Four out of five stars.
The Fall of Ossard by Colin Taber turned out to be an interesting novel. If you are looking for a fast pace and lots of action then this is probably not the book for
you. The action scenes we do read about are well written and exciting, but the biggest portion of the story is written around them. Colin Taber has a great
imagination and for the most part he was able to bring this fantasy land and
people into full 3D detail.
We first meet Juvela when she is still a young girl. There have been child abductions taking place in the area and her wealthy parents hire Sef, a one-time soldier, to protect her, a body guard. Juvela’s grandmother was burned at the stake as a witch by the Inquisitor Anton and her parents fear a similar fate for her if they don’t take immediate action to avoid it. I was a little taken aback by the actions of Pedro, Juvela’s future husband and the father of her daughter. Without giving anything away, I never quite understood his role in what was done to her—beyond the obvious—nor her willingness to still marry him. There
were a lot of questions raised about Pedro that I never did feel satisfied with
the answers. Perhaps more about him will come in the sequel.
As evil takes a firmer grip in Ossard, Juvela’s own powers begin to awaken. At first we are led to believe her dead grandmother is trying to help her, but this becomes questionable as Juvela’s power continues to grow. One almost begins to feel her grandmother is using Juvela as a means to steal souls and build her power base in the Celestial. As Juvela’s ability to look into the Celestial—the realm of gods, spirits, souls, and raw magic—becomes stronger, she gains in magical powers and is able to help keep her people alive when they are attacked. But she is not strong enough to stop the kidnapping of her husband, child and her in-laws. Will she be able to find those she loves and rescue them before they can be sacrificed in a battle for power?
After the kidnapping of Juvela’s family the story begins to lag quite a bit. People are being drawn to her and we end up sitting through story after story as they tell Juvela what they’ve been through. A lot of it began to sound repetitious and I found myself starting to skim. Her body guard, Sef, turns out to be one of
the most interesting characters in the novel. There is much more to him than first meets the eye and he is definitely going to be an important part of this story as they continue on this quest. I love the hook we are left with at the end
of this first novel. Though I enjoyed this beginning a great deal, I have a feeling the next one is going to be where the real action starts, because it’s not just the city of Ossard, Juvela and her family left hanging in the balance, it’s the whole world. Juvela is becoming more powerful with every passing day, but will it end up making her as corrupt as the people she is trying to stop? I have no doubt I’ll be back to pick up the middle part of this trilogy when it becomes available so I
can find out.