Series: The Exile's Blade #1
Review by Lis
An apprentice guard in the royal household of Brandishear, Chriani is a capable young warrior held back from attaining his full potential by a lifetime of dark anger. Lauresa is a princess about to be set aside as heir and married off for the sake of treaty -- and the only woman Chriani has ever loved. When his mentor is murdered preventing an assassination attempt within the palace, Chriani is forced to become Lauresa's protector -- the two reconciling a forbidden passion even as they find themselves caught up in a maelstrom of political intrigue, ancient racial hatred, a society living in mortal fear of sorcery, and a decades-old plot to plunge five nations into genocidal war.
Don't judge a book by its cover they say. Oh well, I did. When I got the request for this book, I was instantly intruiged by the cover that accompanied this book. Alright, the backblurb didn't sound so terrible either, so I asked B to send it over. While not a terrible book, this was not my knight in shining armour amidst a herd of white horses.
Clearwater Dawn is the story of Chriani and Lauresa. Chriani is a warrior, apprentice, bodyguard in the royal household of Brandishear. He has a lot of potential, but also a lot of anger and as Mr Myagi would say: the two don't mix. In fact, I think Chriani would be painting a lot of fences if in the care of Mr. Myagi.
Lauresa is a princess in a bind. She's about to be dumped as heir and uses as a bargaining point int a treaty.
All that changes when there is an assassination attempt in which Chriani's master dies and a big can of worms is opened.
Clearwater Dawn is likable enough to read, but I'm a reader of action and this book is slowgoing at first. There is a lot of thought and a lot of background and I found the way it was interwoven with the story, didn't quite work for me. It reminded me a bit of my old philosophy professor. Droning. Though at other points in the story the writing was quite provocative and nicely done.
Fortunately for us, there are a few twists and turns in the plot that keep us going and made it more interesting to read.
I found that I didn't much care for Chriani or Lauresa, but that is more my problem than it is that of the characters. You just can't like everyone you come across. However, their characters are well thought out and not just cardboard enterprises. I did foudn that sometimes the character, both the main cast and the supportive cast, got lost in the narrative.
All in all Clearwater Dawn was a book that didn't work for me, but I'm just one person. In the hands of the right person this book my just put the reader on the edge of their seat and unable to put it down.