This is the first of a two part ensemble that is rich in flavour and simplistic in nature. It is one of those books you need to sit and read after having a busy day. Relax and let the inviting descriptive writing transport you into a world with two moons, two deities, and two distinct personalities, where all is not what it seems. Allow this book into your soul and enjoy a traditional fantasy book, with a mixture of fabulous heroes, evil antagonists, Elves, Dwarves, Fairies, the usual fantasy creatures, ogres that have ferocious appetites and magicians with quirky natures.
The story opens with the preparation in the country of Aralorr of the annual Assembly, which by tradition is held at Ilswythe Castle, the ancestral home of War Commander, Lord Keth and Lady Alovi. The sons of Ilswythe, twins Kelyn and Kieryn are the protagonists within the multi layered plot. They, and a host of many support characters, are introduced as they visit for games, feasting, frivolity and political bargaining with King Rhorek (The Black Falcon).The twins are shown as realistic characters, though eighteen years of age, are still bemused by mysterious late night visitors, pranks and the love of goading each other into ribald acts of false bravery, they have yet to grow into mature adulthood.
During this time of activity, there is an assassination attempt on King Rhorek, by the neighbouring kingdom. Coupled with treachery, fuelled by long years of silent humiliation and jealousy, will rock the assembly to its core. Then together, with forbidden magic unleashed, will confound the assembly; causing ripple effects that will spread like vermin throughout all the lands. The resultant disease will be known as the Falcons War.
The sons of Ilswythe will each play a major role within the main plot. They will however; separate to find their own identity and journey into adulthood. Kelyn, the articulate, womaniser and warrior son, becomes knighted and follows his father into the battle. He impacts plot sequences fiercely; weaving in and out of many major scenes. He becomes known for his swordsmanship, honour, tactical abilities, bravado and cockiness. He matures to the beat of the war drums, finding it represents heartache, pain and loss.
Kieryn the shy quiet Scholar, will discover love, hidden magic, an ancestral legacy, and a powerful inner strength, only merging at the sides of the main plot in volume 1. A subplot weaves through the second half of volume one. Revolving around Kieryn, drawing him into areas of an ancient reclusive race, the Elaran; with knowledge of forbidden magics, formidable characters, friends and where a deadly foe awaits. Lady Aerdria and Lothiar become a focal point, for which dramatic events will take place in volume two.
The main support characters, Lord Keth, King Rhorek, Lady Rhoslyn, and Alovi plus many more colourful secondary characters will depict life and death struggles and learning’s of their own. These inner story layers also twist in and out the main plot creating psychological significance to the protagonists and their lives.
The Antagonist is King Shadryk (The white falcon). His lands are known as Fieran. His ancestors had preached through the ages that his line had the right to rule the two continents, one land and one king. Wars have been fought over many previous years, with compromise found to be the only winner. That urge to rule and conquer had once again risen. Sending assassins to kill King Rhorek at the Lord Keths home was a grave insult and mistake. Although a ruthless leader and blood thirsty killer he has a few honourable traits and does not suffer fools easily. His three children will eventually fight their own battles within the following books.
The plot is played out over the two volumes, which causes a failure within the inherent structure of the story in volume one. It was difficult to discern by the end of volume one at what point of the curve we were at. No actual climax, winding down or resolution evident, the tale seemed to be still building, in a steady paced, rhythmical flow. This is a total injustice to an entertaining tale.
There is confidence within the quality of the word building and sentence structures. This enhanced the design of the beautifully crafted themes and settings. There were fairly descriptive authentic battle scenes with good character strength and emotional voice, grammatically quite good. Transition from descriptive through narrative to communicative voice was seamless, internal monologues however, allowed for the characters personality to shine through. A few dialogue/speaker tags did not upset the rhythm or flow, though deleting these would only enhance the story quality.
Although this tale has a simplistic familiarity to it, there is enough balance of character and plots to show clarity and originality in thought and execution. While the story divides as the twins go their separate ways, the story maintains harmony and gives each protagonist the same amount of plot time, effectively rounding their characters into three dimensional endearing adults. The main and support characters all grow at differing rates as per the story line, enabling realistic elements to secrete themselves into a tale of fantasy, war and mystery. To enhance the e-readers experience a map and glossary of terms would be better placed within the e-book, not on a separate website.
I must stress reading volume two is imperative to understanding the holistic experience of this endearing tale. It has twists and turns creating a more complex quality read. Book two which is actually the third book in the series is now out and it is fabulous, dealing with the main characters next generation. This series is not one to miss if you like traditional fantasy.
Thank- you for inviting the reader on your journey, the first instalment to a wondrous fantasy series.
Question to ponder:
(What is the story behind these first and second volumes? Was this one large book just split down the middle for formatting to e-book?).
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|2. Grammar :
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|4. Plot /Story line:
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|5. Bigger Picture:
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(3.6 / 5)
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