A thousand years ago the gods known as The Four created the Immortals to protect and defend their world against an invader known as the Dro-Aconi—and then vanished. Left to fend for themselves, the three races of Ein-Aral and the Immortals banded together to save the world.
Ivo, Jaeger, Jadeth, and Emaranthe must protect a desert village and its hoard of Starstone. Can the companions battle inner demons long enough to defeat legions of enemies and keep the enemy from stealing the Starstone, or is this merely the beginning of an even greater quest?
I’d picked this one up a while back, and it’s been buried in my “need to review” stack for a while. After reading, I’m wondering if I’d had an idea that I wasn’t going to be thrilled with this one.
I’ll get into the specifics here in a bit, but I will say upfront – there’s either too much of the tale told, or not enough. This is a novella, but I think it would have been much better off if it had been developed into a full novel. (Double in length, at least!) There’s an interesting premise that runs through the tale, and enough questions raised that I wish would have been answered. It’s well enough written that I don’t feel it’s a complete waste of time, yet after reading I wasn’t satisfied with what did make up the story. It’s doubtful I’ll be returning to read this one again.
The first word that comes to mind for this section is “inconsistent.” There is not enough information given, except for the names of places (and races? species? peoples?) to define where the story takes place. All you can understand is that this is happening somewhere “out there.” Most of this installment occurs in the desert, and the dichotomy occurs here as well – is the world dying, has died, or is this just a naturally occurring desert?
Distances also have a habit of being inconsistent as the tale progresses. Some of the issues I can do enough mental gymnastics to explain as the heat of battle, or nerves that occur before battle is joined. However, there’s some inconsistencies I cannot explain at all, which leaves me frustrated trying to figure out where events are happening relative to the internal chronology.
The weather – to a degree the inconsistencies are explained. Yet, again, there’s enough inconsistency here to make a suspension of belief very difficult. Even with the prevalent magic, there’s a couple of places when the weather didn’t play by the rules that were semi-explained.
For once, in a fantasy book, the magic system finds itself brought out as a highlight. What I could understand of the system enhanced what little consistency I could assemble of the physical world, but there were also inconsistencies in this as well.
There is none. This is a true quest driven story, as such the characters are born into the world at full strength, continue at full strength, and end the story at full strength. There is limited interaction between them, and that is stilted and strained. The tiny bit of interaction between the heroes and villains gives almost no humanity to the good guys, nor does it explain why they are good, what they want, or how they hope to achieve it. The one driving force for the entire installment is given in the prologue, after that things turn flat.
This one felt rushed all the way through. I think it may have been because of the length, rather than the story. From the first page there’s something that has to be done yesterday, and the frantic scramble to finish doesn’t stop until the last page.
Overall, this was an interesting premise, it just didn’t have a good delivery for me. Even with all the faults I’ve listed above, I still enjoyed what I read, which goes a long way to redeeming the work. As such, I’m giving it 3 of a possible 5 stars.
If you are curious and wish to read a sample, or purchase this book, it is available on Amazon here. Happy reading everyone!
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