Author: Ellen Oh
Date of Publication: January 2 2013
Source: Library ARC
Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope...
Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.
Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.
Graceling meets Eon? How could you not pick up a book professing itself comparable to some of the best YA fantasy? This comparison describes Prophecy pretty well: ambitious but lacking execution.
Let's give Ellen Oh some credit: she was trying really hard to make this book great. She set it up to be a big, epic story with a prophecy, lots of fighting and a lot of blood. If you look at the idea behind everything, this should have been a pretty good book. Fiery, kickbutt MC; a prophecy; demons; kingdoms; princes. Prophecy wasn't able to merge these elements together and it I didn't like it at all.
The writing should soldier most of the blame. This happens and then this happens and then look, this happens so you should feel sad! There was no subtlety or emotional connection. I never cared about the characters even when I was supposed to. Having a crappy life doesn't mean I'll like a character. Kira was supposed to be this fighter whom everyone hates with this strong personality hiding the pain underneath, but I found her to be annoying and whiny. She keeps talking about how much her life sucks but she does herself no favours. She doesn't try to change people's opinions of her and I think it's unrealistic that she hasn't had a single friend.
That was another huge issue: believability. The dialogue and the actions were not at all natural. It felt so clichéd to me, and slightly cheesy. The characters never became real people. There were no distinct mannerisms or depth. They were pretty formulaic. For example, Kira's first friend is a good quiet guy that I'm supposed to like because he's tortured and broody over something that happened a long time ago. There's nothing about any of the characters to differentiate them from the stereotypes.
This all comes back to the writing. I thought it was appalling how in a book with so many action scenes there was no emotional gravity. I was surprised at how boring the action scenes were. One in particular stands out. Kira is fighting someone and the writing talks about her ducking down to dodge a blow and then in a paragraph the fight ends. There were only two real actions mentioned in the fight. The beginning blows and the killing strike when Kira wins. I want to know the details, not the summary.