Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: The Mapmaker's War: A Legend by Ronlyn Domingue

Title: The Mapmaker's War: A Legend
Author: Ronlyn Domingue
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Atria
Publish Date: March 5, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.

 Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a fantasy fan.
  • You like strong characters.

What's the Story?:

From "This will be the map of your heart, old woman. In an ancient time, in a faraway land, a young woman named Aoife is allowed a rare apprenticeship to become her kingdom’s mapmaker, tasked with charting the entire domain. Traveling beyond its borders, she finds a secretive people who live in peace, among great wealth. They claim to protect a mythic treasure, one connected to the creation of the world. When Aoife reports their existence to her kingdom, the community is targeted as a threat. Attempting to warn them of imminent danger, Aoife is exiled for treason and finds refuge among the very people who had been declared her enemy. With them, she begins a new life surrounded by kindness, equality, and cooperation. But within herself, Aoife has no peace. She cannot share the grief she feels for the home and children she left behind. She cannot bear the warrior scars of the man she comes to love. And when she gives birth to their gifted daughter, Aoife cannot avoid what the child forces her to confront about her past and its truth. On this most important of journeys, there is no map to guide her. In this tale—her autobiography— Aoife reveals her pain and joy, and ultimately her transformation. The Mapmaker’s War is a mesmerizing, utterly original adventure about love and loss and the redemptive power of the human spirit."

My Two Cents: 

"The Mapmaker's War" was a very interesting story to me. I liked the story itself. There is a little bit of fantasy and a little bit in this book that really drew me in and kept me reading until the last page. This story is definitely very inventive and will be perfect for readers who want their fantasy reading to be unique.

The main character, Aoife (which I strangely learned to pronounce by watching E!'s reality tv show, Chasing the Saturdays, about the British girl band - hah), is fascinating. She becomes a mapmaker's apprentice, which is pretty much unheard of for a woman in her kingdom. I love stories about people who overcome the odds and circumstances of their life to do something really awesome. This is most definitely what Aoife does in this book.

While I enjoyed the story, I was jarred by the entire book being written in second person point of view. I found it very distracting and very difficult to get used to. This book was a slow read for me because of the writing style. I think it takes away a lot from the book. I had to keep re-reading various sections to make sure that I was following what was going on. There are also no quotation marks used, which made it a little hard to follow who was speaking to whom and if there was any internal monologues involved. This aspect also slowed my reading a little bit.

Overall, I really liked the story but I am not sure that the writing was my cup of tea.


  1. I loved it but I know it's not going to be a book for everyone. It is indeed, quite different and it took me a bit to get used to that second person viewpoint.

  2. The second person? How does that even work? I really like the idea of this, but that's put me off without even TRYING to read it.

    Sometimes it seems as though authors try and do 'quirky' things to be clever without thinking of the effect it's going to have on the actual story.


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