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The Starthorn Tree (2005)

The Starthorn Tree (2005)

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4.06 of 5 Votes: 1
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1844286576 (ISBN13: 9781844286577)
walker books ltd

About book The Starthorn Tree (2005)

I'm the kind of person who doesn't knock it till I've tried it and honestly I didn't think I would like this book at all. Even though it was by one of my best friends favorite authors (when we met her my friend went all fan girl on us and the author recommended I read this book if I was interested in trying the genre). Tell the truth, fantasy writing is not my thing and I'm not a huge sci-fi fan either they always seemed a little lame and nerdy is I dare say it. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying I've never seen (and enjoyed) sci-fi films or read fantasy books (if Harry Potter counts, if not then this was my first attempt). Having said all that it took me a while to get into the book, nothing I haven't experience before my favorite crime writer makes me feel the same. It may have had something to do with me picturing orange skies and purple fields but that disappeared when I started getting a more earthy colour pallet in my mind's eye. One annoyance that really bugged me and still does is the obsession the author had with the letter Z (don't worry no spoilers here) one race of people were known as the Ziv from the Zarissa and spoke Ziverian fair enough Spaniards are from Spain and speak Spanish but did every man from the bloody race have to have names that start with Z too? The King was Zoltan his son Zygmunt "Ziggy" and there was a Lord named Zavion it took me ages to figure who was dead, who was asleep and who was the bad guy!But once I worked that out it was quite enjoyable to my skeptical surprise. I found myself concerned with the characters and secretly match-making them, though it didn't work out neither of my wanted matches were meant to be, but that’s ok I was still happy in the end ... though I hope someone marries Briony she’s my favorite. Though I guess I'll know in the next book, since it is about their kids ... I think, the author said something about the next generation being in one of the three books. Doesn't matter. Anyway, so if your a bit antsy about reading this genre start with this book it is good don't get me wrong, unless your really not a huge fan of alliteration then that first few chapters and the last few will really piss you off Z this and Z that and what not. I guess I enjoyed it cause there were other elements in the books plot that appealed to me; murder mystery, conspiracy theories. Not to mention the not so subtle reference to the colonization of Australia .. or any country the English "explored"/invaded (that really depends on your view). Also characters seem real no fake personalities there and the author is funny, really funny my favorite line in the books is "this rather lame attempt at a joke fell falter than a pancake." Mainly because I cracked up laughing in the middle of my lab. And yes sometimes the characters will annoy you but that because they are being annoying! See she’s spot on! So needless to say I will be reading the next two because I want to see who marries who and what they will do next. And (spoiler here) I'm dying to find out what the witch wants with a first born baby ... and how she reacts when she finds out the goat died.

Kate has created an intricate magical world Estelliana where Pedrin a mere goat herder hearthkin, lives with his mother and sister. His best friend Durrik is a cripple with poor health who finds Pedrin a true friend happily, ignoring his frail physical condition, bringing him into the world of fishing, running and climbing. Neither boy has any idea how much of an adventure they are about to undertake.The starkin rule the world that is in peril. The starkin count is trapped in a cursed sleep, if he dies then Lord Zavion will rule and the heathkin will suffer more greatly. The glass tower that is built with brutality by conscripted manpower, every able bodied male sent to the task. Pedrin and Durrik find the going very tough but make it to see the project end. This is where their journey really begins, Durrik has been dreaming a prophecy he announces on completion of the tower, causing he and Pedrin to flee the wrath of Lord Zavion.Four friends come together, hearthkin, magical, wildkin, and starkin to join forces to overcome the evil pervading the starkin and restore the prince to the throne. The reader comes to know each of the young adults well and urges them to survive the perilous flight and win the battle over evil. The starthorn tree itself is a magical element in the story.I loved this book which is the first of a trilogy Chronicles of Estelliana, the second is ‘The Wilkin’s Curse’ followed by ‘The Starkin Crown’ her latest book. Kate is an accomplished and international bestselling author of twenty four books for both adults and children. I met her at Somerset Literary Festival this year and was delighted to be able to add ‘the Starthorn Tree’ and ‘the Wildkin’s Curse’ to my signed keep forever library of books.

Do You like book The Starthorn Tree (2005)?

A brilliant start to a wonderful trilogy. A quick disclaimer, I accidentally read this series out of order, the second before the first. So reading through this book held extra delight for me as I got to see first hand how the parents of the characters in the second book meet. There's a wonderful mix of very human characters in this book, all with likeable and unlikeable traits that draw you in and ender then to you (no matter how annoying they can be sometimes!). The characters have a lot of flair, so if you don't like dramatic or stubborn characters this may not be the book for you. The feeling I get from this instalment is it is aimed at a slightly younger audience than the second book in the series, but I found that didn't impact my enjoyment of the story. I also liked the themes of racial tolerance that are threaded throughout the narrative. This subject is danced around sometimes in YA fiction but in this story it was clear while at the same time not in your face. A brilliant read for those who like YA fiction and flawed, but likeable characters.
—Emily Craven

4 1/2 Stars.This book is full of wonderful and surprising characters, intriguingly named fantasy creatures, and Kate Forsyth's familiar themes of finding friends in least-expected places and revealing undiscovered strengths and talents through dangers and challenges faced. The story races along with suspense, action, emotion, danger and cliff-hanging excitement. The baddies are satisfyingly bad, a prince needs rescuing by a princess, in a more modern twist on the fable and sacrifices must be made to gain the reward. I love the names of the creatures - hobhenky, boo-bogey, wildkin, grogoyle, as well as more familiar creatures, such as wood-sprites and river-roans. I've taken off half a star for:(view spoiler)[ Snowflake's terrible demise at the end of the novel - Snowflake is one of the unfailingly genuine good characters - I know in fantasy the good suffer terrible torments, but this book is intended for children - Snowflake's death is too extreme and harsh. I want a happier ending! (hide spoiler)]

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