Quickbane: Part One (Vale Chronicles #1)
Published: 4th June, 2014
Jesobel Vine wants nothing more than to be a typical Pyxian teenager. She wants to ride her horse, Firefly, shoot her bow, and fall in love with her dreamy best friend, Glyn. But Jesobel is marked not only as the future Royal Starkeeper of Pyxis, but as the Heart of Azimuth—the one to lead her people back to their lost realm—a burden too dangerous for daydreams. As Jesobel struggles to accept her destiny, reluctantly studying mystic magic, she becomes doubtful she will ever be worthy to rule. And when her fiery temper enrages the daemon-possessed Starkeeper of Equuleus with a hex-gone-wrong —igniting an orphic war—Jesobel must find a way to alter the global disaster foretold by a celestial legend.
What I liked: Excuse me but the dedication of the book is golden. “For every person who struggles with depression, anxiety or PTSD. Never give up. I believe in you.” I’m not sorry, I was so incredibly touched by that. I cried because it hit home and felt personal to me. Points to the outstanding dedication Starling. As for the book, I really enjoyed the way it came together little by little, and the way how we had clues to figure out some things but we weren’t always given a direct answer as to what it was. Like quickfire, we weren’t told what it was but we got the sense it was important and could mostly figure it out with the clues. I liked that, how we weren’t given everything and the character didn’t really have internal dialogue trying to explain everything about her world. Jesobel is a character who’s motives and ideas are easily seen. She wants to be normal, not have some big destiny. She doesn’t even want to be the Starkeeper of her people! Yet, little by little she accepts and tries to do better. Aggie was a character who I was on and off about, mainly because when she was trying to teach Jesobel she didn’t have any patience with her or listen to Jesobel. And of course, sometimes Jesobel had some important things to tell Aggie.
What I didn’t like: If I hadn’t been told Glyn was her best friend in the summary I really wouldn’t have know. He barely shows up, and really doesn’t say anything. I just felt that he was sorta there, and only served as a way to give Jesobel some angst (because every heroine needs that right?).
Overall Review: Quickbane is a read that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon with the way its characters stood out, and the way the magic was shaped. With characters who at the end leave you wanting more, you can be sure I’m already eager to read the next one!
Recommend?: I do! I know I recommend a lot of my fantasy reads, but they’re almost always really good reads that I pick!
My Rating: 4.6/5
Meet the Characters of Quickbane: Part One
Jesobel Vine: Free-spirited Jesobel has enough depth of character to remain strong in the face of adversity, despite the fact that she feels emotionally fragile at times. She is in training for her important destiny as the Starkeeper of Pyxis – the leader of her wandering people and their Lost Realm, and must graduate from apprentice to Magic Weaver by her sixteenth birthday in order to do so but she hates learning magic and being told what to do.Jesobel loves Glyn Carter, archery, being barefoot and riding her horse, Firefly. She’s a bit of a tomboy, preferring raggedy old skirts with outdated hemlines and a comfy leather corset, rather than the latest frilly Orion fashions most of the Pyxie girls wear.
Liliet: Liliet is one of Jesobel’s favorite spark fairies. She is feisty and strong, and she is pregnant. Spark fairies live inside a Pyxie’s quickflame, which is something like a magic aura which connects them to the Mystic, where all magic comes from. Jesobel has hundreds of spark fairies. When she summons them, they emerge from her quickflame through a magic portal over her heart, and it tickles. They help guide her through her journey, and since they are made of pure mystic magic, their bodies light up, so she calls on them at night when she’s drawing or reading.
Glyn Carter: Jesobel’s best friend and first love is a ruggedly handsome blonde-haired boy of eighteen, who has been Jesobel’s best friend since childhood. He is good at fixing things and building things, and doing awesome manly stuff. He is also a talented whittler, with soap being his preferred medium.
Seraphina Bellamy is a spoiled Pyxie with a crush on Glyn. She runs with a crowd of girls who all have eyes for Jesobel’s man, and they like to dress in the latest Orion Pyxie fashions with tons of frills, crazy hemlines and overdone updos, full of ribbons and sparkly hairclips.
Firefly: Jesobel’s beloved horse is a small draft horse with profuse amounts of mane, tail and feather. He and Jesobel have a secret language, a soft murmuring song that Jesobel’s mother sang to her just before she died after Jesobel was born. He has one Mystic eye, and there’s magic about him that Jesobel has yet to discover.
Pennyfeathers: Aunt Myriam & Uncle Fin’s sturdy mare can usually be found sniffing around Firefly, looking for love.
Aggie Mollycraft: Aggie is Jessa’s aging godmother. She is deaf enough that Jessa must yell if she wants Aggie to hear her. Aggie can effortlessly switch from kind, funny and warm, to stern at the drop of a hat, and has been mostly cranky for a year, as she’s had trouble getting Jesobel to pay attention to her studies.
Fin Vine: Jesobel’s uncle, on her mother’s side. He’s a wagon-builder and is like a big brother to Jessa in a way, he’s always there to talk when she needs advice. He’s been building Jesobel’s Starkeeper Wagon for a year.
