#READ KINDLE ½ The Whitefire Crossing º eBook or E-pub free

I posted my review on Only the Best, while Seak posted his on Bastard Books and other crap You read fantasy and you wish you could become a wizard detective, a clever thief, Supermanbut, a rock climber That s precisely what I wished to become after I was done with Courtney Schafer s debut novel, The Whitefire Crossing Not that the book itself was about rock climbing, but the passages in which it was featured, were quite compelling I m scared shitless of heights, so one can dream It s the first book in The Shattered Sigil series, followed by The Tainted City projected for a 2012 release.Dev is an outrider for caravans as they travel from one city to another, particularly through the mountains in which he uses his mountaineering expertise to scout for any danger He also takes smuggling jobs on the side He s been lauded to be very good at his job, though a risk taker for his love and thrill of rock climbing, he s been risk averse on the smuggling jobs he takes until now Losing all his savings due to some circumstances, savings he needed to save the life of someone he cares and is responsible for, he s forced into smuggling a young man, Kiran, into a city with a heavily guarded border against his better judgement Unbeknownst to him, Kiran is a mage on the run from a very powerful and dangerous mage who d stop at nothing to get him back.The book is narrated in both first and third person limited perspectives First person belongs to Dev, while the third person limited belongs to Kiran I personally love this exercise, while I know some will find the style not to their liking, but I thought it was handled quite well The switches in POV are marked preceding the passages, so there will be no confusion I don t think readers will have problem getting into rhythm if that is of concern The Whitefire Crossing was a real treat of a novel I m not a fan of books that spend a good portion travelling, yet this novel packs some good energy and enthusiasm along with a thriller element through this making it quite entertaining and fresh It s in fact the best part of novel Two thirds of the novel in or so, the energy of the book drops substantially as the action and movement slows down and the plot not as interesting as what came before it Main problem for me that some of the reveals were already heavily foreshadowed and easily inferred so they lost the impact when introduced along with the emotional impact in our characters Picks right back up towards the end though with some exciting turn of events followed by an aftermath portion which sets up the next stage of the series in a manner which is of great interest to me with some promise of political intrigue which I enjoy very much.The novel itself can be characterized as one about choices and consequences, juxtaposed with themes of trust and freedom Throughout the whole novel both of our main characters are presented with a myriad of choices, choices that weigh heavy on them It s these dilemmas that drive the character conflicts throughout the novel There s a lot of introspection in which these struggles are depicted, in particular when they involve questions of trust versus risking freedom If that isn t enough, both characters are confined by self interest agendas that may force them to betray each other, and themselves for that matter, as they view it as an inevitability of their situation charged by shackles from their past and potential future, creating a self fulfilling prophecy.The book features plenty of magic use, and I thought some of it was quite interesting when considering the cost benefit analysis of magic usage Personally would like to seedetails of how the magic works and what limits does it actually have For purposes of what was featured in this novel, they re not that important but some events towards the end hints to me that they might be in the future The Whitefire Crossing is limited in scope as plot needs demand, so worldbuilding suffers a bit because of it But don t ignore that which was featured coming to life in the pages, particularly through the mountain trek There s plenty of anecdotal evidence throughout the novel though, which fuels the imagination about the possibilities in this world Very much looking forward to how the boundaries of what we ve been educated on expand in future installments.Courtney Schafer has written a very promising debut which I highly recommend Well written in an unorthodox style giving a fresh energy to some traditional ideas among the new Main strength being the character conflicts presented throughout, and the enthusiastic and detailed narrative of mountaineering portions of the novel energized by Schafer s expertise of rock climbing Plenty of action and a fast moving book which should keep readers entertained and turning the pages Sequel of the novel is The Tainted City , very much looking forward to it, and hope many of you give this series a try. 4.5 Loved it It s been awhile since I had so much fun with epic fantasy Story hooks you in with mystery from the get go and then keeps the suspense with the journey through treacherous mountain passes, murder, blood magic, twists and betrayals, politics and budding friendship Smooth and flowing prose without unnecessary flourishes or philosophising there is no romance and it s not too dark all focus is to action adventure and characterisation Very engaging book with likeable characters and good pacing.It is clear that author has first hand experience in rock climbing Passion for the mountains is palpable and along with the knowledge adds an