They built new homes under mountain maples, hoping for luck. But for the aemets — the insect-like folk of Aloftway village — there has been much work and meagre reward. After poor harvests and a brush with forest fire, now wolves are striking down folk who venture into the forest. Without a precedent in their legends to guide them, all aemetkind knows to do is hope and praThey built new homes under mountain maples, hoping for luck. But for the aemets — the insect-like folk of Aloftway village — there has been much work and meagre reward. After poor harvests and a brush with forest fire, now wolves are striking down folk who venture into the forest. Without a precedent in their legends to guide them, all aemetkind knows to do is hope and pray.Rue is a young aemet coming of age in this troubled community. Named after a lucky plant, she has never cared much for luck. She believed from the start that it was folly to move here, and when fellow aemets start turning up dead, Rue is through waiting. With her chemistry skills, her keen mind and a guard dog at her side, Rue promises herself that she’ll solve Aloftway’s problems. But she’ll need help from Felixi, a game hunter of the dragon-like korvi race — who knows more about the wolf attacks than he’s willing to share....
|Number of Pages||:||565 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Full disclosure: The author contacted me based on another Goodreads review I wrote and provided me with a complimentary e-copy of Render in exchange for an honest review. I guarantee that I have not let this affect my rating or review in the least, but I figure it's best to be upfront.Render is a solid piece of fantasy set in a world of three anthro-animal races. While it's part of a series of books set in this world, it stands alone well--even having never read Ravel or Remedy, I had very little trouble picking up on much. Perhaps the only qualm would be that I found the three races a little under-described at first, and the minimalistic drawings of them at the beginning of the book left me at a loss for picturing them for the first few chapters. But overall, it does a solid job of presenting a fantasy realm that doesn't need backstory or world-knowledge from the other books in the series to function. Something that felt refreshing was that in the Aligare world, the three races are distinct but not segregated or standoffish. As opposed to many other fantasy worlds, where the elves are secluded and the orcs are jerks and etc. etc., it was just... really nice to read a fantasy novel where there were races but not big racial conflicts underlying everything, and no "this race is just made up of evil people because it is" sort of stuff that Tolkien-esque worlds tend to propagate. Briefly, Render is a story of a young adult woman named Rue, who is relocating to a new village along with a bunch of others of her kind. Rue's father is a renowned explorer who has marked this new settlement place and then promptly disappeared, and Rue herself is generally burdened with people's expectations based on superstition regarding her name and origins. When the new village turns out to be in a less-than-ideal location and beset by increasing numbers of misfortunes, Rue struggles to keep the populace calm and organized, and to make her father's chosen location work.Something about Render just feels sweet and right to me. It's a small story, in that it doesn't end up being a big world-saving epic. It's about a single village and its small-village problems. Personally, coming off a big binge of a series where the stakes were always increasing and rarely less than the end of humanity, this was a breath of fresh air. Render is about a single village, and about Rue's attempts to fight her kind's superstitious ways and become more self-reliant while dealing with the legacy given to her by her parents and her "lucky" birthright. Its drama is mostly Rue's, and it feels just-right. Speaking of, I think something that I particularly loved about Render was Rue herself. I find so few capable, well-written female protagonists in fiction, and Rue was just right. She wasn't flawless; she was young and sometimes frightened or hesitant. But she was courageous and intelligent and resourceful. The characterization here reminded me a bit of Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper, which is a high compliment from me. Overall, Render was a solid, enjoyable non-epic-scale fantasy. I think, perhaps, my biggest criticism is that it takes awhile to get into. Particularly coming into Aligare fresh, learning about the races took a bit of time, and the sort of stiff fairy-tale style narration takes a few chapters to get used to. Otherwise, though, it was a good, sweet book with a really well-detailed protagonist. A solid choice.
When I first started reading Render, I was a little lost. It was difficult for me to follow the story because I couldn't imagine the characters. Clumsy of me suddenly realized that I was reading the 3rd book of the stories of Aligare. It was obvious that I had missed the explanation of this new world.As I went on with my reading, I slowly got the hang of it. I started to appreciate the place, the characters, the plot and the author's way of writing. One of my favorite things was the scenario, it kept me in a magical, mystical world (the kind I enjoy to read).In this book, it talks about a girl named Rue, that moves into a new town along with her mother that's called Aloftway. The people here are generous, have a talent for growing plants (magically), they are good to each other, they are vegetarian and respect all living things. I find that beautiful. It's amazing how a society can be built that way. But, of course there has to be a problem. There is danger all around Aloftway and it's starting to kill the residents. Rue is the one to come up with a way to solve this since everyone believes she was born lucky. She couldn't do this alone, so she requires the help of friends, one in particular is the one who helps solve the problem although he hides behind a truth...All in all, I think this was a nice read because there's always something exciting about meeting a new world. However, I do feel that I needed to read the first two books to get to enjoy the book more.I received a free copy of Aligare in exchange of an honest review. You can alfo find it at The Reader and the Chef
Heidi C. Vlach’s writing is magical. There’s an innocence and tone to her authorial voice that feels fresh and young. I haven’t read an author like her, and to me – that’s a good thing as it doesn’t feel like she’s been influenced by any of her favourite writers and instead has developed her own voice and style.The story is excellent. Fantasy is inundated with sword wielding humans, and Heidi has thrown the usual fantasy tropes away to create a world richly imagined and well laid out. Slightly reminiscent of Adrian Tchaikovsky, we follow Rue’s story and grow with her.I loved the fact this was a standalone book. Sometimes I don’t have the time to invest in a series, and reading the last page of this I was satisfied. While I did crave more, I’m glad to read that there will be more stories in the world Heidi has created and I know I’ll be back for me.Lovers of traditional orc and elf heavy fantasy with strong human protagonists might not like this – but those that enjoy fantasy in the ilk of Karen Miller, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and even a hint of China Mieville (in style) will love it.
Heidi C. Vlach’s Render (A Story of Aligare) is OK. However, it started off in a slow, dragging pace. The words somehow depicted a heavy, somber tone. It made me feel a little lost as I try to decipher the images and relevance of the characters, its motives, its meaning. There were some dialogues that the story can do away with to make the plot tighter, more effective. (I received a free copy of this book from the author as a LibraryThing giveaway that I won. I have written my honest opinion about the book.)Note: This was taken from my review on my blog at http://sittiecateslovestories.blogspo...
Excellent fantasy novel with a coming of age feel. The novel reminds me of the Neverending Story but without the humans and for adults. :)
I really like these. They're about small events and small people (no empires here) but they have a lot of depth.