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Flute of the Wind Queen (Outlander Leander Book 1) (English Edition) eBook Kindle
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The story ended quite abruptly, leaving me wishing for more. I think some of the other books are out, so I should run to check on them.
The story starts with a bang as Leander, who admires the heroic treasure hunter Tevias, and decides to make a name for himself by finding the Wind Queen's flute and returning it to her memorial. The queen's flute disappeared around the time Nagdecht was attacked by neighboring Gueran. Leander teams up with Ellora, an aspiring actress and Deckard, a young Gueranian soldier who has been imprisoned for refusing to fight. Ellora does not seem particularly trust worthy and Deckard is Gueranian, a sworn enemy of Nagdecht.
I found it interesting when the young men argue over war propaganda. Leander was uncomfortable to discover that what he had been led to believe might not be the entire truth. That there are two sides to the conflict and neither land is totally right or wrong.
At only 181 pages, I think the book was too thin and could have been pumped up with more background and some of the tension could have been heightened. I wanted to know about the Wind Queen, why she was so important and what made her talent so special. Why would this young man risk his life for her flute? Some parts of the story were vividly told while other aspects were glossed over or left completely unexplained. For example, how Leander escaped from a wooden packing crate was told in minute detail--which I did not mind because it displayed the hero's tenacity and sharp reasoning skills. Later when he was captured by Gueranians, the story jumps straight to a prison cell. I felt like something was missing.
Overall, Flute of the Wind Queen was a good story and I would recommend it to young readers who enjoy fantasy. The ending left the reader ready for the sequel.
The characters' motivations for the initial plot were barely fleshed out, and did not feel fully realized. I never really understood why Leander trusted Ellora, why Ellora was helping him, or why he was seeking the flute, specifically. I was a bit apathetic to the characters, because of that, but I did enjoy the banter and writing style. I'd love to see it developed with a bit more complexity in that aspect, since all of the other facets of the story were well done.
The illustrations were whimsical touch, although I didn't get much out of most of them, as they appeared very dark on my kindle. I bet they'll be a showstopper on tablets, though, and I just heard Amazon had purchased another tech company with the goods to create color kindles. That would be awesome. The art, from what I saw, was well done, but it was so dark that it was hard to look at, and I skipped past it faster than I otherwise would have.
This is certainly at the younger side of the YA spectrum. The story is fairly straightforward, and is presented in a way that would be most engaging for younger readers. I've been told to skim (and skimmed a few chapters of) a few "mature" YA authors, like Tamora Pierce, and Neal Shusterman. I'd definitely say that the writing style and presentation is oriented for younger readers than those authors' audiences. While it does touch on some of the unpleasantness of a country recovering from an attack, there's certainly nothing that would keep a kid up at night.
The Flute Of The Wind Queen shows a lot of potential, and I hope that Eisah gets to develop the characters a little more thoroughly in later projects.
Note: I received a free copy in exchange for a non-reciprocal, honest review.