Guess what I got? Go ahead, guess! I just picked up THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES by Jennifer Crusie, Eileen Dreyer, and Anne Stuart! That's what! I'm stoked. I plan to read it today, and I'm pretty sure dee has it as well, so I think we will be able to work out a joint dish on that one!! Today is the third day in a row that we've had rain, sucky for the kids, good for my posting. So without further ado...
Nimaur's Loss by Camille Gabor*
daughters of magic
Ninianee and Erianthee, the noble daughters of Vildecaz, possess quite different talents. Pretty, charming, Eri can craft entertainments out of thin air; captivating and energetic Nini can communicate with animals. But Nini's true talent must be kept secret: during the full moon, she is transformed into an animal - and never knows if she'll be predator or prey.
Both sisters must play their parts in protecting Vildecaz from political machinations - and their father from his rival, the perfidious magician Yulko Bihn. As noble heiresses, Eri and Nini can never be sure any man's attentions are genuine. But when intrigue and a mysterious disappearance imperils all, they must decide who to trust - and who to love.
*Author has no website. Clicking name will take you to her Juno Books author page that has a short bio of the author.
This is not going to be an easy dish to do, but I'm gonna try. Why, you ask, is this going to be difficult? Well, first off the actual story takes up only 181 pages of the 239 page book. This is followed by a 24 page excerpt of the next book. Then, there is a 22 page Glossary topping it all off. Also, this book, IMO, isn't really a novel. It's more of an introduction (a very long one) to a novel. There is no clear goal, no clear motive behind their worries, and there is most definitely not a conclusion. In fact, it ends with an ill disguised cliff hanger, that belongs on the screen, but not in books. With books I want resolution! I think all readers want a resolution of some sort, and this one disappoints in that area greatly.
When I first began reading Nimaur's, I'll admit, I was lost as could be. I couldn't pronounce names, I had no idea what time frame we were supposedly in, I didn't know what or where any of the places they were speaking of were, I had no idea what the titles meant, and I had no clue about some of the clothing and food they were wearing/consuming.
Truth be told, not being able to pronounce names was OK, because I got to use my imagination. But everything else made reading slow as my mind tried to make sense of the goings on. It was clear that this was not a book set in the near past, and it was clear that in the world this author had created that magic was the norm for many people. And as I continued reading and became more familiar with my own pronunciation key, I actually started to enjoy the book.
And then... I noticed that it didn't appear to be going anywhere. This is when I checked to see how much longer the book was going to last and discovered the glossary and excerpt. As the BCC suggests, Eri's talent is producing "Shadowshows" and this is where she uses the spirits to tell a story. The spirits appear to be there, I was imagining it to be something like a holographic play. Nini's talent is to talk to animals, and then every full moon she turns into one herself. There is no rhyme or reason to the animal she will become, so indeed, she never does know if she will be a predator or a docile prey.
While I enjoyed Eri's talent, and could see how it was used in this book, Nini's talent confused me. She called upon the animals to come to her aid once and that was useful, but the shape-shifting was confusing. Why does she need to keep it a secret? Why, besides the fact that it puts her family in a bind, does she shift in this particular book?
Nimuar is the girls' father, and after much reading I was able to realize that their unexpected guest, Yulko Bihn had cheated somehow in a magical dual with him, and he lost most of his magic and mind. He's searching for something called Agnith's Treasure, but I'm still unsure of what it is or why he (and everyone else) seems to want it so badly.
Each girl has an old flame show back up and they don't seem to be able to make up their minds whether this is good or bad. The relationships are not clear as to why these men were no longer in the girls' lives. I could tell that Nini's man had said he was leaving and then did not. So the Romance aspect of this is pretty much nil. Lots of telling not showing.
I kept going from annoyed to enjoyment in the book, but ultimately annoyed would have to be my finally assessment. Mainly for the no real clear plot or resolution aspect. The premise of the book is imaginative, and other than a rather annoying habit of info dump and unnecessary scenes, the author has a rather unique voice.
I can't really recommend you buy this book, but I won't dissuade you either, as if the next book end up in your TBR pile, you are going to have to read this one to understand anything. Plus, there were a few parts where I actually did enjoy the reading.