authentic touch to this story Adventures there felt so real I was exhausted and exhilarated just as the characters Highly recommended for anyone who likes fantasy A must read for people who love mountains. #READ KINDLE õ The Whitefire Crossing Ì Dev Is A Smuggler With The Perfect Cover He S In High Demand As A Guide For The Caravans That Carry Legitimate Goods From The City Of Ninavel Into The Country Of Alathia The Route Through The Whitefire Mountains Is Treacherous, And Dev Is One Of The Few Climbers Who Knows How To Cross Them Safely With His Skill And Connections, It S Easy Enough To Slip Contraband Charms From Ninavel Where Any Magic Is Fair Game, No Matter How Dark Into Alathia, Where Most Magic Is OutlawedBut Smuggling A Few Charms Is One Thing Smuggling A Person Through The Warded Alathian Border Is Near Suicidal Having Made A Promise To A Dying Friend, Dev Is Forced To Take On A Singularly Dangerous Cargo Kiran A Young Apprentice On The Run From One Of The Most Powerful Mages In Ninavel, Kiran Is Desperate Enough To Pay A Fortune To Sneak Into A Country Where Discovery Means Certain Execution And He Ll Do Whatever It Takes To Prevent Dev From Finding Out The Terrible Truth Behind His GetawayYet Kiran Isn T The Only One Harboring A Deadly Secret Caught Up In A Web Of Subterfuge And Dark Magic, Dev And Kiran Must Find A Way To Trust Each Other Or Face Not Only Their Own Destruction, But That Of The Entire City Of Ninavel A smuggler named Dev is hired to escort a young man from Ninavel to Alathia, taking him through the treacherous Whitefire Mountains But when the young man turns out to be an apprentice Blood Mage with an angry master on his backtrail, Dev gets a lotthan he bargained forI had this on my radar for about a year When the ebook went on sale for 1.99, I knew the time was right.The Whitefire Crossing is a refreshing change of pace from most fantasy novels on the racks Gone is the pseudo medieval Europe setting and generic quest story The setting of The Whitefire Crossing reminds me muchof the American West Ninavel is an analog to Las Vegas, with it s dependence on Mages for water and its lawlessness The Whitefire mountains are a stand in for the Rockies and the protected border of Alathia could easy represent the US Mexican border.Dev, smuggler with a heart of gold, reminds me of a mountain climbing Han Solo, in it for the money but also having a kind streak Kyran, apprentice Blood Mage, is a pretty believable pissed off young man wanting to escape his master s hold on him.The magic system was pretty interesting I like the idea of kids born with magical talents, The Taint, and losing them once they hit puberty Dev s origins did a lot to explain why he was who he was Ruslan was a pretty vile villain and Blood Mage reminds me of the dark side of the Force quite a bit.The Whitefire Mountains setting did a lot to separate this one from the rest of the fantasy herd I saw on Courtney Schafer s bio that she s into mountain climbing and her love of it shows through in the descriptions of mountain terrain, flora and fauna.I liked the book quite a bit but it wasn t without its flaws For one thing, the story took a nosedive for me at the 60% mark, once they left the Whitefire Mountains behind A new threat was introduced and the story lost some of its luster That s about my only complaint, though.The Whitefire Crossing is the first book in a series but it stands pretty well on its own and was well worth the 1.99 price tag I paid for it Four out of five stars. There are two things I really look for in any fiction compelling characters that feel fleshed out, full of contradictory impulses, doubts, jealousies, and all the other human foible stuff and a clever or unique take or treatment, an angle that separates it from everything else out there The second is especially important in fantasy novels, which has a history almost as long as storytelling itself if you go back to Odysseus and Gilglamesh, so sometimes falls into the unpleasant habit of recycling tropes without bringing anything new to the table And I m here to say, The Whitefire Crossing, the debut effort by Courtney Schafer, has both of those elements in spades On its surface, it doesn t appear all crazy unusual It has a scoundrel with a complicated history named Dev, who s a smuggler, but in the Locke Lamora mold as far as criminals go he s clever, likable, and not completely amoral or bloodthirsty His sections of the book are told in first person.And then there s Kiran, a young secretive mage s apprentice who s on the run for reasons that aren t immediately clear He needs to get out of the city of Ninavel and into the country of Alathia undetected There are plenty of obstacles most won t touch for fear of spoilage but none greater than the inconvenient mountain range in between In an interesting and bold choice perhaps to help maintain the mystery for the bulk of the novel , Kiran s sections are presented in third person limited This violates a cardinal precept most creative writing instructors proclaim from on high don t mix and match your POVS pick one, and stick with it So the story goes, mixing them confuses, frustrates, and potentially alienates readers And while that s not the worst advice, Schafer pulls it off here It does take a chapter or two to adjust to the shifts between the characters alternating POVs, and while this helps maintain some of the secrets both from Dev and the reader, it seems a natural rather than contrived choice once you get used to it So, structurally you have something that sets the novel apart and in a good way, since it works But once of