selfless, courageous, and generous - what other word save wonderful will serve?
    And you, Katie, are one of these people. As I read your review a feeling of apprehension overcame me - were you about to reveal, in a single page, what took me 400 to define? Was your review something so often called "a spoiler"? I am very pleased to say it is not. I don't know quite how you did it, but you somehow managed to fly over Malmaxa and describe essential elements and crucial details in a way that will make understanding easier, yet without actually revealing anything about the plot. You are as fine a writer as any!
    Katie, you raised a very important point about Malmaxa. Namely, why does Beltamar’s War include such a large cast of characters? I'll answer that question on my blog - not in hope of drawing your readers away from your blog to mine, but in hope of pointing readers of my blog to yours. The link to the actual post appears here:-
    http://cgayling.com/malmaxa/2014/06/the-facets-of-character/
    Thank you again for writing this review. It is wonderfully generous, and exceptionally well-written. I will definitely be visiting your blog again, and I'll gladly send you a preview copy of “The Pilgrimage” when it approaches publication late in August.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. They truly reached my heart. I am always worried about how people will look at my reviews. Will they laugh? Will they cry? Will they ridicule? Most days I have no confidence in my writing. However, when I get a reply like yours, it makes my confidence soar. Oh, and I hate spoilers. It isn't a review if it contains a spoiler ;) lol

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  4. I am not wrong when I tell you that you are a great reviewer and a great writer. Here is your confirmation. If Katie likes a book, she will make sure that you stop doing whatever you are doing and run to the bookstore to buy it, she is that good. She will never spoil a book and will make you wonder how is possible that there is such a great book out there that you still didn't read. Every book that she rates with 3-4-5 stars is automatically added to my to-read shelf.

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  5. katie, i have to agree w/ @cgayling. quite a skill you have in detailing events without a "reveal". which is why when i wrote my review, i didn't attempt to explain the story. called for skills of which i do not possess. but we both were able to see that it is a true masterpiece that is rather deceptive in the beginning. i like you "knew" it wasn't for me. but by page 80 i was literally crying i was so engrossed in the story. look forward to more of your reviews & sharing thoughts on "Beltamar's War" & "The Pilgrimage"
    @DaveGrigger

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    1. Your review of "Beltamar's War" is what swayed me to dive into the world of Malmaxa. So I thank you for your review. Reading this book was definitely time well spent. :)

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  6. Great comments Katie. Told you so ☺

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