The Orphans of Tarnalin- Book Review!

The Orphans of Tarnalin is a difficult book to review.
I have so many mixed feelings about it, but I can say I am glad to have read it.

I was not a fan of the rushed pace of the prologue. There are seldom times a Prologue is necessary and while I see it's use in this book It could have done without it as well.

I was certainly hooked by chapter 3, if not before. And Everything with the Black Rose only served to ignite the spark that I'd felt building in the earlier chapters. Savia amuses me greatly, she's feisty and fun and one of my absolute favorite people. Daern is kind of naïve, and a bit of a cliché MC but I still liked him well enough. Petrius is the funny friend who the others really ought to give more credit, and Apria is, well she's Apria. She was the right amount of awkward and shy to fit the story perfectly.

The cover art was positively fantastic, it’s what drew me to the book in the first place and that’s something that seldom happens.

I loved the world within The orphans of Tarnalin, and yet there were quite a few flaws to the book itself.
The characters were amazing. It was almost as if the author wrote them simplistically in certain places and that itself made them more complex. John McDonell makes a habit of introducing new POV characters throughout the book, which can be off putting but it also made things interesting. I would have liked to have alternating POV's for all of the major players early on without adding new ones in as they fit the plot. It was sort of like:

 I would start a new POV chapter and be all ... " What the heck, who is this guy?" Only to, a few pages later, find myself rooting for that same guy I'd only just met! So as strange as it was, it still works (though at times only just barely).

The lek made the world much more complex than it had seemed in the beginning and I thought they made a great addition to the story. And Devout was positively darling. But my favorite character was Marissa, she just a super kick ass woman on a mission. (I’d love to hear your favorite as well if you’ve read this story).  

In this book you will meet gangsters and Kings, boys and Wizards, cannibals and Monsters, there is really someone and something for everyone.

Unless... you're a feminist. I don't think the author meant any harm by it, I even believe he meant for us to see things the way Daren did. But every female he came across was unusually attractive. There is even a point where one of the 'slaves' says something along the lines of "they stopped making us (women) do the manual labor, finding we were better suited for other tasks." Those are NOT his exact words but that was the gist of the sentence. While I did not find it offensive I can absolutely see where someone else might.

I thought the plot took a lot of interesting turns, I just wish that it was a bit easier to connect with some of the characters. I think certain events would have been more impactful if we had spent a little more time getting to know some of people involved. The plot was solid, a bit predictable at times but the amount of players and parts they played were enough to keep it intriguing.  I really enjoyed the read. I was left wanting to know more about the Prince and King at the end, but I guess that’s a matter for the sequel.

I am definitely  looking forward to book two. I can’t wait to see where the author takes these characters next and how it all turns out!

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