Myriam Vine: Jesobel’s Aunt Myriam is Fin’s wife. She is a seamstress who makes ball gowns for the rich brightborns attenting the Quickbane Ball in Rockwall.
Ethan & Evan Rowan: Ethan is a pompous, selfish, gambling, womanizing playboy, and the freshly crowned Starkeeper of Equuleus who brings down heaps of misery on Jesobel when he accidently joins forces with a daemon. Evan is his level-headed twin, who would have been much more suited for the job, but was born thirty seconds too late, and so the crown defaulted to his lesser-equipped brother.
Vallax: The Orphic Prince is a cherubic daemon who possesses Ethan Rowan’s body and mind in order to free himself from a trap he’s been stuck in for centuries, which will ignite an ancient celestial legend. Vallax enjoys toying with people, he hates Mystic magic, and he is secretly afraid of Jesobel’s power. His only comfort is that she has no idea how powerful she is.
Jesobel Vine: She’d have to be free-spirited and fragile, yet have enough depth of character to remain strong in the face of adversity. I’ve gone back and forth on this one, and maybe it would be someone we haven’t seen in Hollywood yet. Maybe Dakota Fanning , if I had to choose. I enjoy the feisty spirit she brings to the characters I’ve seen her play.
Glyn Carter: Jesobel’s best friend and first love would be perfectly played by a scruffy, longer-haired Alex Pettyfer – but he’d have to come off as less spy-next-door and more boy-next-door.
Firefly: Jesobel’s beloved horse would have to be played by this incredible Gypsy Horse. His name is Austin. We would need to dye some of his mane and tail black, though.
Pennyfeathers: Aunt Myriam & Uncle Fin’s sturdy mare looks something like this.
Aggie Mollycraft: This character is based on my old neighbor, Evelyn, who had eyes as sharp as an eagle’s, but was deaf enough that you had to yell if you wanted her to hear you. She was always sharing veggies from her garden, and pies over the chain-link fence that separated her back yard from our dirt parking area. While there would be no one as perfect as my Evelyn to portray Aggie, I love Julie Walters, a marvelous actress who can effortlessly switch between kind, funny and warm, to stern at the drop of a hat. I think she could bring something special to the role of Aggie.
Eden Quick: Eden has some magic about him that means he never quite looks the same, and is slightly androgynous. At one point, he reveals his true image to Jesobel. I have no idea who this smokin’ hot guy is that I found to fit Eden’s role, but clean-shaven, he is perfect.
Fin Vine: Jesobel’s uncle Fin has to be Ewan McGregor, because I need Ewan McGregor in my dream cast.
Myriam Vine: Jesobel’s Aunt Myriam has gotta be my pal Bridget Regan, because maybe she would enjoy being Ewan’s onscreen wife. (But Bridgie, you gotta go strawberry blonde with those curls of yours for this role!)
Helix Airheart: He’d have to be blessed with the looks of a young Lenny Kravitz, with chin length dreads – I don’t know who that would be, though? If you have any suggestions, I’d love to know!
Flux Airheart: Helix’s sister is a gorgeous socialite. I’d like Joy Bryant to play her. She’s one of those actresses I can’t decide whether to love or hate. She’s gorgeous and talented, but there’s just something about her that annoys me…She’d be good for this part.
Mari Bracer: Saoirse Ronan might be perfect for this part. I’d like to see if she could pull off going from a simple, sweet young mother to a nasty little wench bent on revenge.
Seraphina Bellamy: The sweet, pretty red-head who has her eye – and lips – on Glyn Carter might be perfectly played by fresh-faced Molly Quinn.
Ethan & Evan Rowan: The devilish playboy and freshly corwned Starkeeper of Equuleus who brings down heaps of misery on Jesobel was trickier to choose because he has a twin, Evan. I looked high and low for a pair of British twins, and wouldn’t you know my only real choice was the Weasley boys? I suppose one actor could play both roles, especially given that Evan’s role is quite small. But there you have it, I went with the Weasley boys. They are older and less attractive than I imagined the Rowan boys to be, but they’re the best I could come up with for now. Guess I’ll keep hunting for a perfectly dastardly Ethan….
Ash Lucan: The wealthy Starkeeper of Aquila is the spitting image – in my mind- of Richard Armitage of Thorin Oakenshield fame. (And shrinking to dwarf size is not required for him to play this part!)
Vallax: The Orphic Prince (a cherubic demon) would be perfectly played by Man of Steel’s young Clark Kent, Dylan Sprayberry – as long as Dylan has the chops to be cocky and evil while still looking freakishly innocent.
Book Soundtrack, complied by the author
Here is my Quickbane Part One playlist. It’s a little odd, but I tried to capture the feel of the story the best I could, either with song titles, mood or lyrics. Sometimes all three. I listened to Silver Stallion by Cat Power about a billion times while writing this book. The rest I chose thoughtfully for this blog tour.
About the Author
Warrior, mermaid, wordsmith, performer for kings and queens, Chelsea Starling is fucking awesome. She raises bear cubs with one hand, and conjures whole worlds with the other.
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Review by Bri