Aubrie Dionne gave me a copy of her first novel, The Voices of Ire, in her recent giveaway. I spent a very enjoyable weekend with my nose buried in it, even battling carsickness to keep reading while we drove to the air show on Saturday.
Aubrie warned me that since it is her first novel, it's not as polished as it could be. Which is true. But... I still couldn't put it down.
Aubrie has created a vivid world focused around the Wishcasters - women with elemental powers who protect the kingdom from the mysterious inhabitants of Murk, a land on their border. Murk is a swampy wasteland infected with a noxious poison called "ire," into which a colony of settlers disappeared long ago. Or... did they?
The plot keeps moving quickly, twisting and turning, with an array of distinctly drawn characters whose lives are all interwoven. It's fascinating to watch the story unfold.
I have to admit, these feminine and yet powerful Wishcasters are very appealing to my girl side. The Wishcaster maidens compete in arduous trials for the title of Sorceress Queen, and the prince has to marry whichever one is victorious. How's that for a reversal of gender roles?
The cover is absolutely beautiful. I was drawn to it the first time I saw it on her website. Kudos to BernieStevensDesign.com and Dreamstime.com who did the design and illustrations.
I think that, in a way, the lack of "polish" on the writing made it more enjoyable for me. It seemed to flow more naturally from the imagination to the page. I thought, "Yes, that is how I used to write. With fearless passion." Aubrie has done something I would never have the courage to do... put her first book out there for the world to see.
It occurred to me that we writers are all Wishcasters in a way, using our powers -whether feeble or great - in the hopes of helping and inspiring others. Thanks for reminding me of that, Aubrie. I can't wait to read more of your books!