Courtney Schafer: The Whitefire Crossing



Woah I ve been reading this book forever Just as with my last 10 books this is a reflection of my stupidly small amount of free time I m now supposed to read 2 books by the 5th of May for a newspaper review helpAnyhow putting the focus back on The Whitefire Crossing This is The Whitefire Crossing is a very enjoyable adventure fantasy read that is somewhere between epic fantasy and sword sorcery It starts like a SS novel but ets a lot of epic fantasy flavors as you o along Fantasy enthusiasts who like these sub enres 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 Billionaire Country 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 is than just a hobby for the author Writing about things you love is always aood recipe for a Lair of the Dragon great outcome and I liked that part There s some added value for the readers as theyet a Forever His Bride (The Wedding Party, glimpse into this world that s at least how see itMagic system the magic system is intriguing and it seems like will 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 theenre as magic users Girl Trouble gain power as theyet older That puts those children in a very interesting situation when they The Trouble with Valentines get older and lose their power Ask yourself how losing a special power would affect you psychologicallyCharacterization the characterization is reallyood 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 uite realPlot The plot is uite 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 jlo Journal 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 reallyood here and this did a One Night...Twin consequences (The Monticello Baby Miracles 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 hereAll in all it s aood debut that would appeal to SSepic fantasy enthusiasts I really liked it and I m looking forward to reading book 2 4 4255Note if you live outside of North America then you can One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic 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 45Loved it It s been awhile since I had so much fun with epic fantasy Story hooks you in with mystery from theet The Routledge Handbook of Spanish in the Global City 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 andood 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 DNF at 25%Two dudes travel trough mountains And they travel And travel Travel And travel It s solid classic fantasy Too solid Too classic Nothing unexpected happens There is evil there is The Holy Grail good It might be a bromance tale but characters seems tooeneric to master and apprentice roles To uote Heidi Klum Snoozefest 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 uniue 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 British Jihadism 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 criminalso he s clever likable and not completely amoral or bloodthirsty His sections of the book are told in first personAnd then there s Kiran a young. Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover He's in high demand as a Virgin Widow guide for the caravans that carry legitimateoods 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.

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F 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 uite well and it worked so who am I to sayWhen To Read The Whitefire CrossingI m Wife in Exchange 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 howood it isAs you may have noticed I really enjoyed myself with this one The Whitefire Crossing is perfect if you want something straight forward and fun focu 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 The Eternal Ice (Magic: The Gathering: Ice Age Cycle, gets a lot than he bargained for I had this on my radar for about a year When the ebook went on sale for 199 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 andeneric uest story The setting of The Whitefire Crossing reminds me much of 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 Night And Day 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 uite 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 uite 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 199 price tag I paid for it Four out of five stars This was a decent fantasy adventure story The plot was interesting and the characters were a likeable enough bunch Dev is auide 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 uickly Dev accepts a riskier than normal job Instead of smuggling Tennessee Takedown / Ravens Hollow 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 toet 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 The Cowboy Takes a Bride (The Bridal Bid grow as they learned about 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 35 starsAudio Note This was narrated by Andy Caploe His performance was nothing special but it was decent enough I ve had this on my to be read pile for some time now and thanks to being picked by aroup I m in I have a Michaels Discovery (The Devaneys good excuse to move it to the top of the TBR pile I m excited toet started 45 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 ualm 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 eg Shotgun Wedding (Silhouette Yours Truly, 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 frontiven that i write only hard magical systems over i have in the past been Life Changing Smiles guilty of reuiring 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. Ortune 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 hisetawayYet 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 Ninav.

Secretive mage s apprentice who s on the run for reasons that aren t immediately clear He needs to et 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 reater 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 oes 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 charactersalternating 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 et used to it So structurally you have something that sets the novel apart and in a Copper Lake Secrets good way since it works But once of the other things that immediately sets this novel apart is the smuggling itself it reuires traveling through the mountains and while Dev is skilled at transportingems and small charms over the mountains Brooklyn's Song 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 otherood things Men Are Like Waffles--Women Are Like Spaghetti Devotional Study Guide going on in the novel the mountain crossing itself is where it truly shines Most authorsloss 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 Plain Jane The Hotshot grant authors a lot of latitude and suspend our disbelief unless the writer clearly makes some horribleaffes 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 ripping 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 renderingAt 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 In 2007 a ood 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 Blackmailed Into the Italians Bed guy on his way to Harvard and a hugely successful career decides toive up all his money and stuff and make his way to AlaskaWhen I walked out all I wanted to do was Girls Night Out go on one big epic adventure meeting random people learning how to survive on leaves andrass 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 thoughNow 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 Bound To Ransom (Bound Series Book 2) go mountain climbingThat s one of thereatest 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 beginningDev is a Into the Wild (The McGraws, 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 reallyuiding the caravans You see the country of Alathia is a highly restrictive place when it comes to magic and you can make Orbital Velocity (Stony Man, good money smuggling charms and magical artifacts through the border If youet caught though you re in really big troublenot to mention the border magic that detects and prevents magic from entering the countrySo 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 Cowboy Swagger (Sons of Troy Ledger, 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 seasonJust when you think things areoing well or about to Navy Wife (Navy go well there is always another problem around the corner whether it s the weathero 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 spoilAnd 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 of magic 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 constantlyTold in first person from Dev s point Is fair ame 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

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A voracious reader Courtney Schafer took up writing when she found that fantasy books weren't published fast enough to satisfy her craving for new worlds full of magic and wonder When not writing Courtney figure skates climbs mountains sueezes through desert slot canyons and skis way too fast through trees To support her adrenaline fueled hobbies and writing habit she received a degree in