Monday, April 8, 2013

#Review Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall

About Rayne:
Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes, The World-Loss Diet and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).

She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and more.  

Rayne has lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal and  has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England.


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Rayne will be awarding an ebook copy of The Colour of Dishonor, Stories from the Storm Dancer World to a commenter on every stop (chosen by the host). One grand prize winner will received the following ten ebooks: Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Beltane: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies, Bites: Ten Tales of Zombies, Six Scary Tales Vol 1, Six Scary Tales Vol 2, Six Scary Tales Vol 3, Six Quirky Tales, Six Historical Tales

Blurb:  

Demon-possessed siege commander, Dahoud, atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war's violence - but can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Principled weather magician, Merida, brings rain to a parched desert land. When her magical dance rouses more than storms, she needs to overcome her scruples to escape from danger.

Thrust together, Dahoud and Merida must fight for freedom and survival. But how can they trust each other, when hatred and betrayal burn in their hearts?

'Storm Dancer' is a dark epic fantasy. British spellings. Caution: this book contains some violence and disturbing situations. Not recommended for under-16s.

Review:
A wonderfully written fantasy story with vivid details and a truly interesting plot that had many levels and meanings. The world Ms. Hall created is fascinating and clearly rendered, and I loved reading about it.

Unfortunately, I couldn't connect with the characters. Immature and insensitive didn't begin to describe them and I had little to no sympathy for either. I will give them this: Dahoud constantly fights his inner demonic djinn and really himself in the process, and Merida at least grows from the woman she was raised as into someone she truly owns.

I also think there needs to be a stronger warning about the level of violence: The caution about some violence and disturbing situations is not strong enough and I would not recommend this for even 16 year olds. This was very much an adult story with disturbing rape scenes and heavily graphic torture scenes.

Overall, I give it 3.5 stars
  

Excerpt:

Even in the shade of the graffiti-carved olive tree, the air sang with heat. Dahoud listened to the hum of voices in the tavern garden, the murmured gossip about royals and rebels. If patrons noticed him, they would only see a young clerk sitting among the lord-satrap's followers, a harmless bureaucrat. Dahoud planned to stay harmless.
 
The tavern bustled with women - whiteseers hanging about in the hope of earning a copper, traders celebrating deals, bellydancers clinking finger cymbals - women who neither backed away from him nor screamed.

The youngest of the entertainers wound her way between the benches towards their table, the tassels on her slender hips bouncing, the rows of copper rings on her sash tinkling with every snaky twist. Since she seemed nervous, as if it was her first show, he sent her an encouraging smile. Ignoring him, she shimmied to Lord Govan.

The djinn slithered inside Dahoud, stirring a stream of fury, whipping his blood into a hot storm. Would she dare to disregard the Black Besieger? What lesson would he teach to punish her insolence?

 Dahoud stared past her sweat-glistening torso, the urge to subdue her washing over him in a boiling wave. For three years, he had battled against the djinn's temptations. To indulge in fantasies would batter his defences and breach his resistance. He focused on the flavours on his tongue, the tart citron juice and the sage-spiced mutton, on the tender texture of the meat. 

Where to Buy:

3 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Rayne Hall said...

Thanks, Isabel. It's interesting that Storm Dancer is too dark for your taste. Some people find it not dark enough for theirs. :-)
While you wish the caution about disturbing situation were stronger, others said it made them expect something much more violent and gruesome, and they were disappointed. :-D
I think it's wonderful that these days, readers can download the free sample chapters before deciding to buy a book. Hopefully, the Storm Dancer sample pages will give an idea what kind of disturbing things happen in this book.
Thanks for taking the time to read this book and for sharing your impressions with your blog followers. I imagine that many of them have similar tastes to you, so your warning is valuable. Storm Dancer really is dark and disturbing in places, and I agree it's not for kids.
Rayne

Isabel Roman said...

You're right, Rayne, there are different tastes. Which is what makes reading so much fun! I'll post this review on Amazon this week.

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