22 November, 2015


Title: A Count of Five
Author: Erin L. Snyder
Series: The Citadel of the Last Gathering #1
Genres: Fantasy
Publisher: Idyll Themes Press
Source: Kindle Edition
Pages: 249

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SYNOPSIS: One for the gods of our people Two for the plants they seeded into the earth
Three for the animals they gave gifts of magic
Four for the men who serve the gods
Five for the spirit that sustains everything

Five numbers. Five gods. Five spells for men and five for women. Five ages before the end.

Since history began, this knowledge has defined the world for Alaji’s people, who live along the shores of five holy lakes. But now an army has ridden out of the north led by a powerful and cunning warlord. This, Alaji is told, could mark the end of the last age. The end of men and of time itself.

Alaji has more to fear than invaders. She has learned the five spells of women. But she knows one more: a spell beyond those given to mortals. A spell that that gives her power over time.

To learn a spell of the gods is to challenge them. If discovered, the penalty is death. But harnessing such power may allow Alaji to save her family, or may start her on a journey ranging farther than they could have ever imagined.

A Count of Five is the first novel in a new series, The Citadel of the Last Gathering, exploring a fantasy world on a massive scale.

I saw this book on NetGalley and the summary caught my attention. Spells, Gods, Adventures...!

THE WORLD: The story takes us to an ancient time, in a land with five lakes where a tribe (well, a village) has settled in. I wish I had a map to show because I cannot even imagine this land myself... further in the book the main character also travels to the Hathari Empire, try to contact Citadel... it is a very complex world.

CHARACTERS: The main character is Alaji (Ah-la-gee?). She lives in the land of the Five Lakes with her parents and her brother. The book starts with Alaji and her brother spying on a group of Northern men guided by the leader, Hollik, whose intentions are conquering the territory. Thus, Alaji's village is at risk of being destroyed and her people murdered. The interesting thing is that these people have learn to count by fives (not tenths) and they posses the knowledge of spells. Women learn 5 spells that have to do with women's jobs like sewing, taking care of animals, fire, etc and men learn another set of 5 dealing with hunting like silence spell, speed, endurance, etc.
After an event that changes everything, Alaji's village is attacked by Hollik's men and Alaji escapes from safety to go into battle to kill Hollik by using a "God's" spell of time travelling, meaning a spell that is not part of the women's and men's set and it is supposed to be used only by the Gods. The penalty for using it is death but she uses it anyway to try to kill Hollik... she is interrupted by a man called Yemerik. After that everything gets super tangled. New information is revealed: people can time travel both to the past and to the future. Alaji is very confused and she ends up doing stupid things that messes up with the time line. I'll stop here now but just be aware that it is a very complex story.

By the way, there are many more characters introduced but they were not so important maybe only the last one, Imn Orith, I have the feeling he will be important in the next book.

LOVE: No love. Yay!

PLUS: I liked all the history parts. The history of the Five Lakes and how the land will change in the next centuries. I also liked the spells although I still haven't figured out why counting to five is so important, it has to do with the pattern but well... I hope it is better explained in the next book.

Alaji was a good character. She makes stupid choices sometimes but I can understand why since nobody tells her anything ever and Alaji has to solve every single problem by herself. Yemerik helped a bit though but still...

The woman! I want to know the mystery! Who is she? What does she want?

MINUS: The world is so confusing! The time lines are so confusing! Now I go to this place on year 600 then I move to another place on year 1389 argh my head hurt after thinking about it. Me confused!

OVERALL: 3.5 stars. This is one of those books with a world so complex that people need to read it twice to understand it. I had to read The Name of the Wind twice as well because the first time just wasn't enough to understand it. This being said I give it 3.5 stars but I am pretty sure if I read it again after some time it could go up to 4 stars.

What do you guys think about A COUNT OF FIVE?