Maybe I am an odd duck, but I actually quite liked Prophecy by Ellen Oh. I realize a lot of my blogger friends and people I subscribe to where just not that into Prophecy, but for me personally, I went into the book not expecting the second coming and thus wasn’t tainted by expecting Graceling 2.0 or Eon: The Spinoff. Without any sort of comparisons to the fantasy heavyweights, I think the book rests on it’s own merits. Like, it’s unfortunate that those comparisons were made in the first place, because no, Prophecy is not as good as Graceling or Eon but it’s a competently written story with characters I actually found interesting and likeable, unlike the characters in Falling Kingdoms.
Kira has kind of a bad reputation. She is cousin to the young prince, which should mean that she is at the top of the social structure. HOWEVER, Kira has these yellow eyes and when she was very young she saw a demon attacking her cousin and so she killed it, but they kept the whole demon thing hushed up and so all these people think that Kira is a monster herself or a demon, instead of a hero. Anyways, Prophecy starts with a real bang, as there’s this like big huge battle which results in Kira and her cousin, Taejo searching for these relics which will help fulfill the prophecy of the Dragon Musado, a person who can help overcome the demons which are like rawr let us inhabit bodies and be awful and do bad things rawr. I KNOW, best description ever. Anyways, there’s a dog named Jingo who I became attached to, and hints at a potential romance which doesn’t exactly culminate into a relationship or anything.
Kira is a legit badass. Like, she’s a girl and she knows it’s an uphill battle to get the dudes to respect her because they are all oh how can a woman be strong. She’s like, bitch I have yellow eyes let me lay that BOOM BOOM on you, and then she does and to me all her reverse side kicks were awesome. Maybe I just have really low standards or something, but I LIKED Kira, I would give her a friendship bracelet or a boondoggle because she’s loyal and awesome and the whole story isn’t omg I really want to kiss him instead of saving the kingdom. Hell no, she focuses on the task at hand. ALTHOUGH, I will say I was super annoyed by her cousin Taejo who is really an annoying little kid for most of the book and like searches for trouble instead of staying put and staying safe like he’s told.
I think that I would have liked this world of Seven Kingdoms way more if Prophecy was longer. Like, I never felt like we got a super huge in depth look at the world. Sure the map is cool, and the fact that there are factions are cool. But I kept getting confused over the Yamato warriors and why they were total douches. Also, in the beginning characters called Untouchables are mentioned and then never returned to again. PLUS! There are monks you guys. Monks! Which I like reading about, weirdly enough. And we don’t get a huge glimpse at the religion and belief system. I also would have liked more exploration of the demons — like why are they so intent on coming back over and over if they are just going to get killed. Or maybe I am just really oblivious and missed it while reading – which is not exactly an unknown thing for me to do.
Ellen Oh’s writing style is very straight forward. There aren’t exactly wells of hidden depths. I think that she has a lot of potential though — especially this bit with the eight maidens. I never wanted to leave that section because it was filled with mythology and strong ladies and was actually fascinating and I thought well written. Like, I guess my one complaint is that maybe Prophecy is an uneven read. There’s a lot of in depth descriptions of the fights and action, which maybe I am a weirdo, but my eyes tend to glaze over during that sort of thing. But, when we get past the fight and into the actual prophecy and the character development, I was glued to the page.
Being 100% honest with you, I’m nervous people will judge me because I liked Prophecy, but that’s the thing you have to be you and if that means liking a book that not everyone else was into, so be it. To me, I thought Prophecy was peppered with interesting characters and I will always cheer for a strong female lead character who is loyal with no holds barred. I like reading Asian inspired fantasy, and while this may not be the best of it’s genre, I thought it was a very pleasant way to pass time and kept me quite entertained and held my interest. I will definitely be back for the sequel.
Disclosure: Received for review
Other reviews of Prophecy by Ellen Oh:
Icey Books – “Filled with action and a (tad-confusing) prophecy”
Annette’s Book Spot – “I enjoyed the book while I was reading, but it didn’t blow me away”