I Really Liked It
There were some great things I really enjoyed about this book. First, there are talking horselike creatures that are rather nifty and the Rift people have horses they are extremely fond of. I’m a huge fan of incorporating animals in books so it was very pleasant to read about the connection the characters had with these animals. Might have been my favorite part.
Something I also liked was the main protagonist, the Rift King himself. Unlike most of our heroes, he’s not a towering walking mass of muscle, not that I mind those. He’s short, missing an arm, and rather skinny. Furthermore, he kinda gets hurt a lot. That’s not to say he’s weak; he can actually be a bit of a badass. As much as I enjoyed it, I also found that Blain’s constant referral to his childlike size made me think of him more as a child, or at least a teenager, when he’s actually thirty. Even in the book he’s mistaken as a child. It screws with my perception a bit.
Of course, I like the fact the Rift King has overcome some major obstacles. He’s had a bad round of it, but he keeps fighting. He’s a strong character and one you can get behind. He has some vulnerabilities that were touched on, which I hope we see more of in the second book. Which brings me to my next thought: This felt like a setup. There was a lot of information thrown at you with little initial explanation, and several things were more hinted at; vague sentences that later revealed themselves. Honestly, this was the biggest negative for me. If I would have known some stuff up front, I would have had more sympathy for the characters. I would have understood more. I would have connected more. Sometimes I felt like I was in the dark trying to find my way to the door with little luck. To compound that feeling, I did find myself a bit lost during some action scenes. This just might be because I lack a solid imagination.
Another thing I enjoyed was the relationship between the Guardians and the Rift King. It was interesting to read about and gave the story a nice lift. I might still be a bit confused about the whole Rift people and their traditions, but it’s coming together. Like I said, this book felt like a setup for book 2 in the fact that it’s got a base, but there’s still a lot of questions and thoughts half explored. It was annoying, but it’s got me curious enough that I’ll be reading book 2 when it comes out.
These negatives kept me at the slightest distance. Still, there were some very interesting ideas in this book and I enjoyed the story immensely. I hope now that we have a nice built up base that book 2 will be more satisfying.