Friday, July 3, 2015

Priestess of the White

ISBN: 0060815701
Pages: 608
Publication Date: December 27, 2015
Series: Age of Five
Source: Own

In a land on the brink of peace—watched jealously by a ruthless cult from across the sea and beset by hidden enemies—five extraordinary humans must serve as sword and shield of the Gods.
Auraya is one.

Her heroism saved a village from destruction; now Auraya has been named Priestess of the White. The limits of her unique talents must be tested in order to prove her worthy of the honor and grave responsibility awarded to her. But a perilous road lies ahead, fraught with pitfalls that will challenge the newest servant of the gods. An enduring friendship with a Dreamweaver—a member of an ancient outcast sect of sorcerer-healers—could destroy Auraya's future. And her destiny has set her in conflict with a powerful and mysterious, black-clad sorcerer with but a single purpose: the total annihilation of the White. And he is not alone . . . 

Hello everyone! Welcome to my review for The Priestess of the White by Trudi Canavan. I've been meaning to review this for a while so it's good that I'm finally getting around to it. 

Auraya has been chosen as the last member of the Five - a group of priests and priestesses chosen by the Circlian gods to lead the people. Her chosing is followed by news of destruction as a new cult called the Pendatrians. To fight against this new threat, the Circlians must make allies with the surrounding kingdoms. In addition to the rising Pendatrian army forming in a nearby kingdom, Auraya has to face the fact that her opinions towards the Dreamweavers may not be shared and her relationship with one of them could possibly ruin her future. 

Going into this book, I was super stoked. After watching a bunch of Would You Rather videos on YouTube and being faced with the question: male or female authors, I was determined to find a female fantasy author to love. When I first stumbled across Trudi Canavan, I was bombarded by so many good reviews on her Black Magician trilogy, but I acquired the Age of Five trilogy first. Anyway, that whole spiel was to say that I finished this book feeling a bit disappointed. Okay, a lot disappointed. While the plotline and the world of the Circlians were rich and descriptive, I felt like that was the only thing the book had going. Everything else fell quite short.

My biggest complaint is definitely the characters. I tried to love Auraya but I couldn't. She wasn't easy to relate to and her character development seemed minimal. She's portrayed as this super powerful and gifted girl who becomes a Priestess for the White and that's kind of it. She's just this special girl who wants to make peace with the world and for everything to work hand in hand. I had hoped her relationship with Leiard, her childhood friend who happens to be a Dreamweaver, would give her more dimension as she tries to change the society's opinion towards Dreamweavers. However, she sort of left it as it is and when she got hurt, she just seemed to run away without confronting the situation. Leiard as a character also seemed a bit flat. He was upright and honorable, but that's pretty much it. His inner conversations with Mirar was pretty interesting though, especially their constant bickering.

Another issue I found with the book was the "holier than thou" attitude that the Circlian society had. Their attitude towards Dreamweavers is a perfect example the religious intolerance that is ingrained in the people's attitudes. The Dreamweavers are these group of pacifist socerer healers who live among the Circlians and they are viewed as "lower" than the rest of society. It's kind of hard to root for the Circlians to win the battle against the Pendatrians if I couldn't get myself to root for the religion in the first place. To be honest, I wanted to the Pendatrians to win...

Okay, let's talk some enemy basics. As the opponents of the "great" Circlian religion, I expected them to be more developed. While they did post a threat in the story and when they were mentioned, the book became darker; overall I didn't feel very concerned for the Circlians. There seemed to be this attitude that the White would win no matter what so it didn't matter in the end. 

Alright, so far my review hasn't been super happy, so let's talk some pros. The Siyee, whom Auraya goes to meet to form an alliance with, have got to be my favorite people in the book. Tryss and Drilli are just some among the hundreds of bird-like people you meet in the novel. As a group, they are honorable and innovative with a passion to help and change the world. While there are a couple of old fashioned grumps, the younger generation just has this enthusiasm that spreads. 

I mentioned the world building and how complex everything was. Each religion for the most part is thought out with their own unique traditions and customs. There's also the political development as the White make allies with the neighboring groups which brought an alluring aspect to the story.

Overall, I wanted more. I didn't hate this book at all, but I definitely expected more. I'm hoping to continue with the trilogy over the summer and hopefully in the next book we'll get to explore more characters and see more development. 
3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

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