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4.2 out of 5 stars65
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I very nearly gave up on this book after the first chapter. The prose seemed sluggish with too many unnecessary long words ('proceeded' instead of 'went' etc.). I put it on my "pile to go to the charity shop"... but then reread the other Amazon reviews, all of who seemed to think it was excellent.
So I persevered... and then I realised that each chapter is written in the style of speech of the character. The first chapter's character is a bit grandiose, but then you meet "Rag" who is a street urchin, and her chapter is written with a Cockney lilt.
Very clever - and, having now read all the way through, I am very grateful to the other Amazon reviewers who persuaded me to carry on!
Set in a sort of middle ages, bit of a "Game of Thrones" world - kings and princes, magicians and mercenaries, plots and counter plots - the story clatters along with seven or eight major characters each taking their turn at a chapter... I assume there are several more books in the series to come - as, although the individual characters are well drawn and each of their stories well worth reading - their story arcs are nowhere near approaching each other (yet)... But I will certainly be reading the next one in the series.
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VINE VOICEon 10 August 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm very impressed by this book, a great fantasy world which is gritty and dark and filled with nasty people. At once you are introduced, chapter by chapter to a lot of characters and it can feel from the beginning a little confusing but you need to stick with it and as the book progresses the individual story arcs come together and in some cases merge and you get a more rewarding read. I love some of these characters, Massoum Abassi, Princess Janessa, daughter of King Cael of Steelhaven. Merrick Ryder, Rag, River and my favourite, Waylian Grimm, a magister. The story revolves in and around the great city of Steelhaven, a city not for the faint hearted, danger lurks in every corner and the growing threat from the north and invasion by the warrior Amon Tugha and his armies. This is the first book in a planned series and I am definitely looking forward to reading the second book!
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on 19 September 2014
I am very picky about my fantasy authors with my favourite author being steven erikson, however, I have to say Richard Ford as done an excellent job, I have just completed book 1 and 2 and book 2 is even better than the first. An engaging, gritty, plot laden tale in my favourite genre and I have no hesitation in recommending this book. Nice to find an tale in this genre for adults. Looking forward to the next installment.
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VINE VOICEon 15 May 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Fantasy is a topic that sometimes fails to meet the potential of avid fans. Luckily, I cannot say that about the beginning of this new series. I was surprised, and pleased, that this seems to have got off to a solid start.

The story itself is not outstandingly original, but that isn't really to the detriment of the tale. I find it increasingly difficult to find a fantasy novel that does not contain some of the traditional fantasy staples. When you think about it, though, this is true in any genre of novel. In fact, it is the fantasy staples that fans tend to enjoy so much.

All of that aside, the novel is well-written and is of decent size. The characters are of sound quality, and memorable enough to be able to differentiate them from each other straight away. There is a lot of action in this novel too, which keeps the tale moving on swiftly.

Overall, I would recommend this book to any fantasy fans, and to anyone else who fancies dipping their toes into the genre. I cannot tell you much about the plot for fear that it will spoil your enjoyment, but I do hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I did really enjoy this book and was interested enough that I will happily buy more books set in this world myself, despite the sometimes bog standard elements of the genre that occur. I do like the main characters, the mix of fantasy, adventure and mystery in the plot, and I am eager to get to know the rest of the cast a bit more in future entries to this series.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Hearld of the Storm is an unpretentious, perhaps unremarkable epic fantasy. It also happens to be bloody good. Eschewing the current vogue for 'Grimdark' novels where a darker set of clichés have subverted the old, Ford has opted for well-rounded, believable characters that actually develop. It is his strong characterisation that make the novel so readable, particularly in the last hundred pages.

The structure is of a type I like, with multiple points of view that converge towards a unified whole. At 600+ pages it is perhaps a little long. The overreaching story arc is slow to reveal itself. Indeed, this being the first book in a series, there is still much hidden. It did at one point feel as though I were reading six stories at once, without there being any obvious reason the story was being told that way.

But as the strands entwine the bigger picture begins to come clear, and it's a satisfying landscape to behold. The standard tropes are here. Reluctant royal, Wizard's apprentice, conflicted thief. Also added are a temple warrior, a peerless assassin, a street child and a bitter veteran. On the surface these are nothing new, but Ford brings them to life as people beyond their labels. There are some strong female characters too, which adds another dimension to the book.

Ford's prose is very readable with more than a dash of violence and swearing. Each scene zips along. I devoured the last hundred, hungry to find out what happens. Little is resolved, but there are any number of interesting threads to be gathered in book two. If you like your fantasy simple but hearty there is much to enjoy here, and the promise of much more to come.
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on 30 November 2015
A bloody romp through a criminal underworld and a story that uses a deceptive simplicity to bring the characters to the fore. After a slightly off-putting start where the first eight chapters introduce a new POV character the story settles down and begins to weave the various tales of Steelhaven's population as the threat of a ravening horde draws closer.

Tales of cutpurses and assassins aren't really my thing, I'd have preferred to have a few of the POVs out with the army, but Ford instils a good amount of humanity into each. I realise one of the things that bugged me about the switches early on was that he'd built each one pretty well in their first chapter then jumped away from them. The plots interweave naturally and there's a good balance to it all, so while I never got a huge sense of where the main drive of the series is, I enjoyed the ride greatly and expect things will crank up a notch in the next book, most likely to more of a wider-scale epic style that's even more my bag.
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on 13 January 2016
This is my kind of book. It took me a while to warm to however it was well worth sticking with. Great and complex characters with reluctant heroes. Muck and gore with gritty dialogue and dark humour. One of the best books I have read for years. Bring on book two in the series.
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OK, you want some hard boiled fantasy that has a tough outlook, tougher characters and a world where only the fit survive where a bad day means that you may not have another. Well then, pick up this title by Richard Ford that offers all this and so much more.

Told from various characters point of view, it adds up to an epic new fantasy, which when added to each of their own psychological aspects really brings to life for the reader. They're more than interesting, the really grab you and whilst the author has no problems with death it's a tale that really will keep you guessing as each choice leads to consequences for those within.

Back this up with solid prose, great pace and of course a style that not only suits the epic fantasy genre but more than entices the reader to stay a while all round makes this a series to watch. Great stuff.
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on 18 July 2013
I enjoyed this book. Lets get one thing straight though it is nothing like Abercombie or Martin. As fantasy debut's go this book was enjoyable with a reasonable set of characters. Although there is little morale ambiguity, the characters are still interesting and develop well.

The plot whilst being quite basic moved quickly and had enough in it to keep me intrigued. the multiple story lines flowed and interacted well with one another. I want to learn more about this world and see if the author can bring in a sense of grittyness to his writing, which although he obviously tries to create was lacking.

Overall a good debut, with alot of potential as the author develops.
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