SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1526 Inda, by Sherwood Smith Book Review |

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Inda, by Sherwood Smith
Genre: Faith Based Science Fiction
Publisher: DAW
Published: 2007
Review Posted: 7/10/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 4 out of 10

Inda, by Sherwood Smith

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

I finished Inda by Sherwood Smith last night. This is the first book in the Inda series, and when they say the first book, they mean it. *grin*

In essence, this is a setup book, which introduces the reader to Inda and a motley cast of friends as they are sent to war college as young boys. They've been training with each other and the girls at home (boys defend the land, girls defend the main castle) with games and such, but for the first time in history, the second sons of the ruling families have been sent to the war college their older brothers have attended for the last few years. While training, there is the typical bullying and attacks as the boys separate into their little cliques. Inda befriends Sponge, the second in line to become the king, along with a host of other second sons. But he makes some strong enemies as well, not only among his own group, but among the adults who are using the arrival of the boys and their training to affect the politics of the entire kingdom.

Where Inda excels is in the relationships between the boys and girls. You end up caring for (and hating) many of the characters, and want to follow what happens to them as the story progresses. It also excels at putting you firmly into the world, with slang at the war college and among the girls training that is both different and entirely believable. After introducing us to the main players as a group, establishing hatreds and friendships among them all, Inda then takes a horrible turn and the main players in the group--Inda and Sponge--are forced apart. The second half of the book follows the main characters on their separate paths, and the politics of the adult world begin to entwine them more and more as they grow up. And Inda excels at the politics as well. I've always been drawn to stories that intermix politics with action, and it appears that the Inda series will fulfill that desire well.

In the end, Inda is an excellent fantasy. My issues with the book were minor, one of which is that the titles for the lords and ladies and kings and queens, etc, are not easy to parse. There's an index in the back of the book, but I rarely use such things. I can honestly say that I still don't have all of these straight. Part of the problem is that there are so many of them with variations depending on whether they're at war or not, and part of the problem is that they're all strange spellings. But not being able to follow these didn't detract from an understanding of the plot or the enjoyment of the story.

The other issue isn't really a problem, just something readers should be aware of: this book is most definitely part of a series. The main plot is not resolved by the end of this book, so if you enjoy it, you'll definitely have to continue reading on into the second book, The Fox. I intend to do this, of course, but if you're expecting this book to have a solid resolution . . . it doesn't. It has a satisfactory ending, an obvious turning point for the main characters, but nothing resolved. As I said at the beginning of the review, this book mainly introduces you to the world, the major players (both young and adult), and sets the stage for the politics and the action, betrayals, and war that I expect will follow.

If you keep that in mind, and you're OK with series where you HAVE to read on, then I highly recommend this series. HIGHLY. Sherwood Smith has created an interesting world and filled it with characters I want to read about. I'll definitely be reading on.
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Comments on Inda, by Sherwood Smith
Posted by Milton on 7/18/2013
I read Inda and enjoyed it. The Fox, not so much. Never made it to the third book. A great start but weak follow up.