Wednesday 23 March 2016


Winds Rising by B. A. Silverman
Book 1 of the Windriders Saga
Genre: fantasy YA
Format: ebook

About Winds Rising:
Taken in by the Patriarch of the Sleeping God sect upon the death of his mother when he was 6, Tamsen Fairchild, at 14, sees little in his future except being groomed as one of the Patriarch’s Watchers, whose sole purpose is to make sure that the Godder community adheres to the strictures of their religion -- no sounds above a whisper, and no inventions of any kind. But Tamsen yearns to make music, like the lullabies his mother used to sing. His greatest joy is to escape for a mark or two into the forest and try to imitate the music of the birds on his forbidden hand-made whistle.

An unexpected crisis takes Tamsen’s Patriarch to consult his counterpart in the river city of Savia and it is Tamsen who is chosen to accompany him. While the two religious leaders confer, Tamsen sneaks away to explore the city, where “noise” is allowed – even encouraged! But his attention is suddenly torn from the sights and sounds of the city by a wisp of – something more – something wondrous – something like, and yet unlike the lullabies he remembers and the birdsong he struggles to imitate. He is drawn forward, across an open court, unheeding of the dray that nearly knocks him down and the angry shouts of the carter, to an open doorway. As he steps through, his focus narrows until all he sees is the man at the center of a crowd and the strange instrument he holds, from which pours those amazing sounds. Compelled to capture the tones for himself, he pulls out his whistle, closes his eyes and tries to recreate them.

When the tones abruptly cease, he looks up -- and meets the eyes of the man who is about to change his life. Jon, the minstrel, is convinced that Tamsen possesses a Bardic Gift, and insists upon getting him directly to Citadel, the Magicka school in Lenhold, where his Gift can be nurtured. To avoid recapture by Tamsen’s Patriarch, Jon intends to call upon a Windrider friend to fly Tamsen there on kirback. Tamsen’s excitement is almost more than he can bear. Not only will he leave behind the intolerable restrictions of the Godders and be given the opportunity to learn how to produce the music in his heart, but he is going to fly there with a Windrider, on a magical winged beast! Surely he must be dreaming! His entire world seems to be expanding beyond his wildest hope. Little does Tamsen realize just how very large that world will be.
Source: Info in the About Winds Rising was taken from GoodREads at on 27/02/2016.

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My Thoughts:
The worldbuilding is wonderful! It is intricate and stays with you long after you've read the book. And I really like sentient flying unicorns! Can't beat that! Plus the bad guys are bad and the good guys are good. Simple. Straight forward. No twisting your emotions into a pretzel. The story telling style has a middle grade tone, which I guess is kinda tolerable in YA, but the characters are growing up fast. I imagine Book 2 would no longer be YA. While the story plot ended, the book is distinctly just a first chapter of a bigger book. Meaning the book ended in a cliffhanger. Bummer! I didn't like that.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 3
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 2
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = 4
Plot = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

About B. A. Silverman
B. A. Silverman
B. A. Silverman doesn't do things by halves. Her fascination with fantasy, fueled by such stellar literary names as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedez Lackey, soon led to a prolific outpouring of story ideas - many of which, she tells us, "thankfully never saw the light of day."

But soon, she says, "I began constructing whole worlds in my head. There was nothing to do but get them on paper." And into print, as she sold short fantasy to such magazines as Alfred Hitchcock and to the anthology "Prom Night", edited by Nancy Springer.

Two such forays into short fantasy ended up forming the basis for the intricacies of the varied geographies and civilizations that populate the landscape of her trilogy, "Windriders Saga".
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Books In The Windriders Saga:

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

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