I really liked this book, the writing, the characters. Pretty much everything. I laughed on a regular basis, the fight scenes were nice, and the characters really made the story.
The world building was nice and fairly unique. I’ve gotten a little jaded with the whole quest/journey etc. type of Fantasy novels. I’m afraid I’m getting to the point where I’m expected to break out in hives if someone says Epic Fantasy. My mind tends to drift to that scene in Clerks II where the one guy is describing the Lord of the Rings and jumps up on the counter… Still, I liked this world. It was familiar yet different, which I have always felt was essential to any good story.
Even though he’s kind of a bad guy, I liked Traken right from the start. The author did a great job with him because, even though he is decidedly evil, you can’t help but like him.
Santo aka the Blood Fox, well, I kept forgetting her name. It’s a downside of writing in first person point of view, but other than that, I think she did a very good job with how she worked the point of view. Sometimes you can feel like you’re missing out on things with first person, but I don’t think I ever felt that way. If I did, it wasn’t for long. Santo is brave, wise, strong, moral, and a loner by default. Though Traken is likely the older of the two, he always seems or acts like the child by comparison, even when he’s being jaded. I love how even though her trust has been broken in the past, she has no problem putting her faith in others again.
It kind of irked me how often she tended to get nearly killed, though. She was constantly getting hurt, and needing healing. After all, she’s supposed to be this super-fantastic mercenary/killer called Blood Fox, and yet Traken is always having to heal her. Seemed kind of odd to me. Granted, Traken’s supposed to have an equal reputation, and he’s pretty much in the same boat as her with the getting hurt.
For the most part, the story moves forward in a pretty predictable manner, right up until the very end. I always like it when an author can surprise me. And better yet, when an author can surprise me and she’d been laying down the groundwork for that surprise the entire time and I just didn’t see it. That doesn’t happen often.
I recommend Sleepless. When I finished, I immediately felt bummed that I couldn’t immediately pick up the next book in the series. That’s always a good sign in my book.
Curses are not subtle.
They are things of pain, and for a very long time Santo has been caught in one. She haunts the roads of the country of Kurdak as a mercenary, fighting back sleep every night so that she won’t have to face the horror that comes for her when she rests. Weary, with sanity almost gone and no end in sight, Santo doesn’t know who did this to her or why she is still alive.
Someone does, though.
As the mythical Week of Colors arrives, she receives a visit from a long-time acquaintance. Traken is a sharp-tongued sorcerer with a sadistic streak, and he comes bearing an “invitation” from his master, a secretive lord who has been watching her for far too long. Santo isn’t thrilled, until another message arrives in the form of an ominous prediction: following the sorcerer will mean the answers she wants, but she’ll likely die in the process.
That’s fine with Santo, though, because she isn’t searching for a way out… she’s searching for revenge.
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About the Author
Sera Ashling is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Creative Writing, a decision she still stands by no matter what anyone else says. She is a writing geek, a video game addict, and a pretend artist. Her specialties lie in fantasy, sci-fi, action and adventure stories, YA-NA range, with a focus on dialogue and characters. She enjoys the everyday mixed with the fantastical, and finding a little spark of happy in anything.
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