Set Sail for Adventure with The Exile’s Violin by Melissa Darcey
I’ll come right out and say it. I’m not well versed in fantasy fiction; the extent of my knowledge starts with Harry Potter and ends with The Hunger Games.
Science fiction and steampunk are even further outside my literary realm. Never one to shy away from an unexplored genre, I immediately buried my nose in my Kindle when I had the opportunity to read The Exile’s Violin by R. S. Hunter.
The Exile’s Violin is set in a world on the brink of war. The story opens with the murder of heroine Jacquie Renairre’s parents. She sets off to hunt down those responsible, along with new friend Clay Baneport, and uncovers an underworld of political conspiracy, untold stories, ancient legends, and mysterious objects including a key and a violin.
If that plot doesn’t leave you begging for more, let me say this: you will be begging for more. Once I hit page 10 there was no going back. I knew the next few days would be spent on the couch, nose in Kindle. I luckily have a husband who was kind enough to bring me water and food to maintain my strength.
Hunter ultimately succeeds with the story’s pace. He takes the time to walk the reader through his world (perfect for science fiction neophytes) but maintains a steady stream of action and mystery. In this sense, it solves what ultimately scares off readers like me from diving into science fiction. I’ve started many a fantasy book where 50 pages in I’m still reading about the plant life that occupies the imaginary realm. Or, on the other side of the spectrum, I’m lost by page 12, waving a white flag of shame.
Not only is Jacquie a butt-kicking, fierce heroine, Clay is the perfect foil. In some ways, he’s everything she isn’t. In others, they’re one in the same. Clay and Jacquie’s banter is particularly amusing and I would be lying if I said I didn’t form a crush on Clay.
Did The Exile’s Violin open me up to the science fiction realm? I think so. If anything, it made me recall just how juicy a good fantasy story can be—a reminder I needed after having spent the last six months reading non-fiction and memoirs.
The Exile’s Violin is Book 1 of the Tethy’s Chronicles, which means I will be stalking Hunter until the release date of Book 2. My apologies in advance to the author.
Melissa Darcey is a writer living in Los Angeles. She likes film, books, and the Bronte sisters. She is a strong supporter of the Oxford comma. You can chat with her on Twitter @MelissaDarcey.
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