I must say that the fact that the main characters are very much mature and well-developed kinda surprised me, given that this book falls in the ‘hack and slash’ genre of fantasy which is not exactly my favorite. That said, I am glad I found this book because it made my boring Sunday evening really exciting. The real action, though, begins somewhere on page no. 200 or so. There are both good and bad points about this book, which I would list them below:
a) The story is quite gripping and full of action. The plot is quite coherent and not jerky. I particularly liked how the villains were trying to force Aleena to fight for their sake. It was agonizing and humorous at the same time
b) The main characters are well-etched, multi-dimensional characters
c) The female protagonist is not portrayed as some weak, ineffectual individual. Rather she is a very powerful woman with gladiatorial skills and a ‘never say die’ attitude. I admire her, really. When she meets her soul mate things only get better for her (obviously) though she and her partner have different ways of dealing with forces of evil.
d) The helpful quotes on several pages of the book help to understand the story even better
e) The dialogs vary according to the situation; for example, sometimes it is lighthearted and humorous, while at other times, quite serious:
“Aye, it is,” he said, nodding. “And spirit is strengthened and cleansed much the same way. Take heart, lassie. One day ye’ll be done with these fools and be free to go onto better things.”
“Your comfort with your solitude, your silent ways, all of those simply magnify their incomprehension and hate. By functioning without their approval, you demonstrate you don’t need them, an unforgivable offense to people who base their entire worth on social standing.”
a) The birth of the ‘Chosen’ was described in such an over the top manner that you would feel as if it is the second coming of Jesus 🙂 This, is a minor quibble I have though
b) The supporting and minor characters were not as fully-etched as the main characters. Whether it was deliberate or a missed chance, I dunno, but if only the author would take the time to develop them, the ethical and moral issues frequently raised in this book would have been more powerfully convincing. The villains don’t have much depth to their characters other than that they are supposed to be forces of evil.
c) The author needs not describe battles in such minute details that it becomes boring. Truly speaking, in order for the epic battles to be really exciting, as far as the fantasy genre is concerned, the more briskly they are handled the better. I understand some readers might want a bit more detail but I still think some of the excessive details could have been edited out
Nevertheless this is a great first attempt from the author and I would love to read more books from the him. Here is hoping the next book would have more mature supporting characters.