Review: A Turn of Light by Julie E. Czerneda

March 16, 2014 4 stars, Book Review 15 ★★★★

Review: A Turn of Light by Julie E. CzernedaA Turn of Light by Julie E. Czerneda
Series: Night's Edge #1
Published by DAW on MAR 5, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 822
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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The village of Marrowdell is an isolated pioneer community, but it is also the place where two worlds overlap, and at the turn of light--sunset--the world of magic known as the Verge can briefly be seen.

Jenn Nalynn belongs to both Verge and Marrowdell, but even she doesn't know how special she is--or that her invisible friend Wisp is actually a dragon sent to guard her... and keep her from leaving the valley. But Jenn longs to see the world, and thinking that a husband will help her reach this goal, she decides to create one using spells. Of course, everything goes awry, and suddenly her "invisible friend" has been transformed into a man. But he is not the only newcomer to Marrowdell, and far from the most dangerous of those who are suddenly finding their way to the valley...


A Turn of Light was quite the treat. Weighing in at over 800 pages you have to know you are in for a very well developed story and characters. The past few years I have been shying away from quite a number of books over 600 pages because I think I’ve become a bit of an impatient reader. So I mean this in the best way when I say that this book tested my patience.

The reading experience was a bit like a piece of chocolate, slow melting and delicious but I did find myself wanting a bit of a crunch. Now what do I mean by that? There is an extremely slow and even pace to the entirety of A Turn of Light. I was 300 pages in and then I was 600 pages in and I still felt as if the same even pacing continued throughout. That is why I found myself thinking of my favorite chocolates that can only be best savored by sucking on them instead of chewing them. BUT I seriously wanted some more ooomph…like throw in some chili pepper or spice to kick things up another notch because I’m nothing if not an action girl. This was village life in a marvelous fantasy world, all of the people’s lives here are touched in someway by this magic that they’ve come to see as commonplace and they don’t even acknowledge it as magic though they know these sorts of odd things don’t happen outside of their village. We get a slow reveal on all of the quirks about this little village and each new bit I learned made me fall in love with it more and more. So ultimately you should know going in that there is not a lot of action. This reads with a slow pace all the better to really immerse yourself in the world building, the village and each of the characters.

I know I know, but you don’t know I know?
The method of storytelling used is the type where the reader knows pretty much everything that is going on while at least one character is completely oblivious. This is accomplished by the 3 character perspectives the story is told from. I really loved Jenn and Bannan’s perspective and Wyll’s was interesting, but because I found him to be so stubborn and he had that infuriating attitude of ‘I know whats good for you and you just need to abide what I say” it made reading his sections aggravating for me. Not because it wasn’t just as well written but only because I always have a hard time with that type of domineering character. Ultimately, I felt like I knew what was going to happen the entire book and I can honestly say I wasn’t wrong by the end.  This didn’t bother me because after all this isn’t a mystery novel, its a fantasy. Most of the fun for me is learning about the world. Yes, there was some things I didn’t see coming here and there but as far as each character and their individual story arcs I saw them all coming. I must say though that I really adored all of the characters, because it was such a long book I was able to get to know each one of them well enough that I was interested in them all and wasn’t bored despite some of the aspects that felt predictable.

Eeenie, meenie, miney, moe…
I pick you! Or do I? I just don’t know what I want! That was Jenn. Can you handle it? So prepare yourself my dears for the young and unsure heart when it comes to matters of love. Torn between duty & friendship and growing love and attraction – Jenn really doesn’t know what to do and we spend the bulk of the novel watching her figure it out. I didn’t realize this when I originally picked up the book but Jenn is 18 just a few days away from 19, but like most fantasies that is the age where you should be thinking about settling down with a spouse. So you can expect that she has that sort of personality that is young and naive, and lets not forget rebellious!

Creatures galore!
One of my favorite parts about fantasy is the magnificent creatures that we could encounter. Of course it was absolutely my favorite part about A Turn of Light. From guardian toads to messenger moths and a horse that isn’t – I was taken in by each and every creature. Especially the toads!! I want one!

This is one fantasy I’m glad I didn’t pass up!

A Turn of Light (Night’s Edge #1)

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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15 Responses to “Review: A Turn of Light by Julie E. Czerneda”

  1. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    See now you’re the second person I’ve read a review from in the last week that had a problem with one of the POVs in the story they were reading. Yours doesn’t sound that bad b/c the book was so looooong that you developed a taste for him, right? But the other person absolutely hated one of the POVs. That’s something I’ve never really thought about, b/c it’s not something that’s ever happened to me. Weird, right? I mean in epic fantasy with a bazillion POVs, I always have preferences, but there’s never been any that just grated (and for me, a domineering male certainly would, so kudos to you for getting past it). Anyway, I’ll add this to one of my wishlists, but I don’t have any hope of getting to it any time soon. But my lack of time has nothing to do with you most excellent review 🙂 I think I’d like this. Especially with all the creatures. I LOVE creatures.
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Bloodfire by Helen HarperMy Profile

    • Pabkins

      I think it’s because i still did like the character Wyll, he was crazy interesting and wasn’t always domineering because he would bend a lot to Jenn’s wishes so he was a total puzzle.

      I wonder what POV your friend hated! I think that would make it hard for me to finish a book…but also Wyll had a smaller amount of time as the POV.

      No the Brandon Sanderson, Way of Kings is not a spin off from any of his other series. That is the first book to his epic fantasy series…supposedly he plans to write ten books for it. I hope someday he gets something of his made into a movie!!
      Pabkins recently posted…Review: A Turn of Light by Julise CzernedaMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I really enjoyed it. It had been so long since I read such an enjoyable traditional fantasy! And there is a second book coming out this year. But the first can definitely be read as a stand alone!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Yes its long but it felt so nice to read a traditional fantasy and really take my time with it. I love being immersed in that world and the village and creatures were so magical!

  2. Anya

    Love those toads so much! I’ll be honest, at this point I wish that I hadn’t accepted this one for review since it’s just taking me way too long :(. I do appreciate the fantasy world created, but I really think it would be better if it was faster paced and shorter, haha.
    Anya recently posted…Between by Kerry Schafer {3 Stars}My Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Haha – so does that mean you aren’t going to nab the second one later this year!?

      I agree it was very long indeed. I think if I didn’t have so many other review books waiting int he wings I wouldn’t have minded the length at all. I only concern myself with length and the time it takes to read nowadays because of the blogging.

      • Anya

        I’m okay with length if I’m engaged and excited to be reading the book most of the time. I found myself tired and distracted often when reading this one and wanting to skim over some parts to get to the exciting stuff, haha. I think I will nab the second book since they are going off and adventuring it sounds like!
        Anya recently posted…Between by Kerry Schafer {3 Stars}My Profile

  3. Pamela D

    I am a lot more picky when choosing books that are over 500 pages. I have found that too many books over 500 pages have pacing problems. I’m glad to hear that this book had consistent pacing. I hate when a book starts out one way and then takes a break halfway through.
    Pamela D recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books on My TBR ListMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      This one doesn’t have a pacing problem in that it keeps the same even pacing throughout. Though its a long one I really enjoyed it. The amazing worldbuilding was totally worth the length and I’m totally looking forward to a second book that comes out towards the end of the year. This first one though can totally be read without feeling the need to continue.