Henley's writing is clear, concise, and professional. I don't recall ever stumbling over a cumbersome sentence. However, I don't remember a lot of wow moments either. She favors dialogue over narration and doesn't use a lot of metaphors.
Treven shouldered through the whistling gale until he reached the center of the gap. There he faced the wind and stared, squint eyed, across the land that lay north of the mountain range. A river curved like a black snake around the tall, flat-topped towers of earth that rose from the floor of Tabaitta Canyon. The sides of the plateaus looked like sheer cliffs, striated with purple shadow, darkening as he watched.
With arms outspread like an eagle's wings, Trevin leaned into the wind (p. 75).
That's about as metaphorical as you'll find.
After Trevin is accused of Resarian's murder and incarcerated, the Eldarrian council meets to decide Trevin's fate while he wastes away in the dungeon, punishing himself with recriminations for failing to protect Resarian. Pym brings him news of the proceedings which don't appear to be going well for Trevin but are not without some hope. Ultimately, the council splits on its decision so some other means must be employed to decide the case.
King Kedemeth folded his hands on the table. "Lord Shuldamar." His rich voice resonated like Haden's.
Shuldamar stood and bowed. "Majesty."
"I understand the council came to no agreement regarding the case of the accused."
"That is correct, Majesty."
"So he will be put to the eye of the sword," said the king.
"A rare occurrence," said Shuldamar, "but reasonable in this case."
"So shall it be" (p. 105).
The Seer's Sword belonged to Arelin, a warrior Angelaeon who died in the Dregmoors attempting to rescue winged horses. The sword reflects the true character of people and will tell the council if it can believe Trevin's account of Resarian's murder. Nothing wrong with the idea of an enchanted sword that reflects truth, but why didn't they use it in the first place? Why is it's use a rare occurrence? Is there some cost for using it? Henley doesn't provide any explanations which undercuts the power of the story at this point and this is the turning point. The sword reveals Trevin to not only be honorable but the long-lost son of Arelin. After this revelation, the sword is given to Trevin who then uses it as anyone would use a sword. It has powers far beyond that of a mere weapon--it does not appear to improve Trevin's abilities with a sword--so why risk damaging or losing it?
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of Eye of the Sword from the publisher.
To learn more about Karyn Henley, check out her website at www.karynhenleyfiction.com/Karyn_Henley_Fiction/welcome.html, read her blog at www.maybeso.wordpress.com, or connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Karyn-Henley/140411189331787?v=wall.
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