the other things that immediately sets this novel apart is the smuggling itself it requires traveling through the mountains, and while Dev is skilled at transporting gems and small charms over the mountains, getting an inexperienced person through the mountains is a different proposition The characters themselves are well drawn, their exchanges believable, and they re both pretty well layered, as they each harbor their own secrets But while there are plenty of other good things going on in the novel, the mountain crossing itself is where it truly shines Most authors, gloss over travel of this kind ocean in pre modern times, mountains anytime, desert pretty much any time, hellish swamps, etc , and because most readers aren t experts on the topic, we grant authors a lot of latitude and suspend our disbelief, unless the writer clearly makes some horrible gaffes But when an author DOES know the terrain and territory, and is really familiar with all the challenges and dangers involved, it can turn a rote journey into a gripping one filled with tension and terrific realism And boy, does Schafer know mountaineering While the sections of the book that take place in urban environments are certainly handled well enough, the mountain crossing is absolutely fantastic in its rendering,At the end of the day, the main characters are front and center, and they carry the novel, but the pure verisimilitude achieved in the mountaineering section really elevates this novel pardon the pun to another level I look forward to reading the next in the series Although I ll be sad if the mountains don t feature prominently Unless Schafer is also an expert in spelunking Which is entirely possible. This was a decent fantasy adventure story The plot was interesting and the characters were a likeable enough bunch Dev is a guide who takes merchant caravans through the Whitefire Crossing mountain paths The mountain crossing is what links the city state of Ninavel to the country of Alathia Dev also has a secondary job as a smuggler He mostly smuggles small charms into the restrictive Alathia In need of money quickly Dev accepts a riskier than normal job Instead of smuggling goods he agrees to smuggle a Ninavel noble to Alathia in disguise as his new apprentice The runaway is Kyran What Dev does not know is that Kyran has a few secrets of his own and is not just running away from his family, but from one of the most powerful men in all of Ninavel and that the man will do anything to get him back The story was engaging without ever really being all that exciting Both Dev and Kyran were likeable characters and I did enjoy watching their friendship grow as they learnedabout each other The world was a small one but it was well developed I m on the fence about the magic system It had an old school fantasy feel to it All in all this was an enjoyable read, but probably not a memorable one Rating 3.5 stars.Audio Note This was narrated by Andy Caploe His performance was nothing special but it was decent enough. 4.5 stars an excellent start to what promises to be an lively and epic series the two PoV characters are likeable, vastly different the interplay between the two as the cross a vivid mountain scape make the book come alive in fact, the whitefire mountain range and the surrounding lands place such a vibrant role they become, in effect, as memorable as the characters my only qualm is with the magic system, which is to my tastes too soft to be clear, there is nothing wrong with soft magical systems some of the best fantasies out there use soft magic system e.g game of thrones, harry potter, lord of the rings however, the lack of rules to magic, or in this case, the multiplicity of different rules, can lead to some confusion about what is possible here characters sometimes had to explain why special circumstances of magic for which the reader could not have had an appreciation were necessary i admit to being biased on this front, given that i write only hard magical systems over, i have in the past been guilty of requiring characters to explain the laws of magic, so i am perhaps hypersensitive to the issue most importantly, though i object to the softness of the magic systems, it was not significant enough to detract from the book, which was wonderful fun i m very excited for the next book in the series highly recommended for any fan of epic fantasy. I ve had this on my to be read pile for some time now, and thanks to being picked by a group I m in I have a good excuse to move it to the top of the TBR pile I m excited to get started. In 2007, a good friend of mine took me to a movie called Into the Wild You may already know it, but the short version of this true story is that a guy on his way to Harvard and a hugely successful career decides to give up all his money and stuff and make his way to Alaska.When I walked out, all I wanted to do was go on one big, epic adventure meeting random people, learning how to survive on leaves and grass hehe and sky and rainbows I think we ended up heading to Vegas a week later on a sweet road trip, nothing too life changing though.Now, this does have a point When I finished The Whitefire Crossing, not only did I want to be able to wield sweet magical powers and amulets and charms and stuff, but I really wanted to go mountain climbing.That s one of the greatest parts of this book, you can just feel the author s love of climbing and the outdoors and then she s created this amazing world around it that will suck you in right from the beginning.Dev is a guide for caravans through the Whitefire mountains from Ninavel to the country of