Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Tower of Obsidian by L. T. Getty

Tower of Obsidian by L. T. Getty
Tower of Obsidian
By L. T. Getty
Burst Books
Format: eBook
Source: Author

To Sum It Up: Friends since childhood and now engaged to be married, Aoife and Kale’s future together is put on hold when Kale must answer the call to battle. His return quickly becomes bittersweet when duty requires him to break the betrothal and marry a woman of higher rank. Not everyone in the court is pleased with this turn of events, and some underhanded plotting results in Kale’s capture first by corsairs and then by a cursed people in need of a hero to slay the witch responsible for their fate. As Kale embarks on this quest, Aoife has set out on one of her own—to bring Kale home.

Ally's Review: A book where the maiden has to rescue her warrior—sounds promising, right? The prologue of Tower of Obsidian made a very good first impression. I was excited to start reading, but the more I read, the more I disliked.

The premise of the book was great. I was all for a female protagonist who could take charge and lead a rescue mission. I was not expecting the whiny, annoying, red-headed Aoife. She was a huge disappointment. There I was, expecting a likeable female character only to be stuck with some bossy lady. I definitely admired her love and loyalty to Kale (her betrothed who managed to get himself kidnapped). I did not, however, particularly enjoy her lack of appreciation for the people who actually cared for her. Poor Aaron was pining over Aoife for the better half of the book. Aoife treated her “friends” like crap. She didn't think twice about leaving Aaron or Naguset behind. I can kind of excuse her abandonment of Aaron, seeing that he's a big boy and can handle himself, but Aoife was responsible for Naguset. It really upset me how Aoife treated her; she was too blinded by her love for Kale.

Another disappointment was Aoife's sister Fianait. It wasn't Fianait herself who was the disappointment; she was one of my favorite characters and an actual badass. Fianait didn't care about what others thought of her. She was definitely one of the most interesting characters. Her POVs were the only motivation for me to keep reading. And then she dropped off the face of the earth. About a quarter of the way through the book, Fianait disappeared. There were no more chapters with her point of view; she wasn't even mentioned. It wasn't like something happened to her to excuse her absence and it wasn't like she didn't have an interesting story line or anything. She was just forgotten. That royally peeved me off.

An aspect of the book that I did enjoy was the plot centering around the sorceress in the tower. That was cool. The book would have been much better off if it was based solely on that. There were dragons, magic, and other cool stuff. I just wish they would have been more prevalent in the story from the very beginning.

I honestly found Tower of Obsidian kind of boring. I don't want to say that I had to force myself to continue reading the book, but I wasn't looking forward to sitting down with it, either. It's kind of sad because it had so much potential.

All in All: Tower of Obsidian sounded so promising, but it definitely fell short of my expectations.

Lee's Review: Tower of Obsidian is the sort of book that neither blew me away nor inspired intense feelings of dislike toward it. The world is a creative mix of both Celtic and Norse myths and also features dragons (yay!). While there are some solid epic fantasy elements here, I couldn’t get into the story like I’d hoped to.

The novel’s pacing was the primary issue. I realize that quest-driven fantasy is almost always a slow build, but I need some kind of stepping stone points of interest to hold my, er, interest. I struggled here to stay focused on the story; not all of the subplots leading up to the scenes in the titular tower carried equal intrigue. For me, the novel finally got going once Kale, one of our heroes, began unraveling the mysteries of the tower and its resident witch, Aurore. In fact, I found myself wishing for the book to remain on his story line instead of continuing to check in on the other characters, like Aoife, the young woman who’s searching for him. While the narrative remains in the third person, you view the story from the perspective of multiple characters, a technique that varies in success depending on the character being followed. This echoes my feelings toward the subplots, in that some were better developed than others.

I thought it was a nice change to see the maiden dash off to save the knightly-type guy. I couldn’t help wishing, however, that Lady Aoife had put a tad of forethought into her rescue mission. Sure, she’s acting on a ton of impulse to find the man she loves, but once she gets out into the world, she has a tough time roughing it. She knew heading into her adventure that Kale had been taken captive by corsairs, so I didn’t have much sympathy for her upon discovering that life on the road/high seas was harsh. The thing about Aoife that frayed a nerve or two was that she possessed the initiative to take charge of Kale’s rescue, but she was prone to damsel in distress moments. Much better equipped to cope with Aoife’s situation are her sister, Fianait, and Naguset, her guide on her journey. Both are strong female characters whom I think would have made compelling leads instead of Aoife. As for the male characters, Kale was all right, but it was his friend, Aaron, who proved quite the hero. I love a good underdog story, and Aaron, the son of a smith, plays a huge role in saving the day.

By far the best scenes take place in the tower, which is guarded by some very special dragons. The book really hits its stride here as you await the fate of its heroes/heroines. Reaching this point, though, does take time and requires patience. I didn’t always find myself up to this challenge, which in turn affected my reading experience. Tower of Obsidian has its moments, but I needed them to be spaced closer together.

All in All: I love fantasy and am extra scrutinizing whenever I read it, so maybe the things that didn’t quite work for me in this book wouldn’t be of consequence to another reader.


  1. I hate it when a book sounds like it has so much potential but then it turns out the potential might have been a bit too much for the author to deal with! And without having read it, I'm pissed off that Fianait disappeared! You don't just do that to a character! I hope you guys enjoy your next read more!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    1. We both wish that things had turned out differently with this book. It had an interesting premise, but it took so long for the novel to actually delve into it.

  2. It sounds like a good plot with lots of elements that are great individually. Too bad the execution fell flat for you both.

    1. It's always disappointing when that happens, and this time is no exception. I think we both would have been happier with Fianait as the main female protagonist.


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