Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Seak's Stamp: The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer

In 2007, a good friend of mine took me to a movie called Into the Wild. You may already know it, but the short version of this true story is that a guy on his way to Harvard and a hugely successful career decides to give up all his money and all his stuff and make his way to Alaska.

When I walked out, all I wanted to do was go on one big, epic adventure meeting random people, learning how to survive on leaves and grass (hehe) and sky and rainbows.

I think we ended up heading to Vegas a week later on a sweet road trip, nothing life-changing, but still somewhat of an adventure.

When I finished The Whitefire Crossing, not only did I want to be able to wield sweet magical powers and amulets and charms, but I really wanted to go mountain climbing. Really the cover says it all:

That's one of the greatest parts of this book, you can just feel the author's love of climbing and the outdoors and on top of it she's created an amazing world around it that will suck you in right from the beginning.

Dev is a guide for caravans through the Whitefire mountains from Ninavel to the country of Alathia, but he also makes money on the side by smuggling. And by makes money on the side, I mean the side job is really guiding the caravans.

You see, the country of Alathia is a highly restrictive place when it comes to magic and you can make good money smuggling charms and magical artifacts through the border. If you get caught, though, you're in really big trouble, oh and there’s also border magic that detects and prevents magic from entering the country.

So his job ain't no walk in the park (wow, did I just write that?) on an average day, but this time he's agreed to smuggle something else into Alathia...a person. Not that easy to do, but still Dev isn't getting the whole story. Luckily for Kiran, the person to be smuggled, Dev's in dire need of money and the price is right. They head out on the first caravan of the season.

Just when you think things are going well, or about to go well, there is always another problem around the corner, whether it's the weather (go homophones!), people in the caravan, or other things I'm really trying not to spoil, but it's so cool, I promise I won't spoil it.

And the best part is it's not contrived in any way. Each new problem is logical and fits so perfectly in the world Schafer's created. I've always been a fan of more magic over less (although A Song of Ice and Fire is still a favorite), it's one of the reasons I love Erikson so much. The Whitefire Crossing is full of magic. It plays such a huge part in everything, adding to the world-building and the plot as well.

The city of Ninavel, where the story begins, was founded to be place for magicians to practice freely and some are even really scary. There are charms for most things such as healing or hurting things, there are all types of magicians, including the worst of which, bloodmages, and the story involves magic constantly.

Told in first person from Dev's point of view and then third person limited when it comes to Kiran, there are chapters, but each section is also divided up between (Dev) and (Kiran). I thought this was a bit odd at the beginning, but it proved to move the story along quite well and it worked, so who am I to say.

When To Read The Whitefire Crossing?
(Sometimes you need to be in a certain mood to jump into a book no matter how good it is.)

As you may have noticed, I really enjoyed myself with this one. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed The Whitefire Crossing. It's is perfect if you want some straight-forward fun, focused on only a few characters and filled with magic. Also, be ready to go on your own adventures, this may just be the incentive you need.

4 out of 5 Stars (Loved it)
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I would like to say that Seak begged me to give him a chance to share his thoughts with you guys, but truth of the matter is that I was blackmailed into doing so. Details will remain private, I hope. In any case, I thought it turned out quite well, so thanks Seak for stopping by. Since I met his request, he was gracious to invite me over to his Only the Best blog (a reminder that it pays to play nice), and share my own reaction to Courtney Schafer's debut, The Whitefire Crossing. You can read it here:

Buy The Whitefire Crossing on The Book Depository.

Please visit Courtney Schafer's website for more information and also stop by The Night Bazaar blog.

4 comments:

  1. Great review Bryce, C. Schafer's debut is definitely one to be remembered and with the extra focus on rock climbing, it was very interesting to read it. Thanks for posting the review :)

    Mihir

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  2. Thanks Mihir and thanks ya Bastard, I mean Bastard. Next time I'm forcing you to turn tricks too, whatever that means. :)

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  3. Hey Bryce!

    Great review. And a new one for me to add to the lsit! :D Thank you!

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  4. Glad to make your list even bigger. :)

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