Thursday, 7 April 2016

Illusional Reality

Illusional Reality

by Karina Kantas

4 out of 5

Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie.
Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.
Becky will soon learn none of this was an accident, and the council of Tsinia are certain her union with Darthorn's son, Kovon, will create peace. And although her future has been planned out, she gives her heart to another.

Becky is quite content with her life, before she is stalked, injured, and dragged into another world. When she wakes up, people are calling her Princess Thya and expect her to be their saviour, to marry a dubious lord, and perform all sorts of miracles.

I received a free copy from the author as a birthday prezzie.
This was a fun little fantasy read.
It wastes the small amount of time on Earth, before jumping into Tsinia and all its drama.

Tsinia is a land of magic, grace and wisdom. Its people only want peaceful lives, which the live by a code that cannot be questioned. Unfortunately, they are under the constant threat from the neighbouring Senx, and feel only a political marriage will solve their problems.
I got the impression that the Tsinians were a little bit cowardly. Despite their own (very strong) magic, they would rather sit back in their tree homes and entrust that everything will go well; that a higher power will protect them. They are not a pro-active race at all.
Despite the fact that Becky/Thya grew up in a different world, they are happy to sell her off in marriage before she has even set foot in Tsinia. The Tsinians are content for Lord Kovon to rule over them by the law of marriage; rather than suffer a war and have the same result.

Thya is an interesting character, she enjoys being treated like a princess, and is keen to learn about the land they want her to rule. I thought at times she was... not exactly self-centred, but she did act without thought of consequence. I couldn't believe how she spoke to Kovon and Darthorn, without any attempt to mediate the situation.
She's the same with the Tsinians at first, making no concession or compromise, though her actions and choices could doom them. She has a detached air that everything will be alright, and only steps up to fight and defend her people when Alkazar kicks her into action (not literally).

The book took me a while to get into, mainly because of the language barrier.
Now, as I've said before (and even said to the author), if you have a Fantasy set in another world (and especially if it covers several countries in that world) I would be very disappointed if they all sounded like an American teenager.
There has to be something in the language, flow, syntax, phrases etc. that tells me This Is Elsewhere.
And all of the above has to be in balance with what is being expressed and how easy it is to understand.
Kantas makes a very good attempt at this. And... some bits were nice and poetic, but a lot of it looked like it had gone through Google Translate, or a thesaurus a few times.

The most common one was "sight" which solidly replaced every see, look, view, regard etc.
Then there were some word choices that quite simply...

English is too deeply ingrained, that the constant use of these words broke the flow.
I think I would have been more immersed if Kantas had created a different language, or explored the different influences on the English language.

That being said, I did still enjoy this story.  I found the first half slow to build, but then I was hooked.  I absolutely loved the ending, and how it gets there and everything. I don't want to say anything, because I don't want to spoil it.
There are so many books that tail off and finish weakly, taking the easiest path. Kantas gives an absolutely cracking ending.

Goodreads link

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