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Sunday, February 9, 2014

{Blog Tour} IVORY by F.M. Sherrill --- with review, excerpt, and giveaway!

Title: Ivory
Author: F.M. Sherrill
Series: Ivory Saga
Genre: Fantasy/Action
Publisher: Red Frog Publishing
Release Date: July 7 2013
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Blurb/Synopsis:

As a child in the desert kingdom of Gryth, Ivory witnessed the brutal murder of her parents at the hands of a sinister race known as the Lecs.

Now Queen of her people, a vengeance-fueled Ivory launches a final battle to annihilate the enemy once and for all. But on the eve of war, betrayed by her own kind and left in the hands of the Lecs, she's forced to learn the shocking truth about their two peoples, and the diabolical curse that's plagued them for centuries.

Armed with newfound knowledge and unexpected allies, Ivory must face the real enemy that's haunted her all her life, and make a choice that will mean the difference between a new beginning and the end of the world.

Ivory is an exercise in duality made reality; an exploration of darkness and light, male and female, sun and moon… seen through the eyes of two cultures ripped apart by an ancient evil whose pain resonates through the ages like the beating of a drum.

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Author Information

Aren't author's bios boring? I always wanted to read one that went something like this:

F.M. Sherrill: recent citizen of earth. Plans on ruling the planet once she gets over the common cold. Or, F.M. Sherrill: time traveler. Decided to alter the space-time continuum by writing a novel, thus changing history slightly, which will eventually lead to the rise of a new human species.

But here it is. F.M. Sherrill is a novelist, A.K.A. an avid bullshitter; that's why she lives in L.A.. She's been writing for as long as her ancient mind can remember, devouring tales like an anemic vampire roaming the streets in hot pink heels, always thirsty for more. When she's not writing, she's making steampunk weapons, sewing giant plant-eater Mario plushes, making costumes for some film bloke or cosplayer, and sculpting/casting movie prop replicas while gardening in her urban apartment. Her favorite tools? A soldering iron, a blowtorch, a band saw, a sonic screwdriver, a replicator and an active imagination.

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I liked the light and dark races and how they are basically one, rent asunder by this evil, Taheel. These two races, battling one another, when in truth, it was one person corrupted by this evil monster, who apparently is NOT a myth.

It was an interesting read because of this whole duality concept, especially as you learn more of Ivory's beginnings. As she is the protagonist, you are immediately shown the Lectrans as something evil, something to be despised. But you know something is amiss with both the Gryth and the Lectrans. One race can only produce males, the other is only producing females. What on earth is going on?

It is a richly described world and I liked the contrast of each society. I could not connect with the characters very well, however, with the exception of Silver and that was much later in the book. Despite the rich descriptions of the settings, the emotions to be expected from a war torn nation, the animosity I'm told exists between the twins and Ivory, etc., just didn't connect with me. Although there were a couple word choices that caused me to stumble in my reader zone, the writing style is very crisp, sometimes very short and clipped, getting the point across. I just couldn't find any way to connect with the characters and didn't like Ivory and her constant repressed anger, self-loathing and feelings of not being worthy of love despite her longing for one and then another, her stubbornness against hearing anything different despite her intelligence, etc. While the twins annoyed Ivory, I couldn't find a way to really hate them either; I just found them snotty. While the world was rich and well-detailed, I didn't think the characters were and not enough background given on the plot for most of the book. Once you get the background, it still was just the one, albeit most important, instance of strife between these two factions. And with so many misconstrued and repressed emotions for the Gryth, there really isn't a connection between them where there should be, especially between a Queen and her most trusted advisors. Why would she have people she cannot trust and cannot stand so close to her? These are the bits I found frustrating while reading. And then, of course, it ended as a cliffhanger! *gasp*

While I personally didn't connect with the characters and the book, the world is rich and the war is intriguing as you want to know why it began, how long it has been on-going, and then when you discover that both races seemingly thought the other as legend until confronted with one another, confusing and intriguing all at once. I found it holding my attention to find out more about this war, about this abrasive and rude attitude from Arron & Dani towards Ivory, about why they just won't spit it out.


"“And the lives you’ve taken Ivory, your calloused hands dipped in their blood? After all that you’ve done, you feel nothing?” It jerks its loathsome face toward the solitary candle. Eyes leer at her from the darkness. Bright, quick eyes. They’re not red or soulless. They’re blue like a clear lake that you can see to the bottom of. Blue with flecks of brown like islands in that lake.
She blinks in confusion. His face is beautiful. His skin is pale, his hair long and white like the petals of the Caldra. Her jaw drops. “Am I... have I reached the gods?”
He laughs. The movement makes the flame dance. She looks down, spiteful. He’s toying with her. Why wouldn’t Taheel be beautiful? 


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