I REALLY LIKED IT
I must confess, when I first started reading this book I was a tad bit bored. It took about a quarter of the way into it before I found myself wanting to pick it up. At about 60 percent in, I was engrossed. It’s a story about a man, Alsed, who has lived in a walled-in city all his life. The place he lives in is cut off from the rest of the world, literally walled up from it. What was interesting was the fact that the people in the city had no idea what was going on outside. That is, until one day when Alsed rescues a woman. I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say that Alsed and the woman go outside the walls with a group of volunteers and go off to help the said woman’s country. Once outside, Alsed and his friends must learn about the world rather quickly. That interaction was my favorite part. However . . .
Boy was it heavy in history. Some of it was worked in nicely, using dialog and a setting to teach us. Others, it just felt so long to me. Keep in mind, I tend to glaze over when it comes to backstory and history lessons about the world. I would prefer to receive the info in quick interactions or maybe some spruced up dialog. This felt just a bit hand fed. Since this happened a lot in the beginning, I think that’s why it took me so long to get into it.
Some of the lore and creatures were quite interesting and fun to read about. What/who the group encountered on their little adventure was also entertaining. It had a questy type feel about it once they left the walled city of Sakaret, which I found very fun to read. The action picked up, it had a bit of gore, some good fight scenes, and some great character interactions.
Speaking of characters, I sadly never connected with one in particular. They were fun to read about, I didn’t hate any of them, and I loved the fact that we stayed with the group instead of moving around between a thousand different story lines. It was refreshing. It had a few PoV’s, but like I said, the group stayed together so I enjoyed the fresh perspective. Unfortunately, there were a few sections of head hopping that threw me. Especially since it seemed the author was breaking the sections out by PoV.
As far as the writing goes, for the most part I found it extremely enjoyable. It did tend to be a bit lengthy in the beginning, but it evened out, and by half way I wasn’t skimming any descriptions, some of which were amazing. Unfortunately, I found quite a few editing errors in my version. None of it turned me off from the book, but if that sort of thing drives you crazy, you might want to wait for a second edition.
Overall, an entertaining read.
*I received an ARC from StoryCartel