My Rating: ♦♦♦♦◊
Jaeth’s Eye caught me by surprise. Villoso knows her characters and their world intensely. She conveys the story primarily through dialogue and thought, building a sense of each character’s motivations and personalities. The threads of the tale interweave and bring the reader along for the ride, up to the dramatic conclusion of book one which easily sets up its sequel. There are Asian influences throughout the story, particularly in terms of some locations, customs, and religion. They work well in setting the overall mood of the journey.
For me, the extensive dialogue was a little distracting when basic descriptions could have sufficed. Several scenes open with pronouns only, giving a mystique to the setting, but forcing me to backtrack once the character names were revealed, which wasn’t too far from the openings, but still. These are minor and personal issues that I feel other readers would overlook and simply go along for the ride.
This is a well-planned story with an essence of magic scattered throughout. The magic is not at the forefront; the characters are. The world is believable and is, at times, a grim place. It adds another layer of depth to the story without becoming depressing. I would recommend this book to those readers who want to know the internal motivations behind characters’ actions in a world where events are taking place around them, sweeping those same characters up along the way.