Annmarie Banks – The Hermetica of Elysium (Elysium Texts book 1)

The Hermetica of Elysium is book 1 in the Elysium Texts trilogy.  Nadira is a young woman in late 1500 Barcelona who can read and write in six different languages.  This makes her extremely valuable.

To be honest, I was kind of bored for the first 5 chapters.  There certainly was enough action going on to make the story exciting, but I had no emotional attachment to the main character.  Her hard to pronounce name only added to this.  Only at the end of chapter 5 does Nadira ask, “why is this book important?”  Richard could have been a character I would have liked, but I didn’t get a chance to and so his ultimate sacrifice for a seeming random book did not catch my attention at all.  And after 5 chapters we still don’t know exactly why the book is important.  Call me old fashioned if you want, but a fantasy book just isn’t a fantasy book without magic which there has been none of in these first 5 chapters.

Gah, there was one line in chapter 7 that had the potential to be great but was devalued by an excess of words,

“He looked at her across the table in a manner she knew very well.”

If the author simply wrote that it would have been brilliant.  But instead she goes on restating that sentiment 3 or 4 different times and ending with,

“He had seemed to be evaluating her breasts rather than her penmanship when he had asked her to take down a letter for him after the meal”.

So close.

Finally on chapter 11, about 40% of the way through, the book gets really exciting.  Does God have a plan for the world?  Did he design the way everything works?  Did He write it all down in a book?  These are the questions that are asked at this time.  I’m still unsure how to pronounce the main character’s name though.

I didn’t like the magic system.  It took a long time to come around and then it was not well defined.

Hmmmmm I finished the book at a reasonable pace.  I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions on philosophy more so than the story itself.

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