Book Review: Sora’s Quest (The Cat’s Eye Chronicles #1) by T.L. Shreffler

Sora'sQuestCoverTitle: Sora’s Quest

Author: T.L. Shreffler

Genre: Fantasy

Age Group: Young Adult, Adult

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon, Smashwords (FREE), B&N (FREE)

Sora Fallcrest was born into Nobility. She has it all: money, maids, a fancy estate. But she never expected to be kidnapped.

Abducted from her manor, Sora is plunged into a world of magical races, arcane jewelry and forgotten lore. She finds herself at the mercy of a dangerous assassin, haunted by an even darker past. She yearns for freedom, but he won’t let her go — not when her Cat’s Eye necklace is the only thing that can save his life.

But the necklace itself presents a problem. It is an ancient device from the long forgotten War of the Races, and its magic has the ability to steal souls. Can Sora learn to wield its power — or will the power wield her? (Winner of the SKOW 2006 Best Fantasy Award)

Wow. Just wow. Sora’s Quest is one of the few books I’ve read this year that left me breathless. It certainly is the first self-published book this year that reached the quota, and all of that is mostly due to one person: Crash. Or Viper, if you want his other name.

Sora’s Quest starts out with introducing us to main character Sora Fallcrest, daughter of Lord Fallcrest who would rather have nothing to do with his offspring. It’s time for Sora’s Blooming ceremony, but she completely messes it up, doing the one thing she never wanted to, namely disappointing her father. That same night, Sora’s dad is murdered by a strange assassin, and Sora is kidnapped by that same assassin. He brings her to his companion, a Wolfy thief named Dorian. Wolfies are all but extinct, and Sora is surprised to meet one of them. They run to get away from soldiers chasing Sora, and from Volcrian, a dark bloodmage intent on killing Crash and everyone who stands in his way. Before long, Sora is suspected of hiring the assassin to kill her father, and any hope she might have had about returning back to her normal life, is swept from under her feet.

Sora, Dorian and Crash decide to travel through the nearby swamp, which legends has it, nobody has survived traveling through. But Sora is in the posession of a special necklace, a Cat’s Eye, that has tremendous power and might succeed in sending them through the swamp alive and well.

The story is imaginative, and has an obvious ‘high fantasy’ feel. The settings are well-detailed, and the descriptions very visual. I enjoyed following Sora, Crash and Dorian on their travels through the Fallcrest town, the village, and eventually the swamp. I also enjoyed their meeting with the Catlin people, and the Panthera, which was very suspenseful and detailed.

Crash was, by far, my favorite character. He reminded me a lot of Achmed, the assassin with some kind of special blood magic, who played one of the main roles in the Rhapsody series by Elizabeth Haydon, which was one of my favorite series ever, mainly because of the interesting dynamic between the main characters. Crash is silent, barely says anything, and comes across as being very threatening, mainly because of his past. But an interesting dynamic evolves between him and Sora, and he begins to care for her. I loved his personality, the typical ‘bad boy’, maybe taken a stretch too far (I like bad boys, but they don’t necessarily have to be assassins) and I loved how, despite himself, he began to care for Sora.

Sora’s personality is a bit of a hit or miss. She seems a bit inconsistent, one moment shouting about how the assassin and thief should both be hanged, and the other moment fighting to save their lives. It showed her confusion, but confused me as well, making it almost impossible to guess her ture feelings. We don’t get to see a lot of her reasoning either. She apparently cares next to nothing about her father, and even though he didn’t give her a lot of love, he did raise her for many years. When she’s kidnapped, she comes to terms with the situation rather easily, barely even trying to escape. Her motivation for staying is never truly explained.

And that brings me to the major issue of this book, and the sole reason why I didn’t give it a 5-star rating, even though it was one heck of a read. Motivation. Every character in this book lacks motivation or reasoning. Why does Crash take Sora with him? Does he know about the Cat’s Eye already (although I thought it was only revealed later)? It’s completely out of character for him. Why do they travel through the swamp, a supposed short cut, when it takes them ages to get through and is very dangerous? What was their original plan, if Sora hadn’t shown up with her Cat’s Eye? For a bunch of thieves and assassins they certainly aren’t very keen on planning. Why did Sora’s Dad have to die? Why does everyone automatically blame Sora? Why did Crash change his name?

At the end, there’s a supposed big reveal I saw coming the moment the character was introduced, that left me with a half-hearted explanation about Sora’s origin and family, and more questions than answers, which I hope are explained in the next book.

This book is full on the fantasy, sword and sorcery and action-aspect, but there isn’t a lot of character development. Sora doesn’t really go through a large emotional change, more like a small change at most. There’s no romance, although perhaps a hint of it, but I liked that. Too often people assume fantasy novels need to have romance, when that’s certainly not the case. I’m not a big fan of insta-love either, and if the next book goes the way I suspect it will in the romance department, then I’m glad we only got the subtletly of a few romantic hints here.

All that said, I loved Crash, and I liked Sora, mostly when she interacted with him, because it seemed like another, perhaps darker, part of her personality came forward in their conversations. I liked the world T.L. Shreffler created in this book, and I can’t wait – literally, I might start to stalk the author after this tour for a review copy – to read the next book, Viper’s Creed. The title makes me suspect Crash plays a very big part in that book and well…any book featuring a cold-hearted assassin slowsly becoming less cold and distant, is a must-read for me. Especially if you add in fantasy as a big bonus.



The author is giving away swag, jewelry and a signed copy of “Sora’s Quest” to one lucky winner. Giveaway is US/CA only. Fill in the Rafflecopter form to participate!

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  1. Wow Majanka! Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the book, it really made my day. Just to clarify *ahem author moment,* Crash actually notices Sora’s necklace when he first runs into her in the hallway. He “stares at her throat” for a prolonged amount of time. I kinda slipped it in there vaguely, I didn’t want it to be too overly pronounced, more like an “ah-hah” moment if someone were to look back. But I guess my writing sneakiness was a little too sneaky lol. Still, thank you so much for the raving review, it’s very inspiring! ūüôā

  2. This book is amazing I have read it twice in the space of two days. Does anyone know where you can get the necklace from, please????

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