Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Snowmelt River By Frank P. Ryan

The Snowmelt River
Series: The Three Powers #1
Release Date: 2nd August 2012
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 576

Synopsis:  On the summit of the fabled mountain Slievenamon in Ireland there is a doorway to an ancient land of terrible power. The gate of Feimhin has lain closed for centuries, the secret of its opening long lost.

But now four orphans drawn together by Fate must pass through the portal to face their destinies. What they find beyond is the enchanted but war-ravaged world of Tír, a strange land peopled by beings of magic. Here death waits at every corner and they must learn to fight if they are to survive.

And they'd better learn quickly, because their enemy, the Tyrant of the Wastelands, is growing in power.

Review: I received a copy of this from Jo Fletcher books after I requested it. The Snowmelt River is an interesting book that questions the reality of fate and destiny. It stretches the beliefs of the characters, showing them a whole new world, in which they have to question themselves and each other. I loved how the characters grew in this book, it wasn't a tiny invisible change, it was a huge change. It was brilliantly done, the young characters are forced to grow and take on responsibility like never before. They are the chosen and people expect them to act like it. This was a long book, my copy clocking in at just over 700 pages nevertheless the author kept my attention the whole time. I wanted to continue the journey with these characters, I wanted to see them grow and change. I watched them learn and grow into their roles, it was fantastic.

The Snowmelt River begins in a small village where four orphans are drawn together. Alan and Kate were already friends but Alan's uncle, introduces them to Mark and Mo. His uncle sees the potential in Mo and with his own dark secret he knows the four of them are important. Bonding over the summer, a trip up the mountains changes them all. The great mountain Slievenamon calls them, the call thrills them, its a feeling like no other. Soon they realise something or someone needs their help. With answers from Alan's uncle, the group find themselves going through a portal to the world of Tir. Here war is raging and the four of them are destined to help. They have so many questions but no answers. They are chucked into this new world left to look after themselves. All the while time is ticking, will the gang be able to destroy the enemy and help the good people of Tir before it's too late?

Alan was the eldest of the group and he was the one whose shoulders all the responsibility fell on. He was graced with the first power which had both advantages and disadvantages. He became the leader and the more he travelled into Tir, more people looked up to him for leadership. We see him go through so much change, from a young teen boy to the mature wise mind of an adult. Kate was Alan's love interest and they were best friends. Kate was also graced with a power but it was never truly revealed what it was. Still people regarded her as powerful and she was there for her friends. Now Mark he was an interesting character, he was the one in the beginning who didn't truly believe that they were in a different world. He didn't believe what his eyes were telling him. He was also the bad boy of the group, the one who would push the boundaries and take risks and that effected both him and the others. What he does in the end of this book, made me so emotional. For once he thought about the others before himself no matter what the consequences and it was incredible. Mark was my favourite character and I can't wait to see what happens to him next. Mo was interesting, she was younger then them all but she was by far the wisest. She was wise beyond her years and she was more connected to the new world and her spirit then any of the others. Together they made an interesting group and I can't wait to see what happens next.

The world building in this novel is brilliant! The world was so vividly described. Ryan really does have a way with words, his description flows perfectly. It's some of the best writing I've ever read. I love the world building but even more so was the different races/creatures in the world of Tir. My personal favourite were the Shee, female warriors who had cat spirits, of which they could turn into when they enter the blood rage. They were great companions to the gang and they had a very interesting history. I can't wait to see more of the world in the next book and see what the gang encounter.

The Snowmelt River is a great addition to the Fantasy genre. One that teens can enjoy as well as adults. The world is believable and very interesting. The reader is sucked in from page one. I loved the whole idea of crystals giving the group powers, it was unique. I loved this book, the ending was by far the strongest and I have so many emotions towards the end, I don't now where to begin. We see the group making hard choices to save each other. We see them question fate and destiny. We see their different view points on the matter and how it changes each one of them. I love the whole idea and theme of fate and it was used greatly in this novel. The greatest thing in this book is the choices the group make and the consequences to these actions. It's just like real life, and there are many things the reader can learn from this book. I really enjoyed it and I can't make to get my hands on book two, The Tower Of Bones.

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