Monday, August 20, 2012

CSFF Blog Tour: The Eye of the Sword - A Review

Welcome to the August CSFF Blog Tour! This time around, the featured book is Eye of the Sword by Karyn Henley. (Doesn't the cover look great at right? And it reflects the main character and turning point in the book too. More on that below.) I decided to jump into this, my first blog tour, head first thus I ended up reading the book and crafting a review. So, without ado, I present my review of Eye of the Sword.

First, I must make something clear. This book is book 2 in what looks to me will be a fantasy trilogy. I was not able to read book 1, Breath of Angel, beforehand so I made do with summaries online. Book 3 (which I'm assuming will be titled Blood of Man due to the advertisement in the back of Eye of Sword) has not been released yet and I have no idea when it will be published.

Plot and Universe

I shall focus first on the plotline and construction of the world. This book, in my opinion, is well written and well paced. The plot is engaging and just when you think you've figured out what's going to happen, Henley throws in a twist to keep you off balance. The outward plot is fairly straightforward though. It is constructed around a quest archetype where the lowly knight must prove his worth by seeking firstly an oracle (at the king's command) and secondly the two remaining harps (at the princess' request). However, the quest could be seen as having a deeper meaning because the main character, Comain Trevin, discovers more than an oracle or harps. He discovers himself. I won't say too much more because that would give away the biggest plot twist in the whole book.

The pacing of the plot kept me eagerly turning the pages to read what happened next. The first few pages were an excellent hook, not because of surprising characters or twists, but because the universe or storyworld was well painted in a few strokes with well chosen world specific words. I don't know whether this hook would have been as effective as if I'd read Breath of Angel because the term that intrigued me was, to my knowledge, explained in the first book. But coming into the second book with no previous introduction left me curious as to how the world was built and kept me reading. I wish, though, that the author had included some form of summary of book 1. It would have helped in establishing what events had preceded book 2 and also what had been "discovered" by the characters by that point in time.

This lack of summary led to my not quite being sure of many of the universe's constructions and systems. For example, the opening pages give a list of characters and, also, the ranks of angels in this world. However, the latter was only briefly touched upon in Eye of the Sword leading me to believe that the full description of the angels was found in book 1 and Henley assumed the readers would be familiar with it. I wasn't, so I ended the book with very little enlightening as to how the system worked or was constructed. This was also true of other things mentioned like the Draks.

The Christian Perspective

Good wins over evil and the lesson of forgiveness is well expounded in this book. Therefore you can tell it was written by someone who holds to the values of Christianity. However, the part with the angels bugged me. I hate to use the word, but the only one that comes to mind is 'heretical'. I've read several stories before where the concept of angels and demons are twisted into a fantasy which doesn't mirror reality, but I never expected to see it used in a book by a Christian. It read to me like a half-hearted attempt to insert God into a fantasy world and modify Him and his angels to fit the world. I didn't like it. I wouldn't have minded as much if the author hadn't used Biblical terms to suit her fancy. If, let's say, Henley had created a different term for the angels and not claimed that that they had any relation to the angels in the Bible then I would have been perfectly fine with it. However, the angels turned into an odd fantasy device which distorted reality. This was the one sour bit in the whole book. The rest I loved.

Overall, I liked this book. I would recommend it to anyone who's interested in YA fantasy that is based in a Christian worldview. The virtues taught are of forgiveness, bravery, courage, righteousness, and the consequences of actions which are good and useful for the teaching of children. Read it, read book 1 if you feel like it, and join me in waiting for book 3. I really want to know what happens!

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it.

Book sold here: Eye of the Sword (Angelaeon Circle Series #2)
Author’s Web site
Author's Blog
Author's Facebook page

CSFF Website
CSFF Blog Tour Participants

Until next time!


  1. Thanks for sharing.
    Please follow my blog! I'll return the favor. Thanks!
    Casey Sean Harmon

  2. Great review and welcome to the tour! Though it didn't bother me, you're not the only one that didn't like the angels being used.

  3. Gotta be honest: I thought the pairing of harps with angels was cliched, but the author went in an unexpected direction with both elements, so I was more able to accept them occupying the same story. As for the portrayal of angels, I immediately noticed the differences from the Biblical angels, but Eye of the Sword is a novel, not Holy Writ, so I was able to "go with it" during the story.

  4. Book 3 is Throat of the Night due March 2013 according to Karyn.
    Liked your review!

  5. Anna, so glad you've joined the tour.

    Shane's right that you aren't the only one who reacted to the different kind of angels. I think creating unique beings was intentional--I don't think Ms. Henley was trying to portray Biblical angels. I could be wrong, but from what she said in her Angelology page at her web site, it seems apparent that she was borrowing from extra-Biblical sources to create her beings.

