I read this Sunday as part of my ongoing search for new authors; I’d found it staring out of the shelves of a local Borders, and since I’m a sucker for any story revolving around a psychic link/bond between a human and an animal, I had high expectations. I’m not sure if it was because this was this author’s debut novel, or if her editor just wasn’t paying close enough attention, but the first half of the book had multiple needed-to-be-edited passages… And fell prey to the “introducing too many characters at once” problem. So I was pretty thoroughly confused for the first few chapters.

However, the story underpinnings were strong enough for me to continue, and the second half rewarded my perseverance. I’m still not sure I’ll proceed to the second in the trilogy, though I can imagine that things get pretty interesting from what the Amazon reviews for Path of Honor and Path of Blood indicate. It does look like Francis has expanded her offerings pretty consistently over recent years, so I have to assume some of the editing issues will have worked themselves out over time.

I’m just enough of a stickler for those kinds of details, the reading experience with this installation has left me somewhat… meh.

Nonetheless, the story of a strong female character who is looking for a way to become an accepted feature in her society may appeal to other readers, so I will be lending this one to others in my reading circle and won’t discourage any from enjoying the rapport Reisel achieves with her raptor.

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