Thursday, February 14, 2008

Amberlight by Sylvia Kelso

amberlight1.jpgAmberlight, ah Amberlight...the book that frustrated me to no end but paid off in the end! That's a good kept me reading. Let me start off this review by saying that if you decide to read this book, see it's a great read. My initial frustrations with the book were getting into the flow of Sylvia Kelso's language which is truly beautiful, but takes quite a bit of concentration to read at first. Once you get used to her style though, it becomes easy to get lost in her poetic grace. Here's the opening paragraph:
" High moon over Amberlight, commanding the zenith, radiant, imperial, the city's fretted-ink porticoes and balconies gnawing that torrent of aerial snow. Domes shed it, men's towers drip with it. Under the vertical black rampart of the citadel wall, the qherrique outcrops glow to their depths with it: cabochon slabs girdling the hill's waist, broad as cathedral floors, zones of luminous milk slanted between ragged frames of earth and grass. Qherrique. Pearl-Rock. Moon-Stone. The core and crown of Amberlight."
The whole book isn't that heavy, but it gives an example of her skill with words. So what is this Qherrique, and what is Amberlight? Amberlight is the city in which the book takes place...a beautiful city in which women rule the main houses and men serve the "traditional" roles seen in our society. Qherrique is a mysterious and powerful substance that is mined by the women and has many uses. It's embedded in the walls of the houses, fuels the electricity, cars and weapons, and speaks to the women in a spiritual way. Needless to say it's a very sought after substance by other colonies and has caused wars in the past. At the beginning of Amberlight, a strange man who is unknown by anyone in Amberlight is found beaten, raped, and passed out in the streets and is taken in by Tellurith, head of Telluir house. He awakens and remembers nothing of who he is, what he is doing in the city or what has happened to him. The council grows suspicious of this stranger as Tellurith, a member of the council, begins to grow feelings for him. What will awaken with his memories? Where did he come from and why is he in Amberlight? This is another book published by Juno, the same publisher that published Carole McDonnell's Wind Follower. The publisher focuses on fantasy with strong female characters and this is no exception. Tellurith is a wonderful character. She's strong, brave when she needs to be, vulnerable like any human at times, and passionate as hell. She also frustrated me to no end at times, but I can't really talk about that without giving away serious spoilers. But the book ended with me being satisfied. I just wish it would've come sooner so that I wouldn't have been ripping my hair out! Well done Ms. Kelso!

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