by Ellen Oh
Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope...
Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.
Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.(less)
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 2nd 2013 by HarperTeen
Long Story Short
I had high hopes for this one, but was harshly disappointed. I didn't like the story itself, the plot seemed weird and messy to me, with too many short scenes and not enough time for the characters to develop. The characters themselves couldn't win me over, either, except for one who - in my view - should have played a bigger role. I had major problems with Oh's writing style and the perspective she chose and - to put this to an end - for my taste, there were way too many deaths.
RATING: 1/3 Smarties
Review for You:
Although Prophecy definitely had the potential to become a mind blowing, intriguing High Fantasy novel, all it turned out to be in the end was a blurry mess of events, deaths and weird assumptions, none of which really made sense to me or kept me glued to the pages.
As I said, the fact that this book could have been so much is particularly sad and annoying. I won't say we've never had the prophecy - thing in YA before, but the way it was included in the premise had me wanting more of the story. I looked forward to something original, a little different.
That, at least, I got.
I won't lie, Kira's world had a certain appeal in the beginning. Her status in society, appreciated by the rulers, but avoided, even feared by the people - made her somewhat sympathetic. Also, Oh's pacing did not leave much time for thinking about - or judging - anything in the beginning. She jump - started into the story, presenting the reader with a bunch of background information while building up the plot and - bam! - there we were, in the middle of the hot mess that our heroine - who we have known for a total of twenty pages now - is about to solve with her never ending fighting skills.
You probably noticed. This is the point when I admit that I absolutely wasn't fond of the book and won't continue the series.
What seemed like fast pace in the beginning pretty quickly turned into an annoying enumeration of events, fights, new dangers...you get the picture. I felt like it would have done the book some good to settle in some of the scenes, let the characters take a breath and realise what just happened (so that the reader can, too). I personally would have preferred less things happening to let the story unfold.
Additionally, the writing was really hard to warm up with and it made the story even more chaotic. The dialogues started and ended abruptly, and they seemed completely constructed. I could not believe any of the characters, sometimes they acted irrationally immature, then over-the-top responsible. Another time, they got into big fights over little things, just to bond and forgive each other the next second.
Lastly, the omniscient narrator felt weird throughout the whole story. It didn't fit. I would have expected first or third person from Kira's point of view - which would have helped understanding her thoughts and feelings at times - but no. In my opinion, that didn't work out.
One good thing I have to mention, though, is Jaewon. I really liked him. His personality, but also the way Oh built him as a character. Jaewon, to be honest, would almost be a reason for me to continue reading the trilogy. Almost.