Alathia, but he also makes money on the side by smuggling And by makes money on the side, I mean the side job is really guiding the caravans You see, the country of Alathia is a highly restrictive place when it comes to magic and you can make good money smuggling charms and magical artifacts through the border If you get caught, though, you re in really big troublenot to mention the border magic that detects and prevents magic from entering the country.So his job ain t no walk in the park wow, did I just write that on an average day, but this time he s agreed to smuggle something else into Alathiaa person Not that easy to do, but still Dev isn t getting the whole story Luckily for Kiran, the person to be smuggled, Dev s in dire need of money and the price is right They head out on the first caravan of the season.Just when you think things are going well, or about to go well, there is always another problem around the corner, whether it s the weather go homophones , people in the caravan, or other things I m really trying not to spoil, but it s so cool, but I promise I won t spoil.And the best part is it s not contrived Each new problem is logical and fits so perfectly in the world Schafer s created I ve always been a fan ofmagic over less although A Song of Ice and Fire is still a favorite , it s one of the reasons I love Erikson so much The city of Ninavel, where the story begins, was founded to be place for magicians to practice freely and some are even really scary There are charms for most things such as healing or hurting things, there are all types of magicians, including the worst of which, bloodmages, and the story involves magic constantly.Told in first person from Dev s point of view and then third person limited when it comes to Kiran, there are chapters, but each section is also divided up between Dev and Kiran I thought this was a bit odd at the beginning, but it proved to move the story along quite well and it worked, so who am I to say.When To Read The Whitefire Crossing I m going back to discussing when you should read a book Sometimes you need to be in a certain mood to jump into a book no matter how good it is.As you may have noticed, I really enjoyed myself with this one The Whitefire Crossing is perfect if you want something straight forward and fun, focused on only a few characters and filled with magic Also, be ready to go on your own adventures, this may just be the incentive you need.4 out of 5 Stars Loved it I just got an interview up with the author herself. The Whitefire Crossing is a very enjoyable adventure fantasy read, that is somewhere between epic fantasy and sword sorcery It startslike a SS novel but gets a lot of epic fantasy flavors as you go along Fantasy enthusiasts who like these sub genres might find it to their liking I definitely count myself as one of them Setting the setting is pretty interesting, and mainly focuses on two cities and the mountains between them While one city allows the use of magic with almost no limitations, the other city has very strict rules against any use of magic beyond very simple charms These rules are enforced by pretty strong magic wards Yeah, you got it right, they have mages that enforce the rules against the use of magic As for the mountains it s very clear that mountaineering isthan just a hobby for the author Writing about things you love is always a good recipe for a great outcome, and I liked that part There s some added value for the readers, as they get a glimpse into this world, that s at least how see it.Magic system the magic system is intriguing and it seems likewill be revealed in the following books, as there are still a few types of mages that we re not familiar with yet Plus, there s another type of magic that only children can use Unfortunately for those kids who can tap this special power they lose it on puberty, which is in contrast to what we re familiar with in the genre as magic users gainpower as they get older That puts those children in a very interesting situation when they get older and lose their power Ask yourself, how losing a special power would affect you psychologically Characterization the characterization is really good and is definitely among Courtney s strengths as an author Dev and Kiran, our two main characters, are very well portrayed characters and both are also very compelling The supporting cast of characters were also well drawn and feel quite real.Plot The plot is quite intriguing with a few twists that I liked, especially one surprising plot twist towards the ending More than that, the book has a satisfying ending and leaves a few loose ends that make you curious to know how things will turn for Dev and Kiran Writing style the writing style is very engaging and fun to read Most fantasy books have a third person narrative excluding UF and YA, I guess , but never combine first and third person narrative in one book Here we see a different approach Kiran s POV is written in a third person narrative, while Dev s POV is written is a first person narrative This approach works really good here, and this did a great service to the plot, as it keeps Kiran s secrets not only from Dev but also from the reader The switch between the two narratives felt very natural to me, so there s nothing confusing here.All in all, it s a good debut, that would appeal to SS epic fantasy enthusiasts I really liked it, and I m looking forward to reading book 2 4 4.25 5Note if you live outside of North America then you can get the ebook only directly from the author only at least for now , that s what I did You can find her email address on her site.