I REALLY LIKED IT
This was a terribly hard review to write. Honestly, this was sooooooo close to falling into my I LOVED IT category, but when I thought back on my reading, I did a lot of skimming.
What I loved most? The Captain and his weapon, Bloodsounder. Sadly, by the time I really came to be interested in Braylar (and saw him as something more than just your standard tough guy), and was introduced to Bloodsounder, I was 40% into the book. Now, this is a short book, so that’s not a lot of reading, but still. If maybe I had gotten a taste of Bloodsounder a bit earlier on, I might’ve had no problem moving this up because I would have been invested sooner. Unfortunately I can’t say why I loved the Captain and Bloodsounder without ruining it for those who’ve not read the book. I will say when I hit that part I sat up straight and said: “Holy crap, that’s awesome!”
And another crazy fun part about this book? The fight scenes. They are done incredibly well. Detailed and riveting. Those moments I couldn’t get enough of, especially when the Captain is involved. Shame there were only two major fights. There was some tension, don’t get me wrong, but it was the actual fight scenes that amazed me.
So what kept me from loving it and what made me skim? Well, the skimming is simple: Too much description for this girl and too much setup. Of course the descriptions were done wonderfully and really set the scenes. They weren’t excessive, but combined with my other reasons for not loving it, they seemed more prominent to me than they probably were. And then there just seemed to be so much introduction and setting up the characters. Sure, the dialog to do so was fun and watching the soldiers interact was entertaining. I just wish it would have been cut down by half.
This book is in first person, which I generally tend to love. The problem is I found the voice of Arki ... I don’t know, boring, maybe? Flat? Distant? Arki’s descriptions of the soldiers, especially the Captain, were so engaging that it made times when he was not with them seem very flat. I’m not sure how else to describe it. Perhaps I’m used to the first person PoV coming across with a slight bit of humor, or dry observations that make the internal processing sessions fun. Since Arki is along as a scribe meant to document the quest in detail, I guess he goes about it a bit more business-like. I will say toward the end I started catching glimpses of a bit of personality, but it really comes down to a bit too late for me.
On a smaller note, be prepared for a few typos here and there. It’s not excessive, but I did notice a few.
Overall, despite my gripes, I’d recommend this to everyone who loves fantasy. I think my issues with it are minimal and a lot of fantasy fans would love this book. The books are pricey (even for the ebook), so be sure to read a fair share of reviews to make sure you’ll enjoy it.