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”.
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.