Remedy by Heidi Vlach

Another set of firsts for me. Thanks to my sister for lending me her Nook, this was my first e-book since I don't like reading whole books on the laptop and don't own a reader myself. Also, I haven't read many self-published books as of yet (or non-traditional publishing). Nothing against them, I'm just way behind in my reading is all. I'm sure that more will pepper my book list in the future. Finally, along with this book review the author was kind enough to let me interview her for my writing blog. The interview will be posted today too over at

From Goodreads: After a century of mining, Peregrine is tired. As an older avian who can't hear a simple conversation for himself, he relies on the help of keen-eared weasel assistants, whom he raises like his own children. But with his two hundred year lifespan, Peregrine has buried four of his dear companions and he will outlive Tillian as well. Convinced that he is robbing Tillian of her brief life, Peregrine resolves to change his profession. He promises himself that he'll set his earferrin free.
      The same day Peregrine takes wing for a messenger job, Rose's village faces an epidemic. Dozens of insect-like people are showing symptoms of gripthia -- and without enough healing magic, they will die. Young and recently hurried into her mage position, Rose can't save her village alone. She sends out a plea for other races to lend their hands. And because Tillian wants to help, Peregrine leaves his other half behind sooner than he ever planned. While innocent people grow sicker, Peregrine wonders whether he can live for himself, whether Tillian wants to live without him, and whether Rose and her villagers will live at all.

For a shorter fantasy that didn't have human character at all, this was a really good story. It felt short but that's probably because the middle grade fantasy book I just read was 446 pages and this adult fantasy novel was only 268 pages. But the page count doesn't matter because it's still a full story. And it was a nice break from the onslaught of first person I face on a regular basis. And while I've never seen someone underline words/sentences so much in a novel, it really made sense once I got used to the reasoning behind it. Overall, it's a book I would recommend to anyone who wants to try this different type of fantasy novel. And look at that cover! I wish this was a printed book because I want a copy with that image on the front. It's one beautiful cover.

This book is told in third person, multiple point of view style. And it works that way. I found every viewpoint character to be different, to have their own personalities and by the end I actually liked all of them. My favorite one hundred percent is little Tillian. I got the most emotional when experiencing her part of the story as she latched hold of me from the very beginning of the novel. Peregrine was good though I became a bit drug down by some of the times he talked down on himself. And I'm always happy to see a young female mage type of character, so Rose was a good character for me. Plus she was one of the main female characters with a very different name than the rest it was easy to not get confused when it came to her character.

Not often do we see a disease as the villain but it definitely worked in this fantasy world. The way the story is laced with the telling of legends made the clutches of the disease come to life. Having to develop a whole new world in order to tell a story is tough to begin with and all the little nuances are part of what makes this a really good story. The disease is only part of the story because the focus is on two characters in particular. Peregrine and Tillian have an interesting type of relationship because they are seen almost as two halves, even though Peregrine's mate is one of his kind named Giala. But there is a special pairing between the dragon kind (more bird than lizard, so he said) and the adorable weasel. The thought of them parting ways and Tillian not having her dear friend was enough to make me cry.

Technical factors:
While this is an e-book, I couldn't help but notice some technical errors. These ranged from minor spelling and word jumbles to an unfinished sentence. There were times when Peregrine would talk about Tillian as if she was there even though she was not that confused me a little bit. As a past copy editor for a college newspaper and current online intern for a small publisher, I tend to notice these things. They weren't enough to detract from the story at all, it just feels like the book needed an outside set of eyes to help with one more edit. The names do get a little confusing at times. Some of them are a little too similar to each other and at one point I couldn't remember who Giala was because a number of characters have the ia in the middle or at the end of their names. And there is a lot of name dropping. Since it's a fantasy world with everything needing to be named from towns to people to deities, it can be a little overwhelming at times.

A good story that people should consider reading. I'm an emotional person in general, and this story didn't help that because I cried and not just at the end. I really cried a number of times. The characters are easy to have an emotional attachment to and that leads to emotional reactions while reading.

Dawn's Verdict: 7.5/10



L'Aussie said...

I really enjoyed reading your review Dawn. Yes it really helps if ebooks aren't too long. I can't imagine wading through War and Peace digitally.

It is unusual for a disease to be the villain but it sounds like it works. The characterisation must have been done well for you to get so attached and to cry often.

A good recommendation.


Dawn Embers said...

Thanks Denise. It was my first ebook but I can see what you mean. Especially since every single page takes a couple of clicks to get anywhere so it feels like more.

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