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The 1-line Review:
A seriously quotable fantasy novel .
The longer review:
There were at least 3 lines that I read and had to pause for a second because of how impressive the lines read. The first one that stopped me was “”We have not yet slain the devil: how shall we determine who is to be our new god.” that was a seriously awesome line to me. I can’t find the other 2 quotes for the life of me but there were a couple others that had some real pull.
The story starts off with a Ranger’s Apprentice feel and the rest falls in line with a story similar to The Beyonder’s series. It is a lightning-fast non-magic fantasy. The story is driven by political shifts and espionage, but not to the Level of Game of Thrones. This story would be a great read for a youngster who would love Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, but are too young for those levels of reading.
I was impressed with the sage-ness of the character Mordecani. Many of the ‘quotable wisdoms’ came from him. The main character, prince Korbin, progresses well from start to finish and was a very likable main character. Prince Korbin ages from boy to man and has to fight with feeling of Duty, and a justice of law that must be brought down upon him.
The strength of the writing and flow of the story overcomes any debut novel shortcomings I detail below. I very much enjoyed the book start to finish.
Where the book lost a star:
Half a star for character naming. Down to the end I was confused with character and location names. The author favored names beginning with A (Aeggis, Ascanth, Astrith, Adamah, Addrich) and R (Rotchardin, Raccanith, Radrin, Roald) . The sound of many of the names felt too similar, like how Angie and Angela are similar while Angie and Amanda are less so.
My other gripe was the interjection of a young character in the middle of the novel. There needed to be a flash back type memory or discussion placed somewhere in the beginning of the novel to tie that character to something. Rather it felt completely out of no where.
This was a great debut, I expect the next to really build and flourish off of this first tale. The land of Adamah has real potential to flourish into a great fantasy realm.