    I dealt with the subject in my post today, too.

    Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the story apart from that.


  6. Welcome aboard. Excelnt review. I like the angels - I prefer stories that are less biblical and more original story with Christian values, and most concepts of angels are Medieval traditions so I had no problem with the author playing with them. I joined the tour late, but have posted a few observations at:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


11 Questions (2) 2008 Olympics (1) 2013 (1) 500 Words (1) A Breath in Time (8) A Fairy Mistake (1) A Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas (2) Across Time (63) Advent (1) Adventure at Anwar (8) Agent (6) Agents (5) Airlines (1) AJAiken (1) Alice in Wonderland (1) Alice Oglethorpe (7) Alphasmart Dana (6) Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (1) Andromeda Spaceways (3) Angel (5) Angel Eyes (15) Anne McCaffrey (2) Announcement (1) Annoying (1) Antique (1) Apple Bread (1) April Fool's Day (1) Arthur C. Clark (1) Asian Cuisine (3) August CSFF Blog Tour (1) Author Media (3) Ballet (2) Benjamin Franklin (1) Bird (1) Birth of a Novel (10) Bliss (1) Blog Design (7) Blog Feature (4) Blog Giveaway (30) Blog Serial (19) Blog Traffic (1) Blogging from A to Z (38) Blogging tips (1) Bond (1) Book Awards (1) Book Design (1) Book Review (6) Books (1) boxes (1) Brahms (1) Broken Wings (1) Brunch (1) Business Plans (1) Camp NaNoWriMo (20) Campaign Challenge (2) Captain America (1) Care Package (1) Carol of the Bells (1) Cat (1) Cathy St.Onge (1) CGV (1) Character Names (2) Characters (4) Chargers (1) Childish (1) China (1) Choir (2) Christmas Carol (6) Christmas Party (1) Christmas Picture Countdown (54) Christmas Tree (3) Christoper Paolini (1) Chuncheon Dak Galbi (1) Chuseok (1) College (2) Completing a First Draft. (1) Computer Trouble (2) Constant Reader (1) Contests (5) Contracts (1) Copywriting (1) Costuming (1) Cover Art (1) Creation Museum (1) Criminal Background Check (1) CSFF (7) CSFF Blog Tour (6) Curiosity Quills NaNo Virtuosos (1) CWC (1) D and D (1) dabi71 (1) Danny Kaye (1) Dark Halo (1) Darkness (1) David Garrett (1) Deadbeat Clients (1) Debut Novel (1) Decoration (2) Delia Tracy (1) Dialogue (1) Doctor Who (1) Doddie (1) Dog (3) Don King (2) Downloads (1) Dream of a Dream (6) Dreams (1) Ebooks (4) Editing (9) Elementary School (1) Elijah David (1) Ellesar (1) Energy Drinks (1) Ereader (1) Erlkonig (3) ESL (4) Evelyn (1) EvelynElizabeth (1) Exams (4) Excel (1) Excerpt (19) FallenFaerie (1) Fantasy (22) Fantasy Duology (2) Father's Time (1) Financial Reality (1) Firefly (1) Firequeen (8) Fireworks (1) First Chapter (1) Fjörgyn’s Tears (1) flash fiction (3) Flickr (1) Floral (1) Flowers (1) food (4) Free books (1) free ebook (1) Freedom (1) Freelance (2) Freewrite (6) Frozen (1) Gaming (1) Gathmandais (1) Gears (1) George MacDonald (1) Gift Wrapping (1) Good Christian Men Rejoice (1) Google (1) Google Authorship (1) Gooseberry Patch (1) Guest post (2) Gus Sanchez (2) Gymfan15 (1) Haiku (4) Hand (1) Hand painted (1) Harry Potter (1) He's a Pirate (1) Hearth (1) hereslookinatukd (1) Hero Journey (1) Hiking (2) hogglestock (1) Holly Jolly (1) Home (1) Horror (1) Houses of Enemies (2) How Great Our Joy (1) How to (1) Hunger Games (1) Hunting the Unicorn (2) ICCM (1) Imitation Novels (1) Indie Beware (1) Infant Holy Infant Lowly (1) Inheritance (1) Inheritance Cycle (1) Instant (1) Intergalactic Medicine Show (1) International Space Station (1) interview (18) It's A Wonderful Life (1) Jaap Kemp (1) Jane Eyre (1) Japanese (2) jenngersnap (1) Jennifer Mitchell (1) Jerry-Rigging (1) Jesus Jesus Rest Your Head (1) Jingle Bells (1) Job hunting (3) Joe (1) Journal Squirrel Observation (1) Joy Men (1) Kagerou (16) Kaja Colony Crisis (12) KDP Select (1) Kids (1) Kindle (1) Kite (1) Kitty (1) Korean (2) Lady Arwen (2) Lady Courage (1) Letter Game (3) Lia (2) Lia Noel (1) Light (2) Links (11) Loans (1) Local (1) Lotion (1) Love (1) Lucky Agent Contest (2) Lucy of Narnia (2) Lully Lullay (1) Lwyn: A Space Trader's Daughter Series (8) Magazines (2) Magic (1) Make a Memory (1) Mark Suddaby (1) Marketing (2) Masters in This Hall (1) Melian (1) Melian_Maia (2) Meltinalle (1) Military (1) Mistakes (1) MountainFireflower (1) movie (3) My Other Blog (1) My Place Journal (2) Mythology (1) NaNo (129) Nanoisms (2) NaNoWriMo NW Feature (23) NaNoWriMo Spotlight (22) NaNoWriMo Winner (1) Narnian_Badger (1) NarniaWeb (23) Narniawebbers (26) Nature Journal (2) Nature Writing (10) New Year's (2) Newsletter (2) Nicole Lewis (1) Noel Nouvelet (1) North Korea (1) Novel Ideas (2) Observations (2) Operation Christmas Child (2) Ornament (2) Out of Season (1) Outlining (1) Painting (1) Pathfinders (18) Pathfinders Journal (15) Pern (1) Photo Challenge (13) Photo Journal (7) Photos (12) Piano (2) Pictures (15) Pirates of the Carribean (1) Platform-Building Campaign (6) Play (4) Playwriting (3) Plot Bunnies (1) Plot Structure (1) poetphoenix (1) Point of No Return (8) Poll (1) Preschool (1) Present (4) Presidential Election (1) Publishing (3) Publishing Companies (1) Publishing Map (1) Publishing Opportunites (1) Q (3) Query (4) Query Shark (1) Query Tracker (2) Quotes (5) Rain (1) Random House (1) Recital (1) Recommended Reading (1) Rejection (1) Reka (1) RekaStormborn (1) Relaxation (1) Rembrant (1) Representation (1) Rise of the Runelords (15) River_Song (1) Robin McKinley (1) Ryn (1) Sales (3) Sandy (3) Santa (1) Sarah (1) Scams (1) Scarf (1) Scene Transitions (1) Scene Writing (1) School (24) Sci-fi (25) Scientific Wings (1) Script Frenzy (2) Self-Publishing (7) Senior Thesis (1) SEO (1) Shadowrun (1) Shadowrunning (2) Shakespeare (1) Shannon Dittemore (2) shastastwin (1) Sherry Rentschler (1) Shimmer (1) Shine (1) Short Story Ideas (1) Sickness (3) Sing we all Noel (1) Singing Bears (1) Sister (1) Sittybus (1) Snake (1) Snow (5) Social Media (2) Soft to Touch (1) Song (2) South Korea (8) Space (1) Stardf29 (1) Stephen Lawhead (1) Story (15) Story Beginning (2) Story Inspiration (1) Supernatural (3) Suspense (1) Tainted Loves (1) Taxes (1) Teaching (7) Thanksgiving (5) The Bone House (1) The Court Jester (1) The Door in the Sky (6) The Eye of the Sword (11) The Harper Hall of Pern (1) The Hobbit (1) The Old Has Passed Away... (5) The Piano Guys (1) The Skin Map (1) The Spirit Well (1) The Story Within (4) The Telling (1) Thriller (1) Ticket (1) Timber (1) Time Novella #2 (2) Time Travel (53) Time Traveler (24) Touristy Stuff (1) Traveling (1) Triva Quiz (1) Trivia Quiz (1) Twilight (2) Twitter (3) Unseenedge (1) Vacation (1) Valerie Hamer (1) ValNomad (1) Vanity Presses (1) Victor's Crown (1) Victory (1) Video (16) Villains (1) Vintage (1) Visa (1) Wattpad (1) Website building (1) Weekly Roundup (7) Whetstone (4) White Elephant (1) Why not? (1) wild rose (2) Will (2) Wine (1) Winterlife (1) WIP (1) Wonder Writer (1) Word Fun (1) World Book Night (1) Wren (1) Write-in (1) Writer's Block (1) Writer's Digest (2) Writing (3) Writing Concepts (1) Writing Contest (8) Writing Goals (1) Writing Links (35) Writing Village (1) Wuthering Heights (1) YA (3) Yakisoba (1) Yard Sale (1)