“exciting and fast-paced” – review of Instrument of Peace on RisingShadow

Artwork by Alison Buck  based on feather photo by KPG_Payless/shutterstock.com
Artwork by Alison Buck
based on feather photo by KPG_Payless/shutterstock.com

Seregil of Rhiminee has posted a review on RisingShadow.net of Instrument of Peace, the first book in the Symphony of the Cursed fantasy series by Rebecca Hall.

He starts by describing this “intriguing” book as “a refreshingly modern yet old-fashioned fantasy novel with an emphasis on entertainment” and subsequently says that it “has clearly been written out of love for storytelling, because when you begin to read it you get a feeling that the author enjoys writing and aims to entertain her readers”. He adds that Instrument of Peace is a “fine addition” to the ever-growing canon of young adult fantasy novels. He goes on to say that as well as being “light and entertaining and having plenty of magic, this novel also has depth”.

Seregil says it’s great that the story is set in New Zealand, a location seldom used for fantasy stories, because it “added a lot of freshness to the story”. He also commends Rebecca’s characterisation, with “an interesting cast of teachers and teenaged characters” especially the two main protagonists Mitch and Hayley. While there are many classic elements in the novel, Seregil was pleased to see other elements which are “not often seen on the pages of young adult fantasy novels” such as the war between Heaven and Hell, and the giant lake lizard Taniwha. “Taniwha was a pleasant surprise for me,” says Seregil, “I didn’t expect to find anything like it in this novel, because giant lizards are a bit rare in modern fantasy novels. It was nice that the author also revealed an interesting piece of information about the Loch Ness Monster.”

The Twisted Curse “adds plenty of excitement to the story”, affecting staff and students alike. Seregil enjoyed Rebecca’s “way of writing about the curse and its effects, because I’ve always been fascinated by curses in fantasy novels.” He likes the way that Rebecca “keeps things in motion and moves the story fast forward” so there are no “boring moments”!

Seregil finishes by saying that “the most important thing about this novel is that it shows how much fun reading a good story can be” adding that it will appeal to young adults and adults alike “because it’s exciting and fast-paced entertainment. It’s an intriguing start to a new fantasy series.”

You can read Seregil’s full review here.