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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a series
This is a very typical farm girl inherits great powers and is destined to save or destroy the world. Ive never had a problem with typical fantasy stories especially when they are well told. Call of the Herald is no exception, its a very well told story and beautifuly written. I felt major parts of the story happened too suddenly and were a bit OTT but this book is...
Published on 29 Jun. 2011 by Zed

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slighty predictable yet enjoyable
Along with most other reviewers I too chose this book because it was free. This is a not untypical tale of "otherworld middle ages" type books. There is nothing here that hasn't been seen before and at times I found the characters to be a little bit... twee I suppose is the closest word I can think of.

Having said this I have to agree that the premise of the...
Published on 25 Oct. 2011 by twocities


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a series, 29 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is a very typical farm girl inherits great powers and is destined to save or destroy the world. Ive never had a problem with typical fantasy stories especially when they are well told. Call of the Herald is no exception, its a very well told story and beautifuly written. I felt major parts of the story happened too suddenly and were a bit OTT but this book is blatantly the intro to an epic tale. With some great characters and enjoyable pace to the story I am looking forward to the next one as these are the types of books that get better and better. Definately recommend this.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic first novel, 6 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I confess that I chose this fantasy based on the fact that it was a FREE Kindle ebook. But what a great choice!

This is the tale of Catrin, her protector, and small group of friends at the start of an an epic tale.

I immediately liked it and thought it was very nicely written. It's not a disturbing, frightening or cutting edge tale - but it is hugely enjoyable.

Just let yourself go along with the tale and you won't regret it. The author, Brian Rathbone, is one to watch!

and did I say that Call of the Herald - The Dawning of Power was FREE??!! Even if there is now a small charge it's still a great read!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slighty predictable yet enjoyable, 25 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Along with most other reviewers I too chose this book because it was free. This is a not untypical tale of "otherworld middle ages" type books. There is nothing here that hasn't been seen before and at times I found the characters to be a little bit... twee I suppose is the closest word I can think of.

Having said this I have to agree that the premise of the story is sound and the plot quite well written. I would be quite happy to pay a reasonably small price for other books in the series. A decent read but not in my opinion anything much out of the ordinary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning! a highly addictive trilogy but brilliant, 19 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book. Normally when reading a trilogy of series of books I try to read another book in between, after reading this book I had to read the 2nd and 3rd straight away!!
For those not used to the fantasy genre this book is a wonderful and gentle introduction.
The book is gripping and the characters likeable. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars easy read, great series, 14 Oct. 2011
By 
Amazon Customer (LARKHALL, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I, too chose this as it was free, but what a great way to be introduced to new authors. I found this whole series (so far) easy to read and very engaging and was very happy to purchase later books in the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Promising Start, Hopefully Hinting At More To Come, 8 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
SPOILERS BELOW

In my own quest to continue and complete my own fantasy writing, I've been encouraged from all quarters to increase my reading and writing quotient, so I'll be writing some reviews of some of the newer / different things I've come across, starting with COTH, which is Book 1 in The Dawning Of Power trilogy.

I met Brian Rathbone indirectly through Twitter and we exchanged a few messages. Since publishing COTH in 2010 Rathbone has been prolific, completing the trilogy and working on other trilogies. Being the first, COTH seems a good place to start.

Catrin, our heroine, begins as a farmhand everywoman - or, to be more precise, everyschoolgirl. She begins the book as a student in a sort of provincial, parochial Hogwarts. Through events quite unexpected and unplanned on her part, she begins to realise that she possesses vast untapped powers, able to control the earth's natural energies - she is at first able to do this only unconsciously, like Dr Bruce Banner as The Incredible Hulk; but gradually she learns to accept and control her freakish abilities. She is a little ragged in places, but her progression from school pupil to demi-goddess is kept just the right side of credible thanks to the emotional link to the home she must leave behind.

Being YA, the overt theme of the book is the loss of innocence but, much like Harry Potter, a mutual reliance upon the kindness of friends and growing up fast. While these are principle themes, the book does not satisfy itself with just handling these typical tropes and dabbles in more high-concept stuff, such as transcendence, spiritualism, and self-sacrifice.

In terms of a cast, there are quite a few recognisable characters in the mix: Catrin's motley band of boy friends (not boyfriends - things are kept nice and clean) include her brave cousin Chase, the plump and accident-prone Osbourne and the genial stable boy Strom. Overseeing them all are the figures of Catrin's father, and his valet Benjin, who quickly reveals himself to be a type of Obi-Wan / Gandalf figure who shepherds the young people through their emerging adventure. Nat Dersinger, a possibly mad / schizophrenic fisherman-cum-seer, is the best character is the book, a tatterdemalion of obsessive-compulsive self-doubt and self-determination who is driven towards pursuit of Catrin.

While the characters may be somewhat typical, especially for YA, they are deftly handled: Catrin is a sympathetic and likeable heroine, and Benjin is well concealed to begin with, such that his reveal as a member of the ancient sect of guardian-warriors protecting Catrin's secret - is genuinely surprising. The two main character-related frustrations are: the absence of a central villain figure; we do get a hint of one in the prologue, and then not a great deal more, which does remove some of the emotional power Rathbone can wring from the story. Secondly, Nat Dersinger remains woefully unexplored; he is an interesting and sympathetic character to read, but feels suspiciously like a plot device in the way he appears; I'd like to see him given more to do later in the series.

The start is terrific, and the sense of threat - from the mundane viciousness of the school bullies that leads to Catrin's inadvertent unleashing of her earthly powers, to the more profound and existential menace provided by the militaristic Zhjon peoples looking to conquer the Godhead and find Catrin - is palpable.

It's unfortunate then, that the pace starts to drift when Catrin, along with Benjin have to leave to escape the Zhjon. There is quite a lot of travelling which is detailed a little too extensively, and as a result the sense of impending imperilment diminishes considerably, making the middle section drag. There is an action scene showing an attack by hornets which feels pointless and unthreatening, and a scene where Catrin mistakes her friends for Zhjon soldiers - apparently there was some real action, but it took place where the reader could not see, owing to Catrin being the main POV character and being removed from it. These are more than mere quibbles because it makes the reader have to work for the final section of the book.

It is therefore with welcome relief that the Arghast, tribal horsemen who bear more than a passing resemblance to the Dothraki from A Song Of Ice And Fire, given their spiritual bonds with their horses, their penchant for infighting and their unfamiliarity with the sea. With their arrival, roughly two-thirds in, the pace quickens markedly, the conflict is brought into bear and excitement builds as the Arghast side with Catrin against the oncoming Zhjon army. The climax is unexpectedly fresh, brutal and quick, particularly when contrasted with the somewhat sleepy middle act. During the battle scenes Rathbone's writing foregoes the sense of the epic, preferring to focus in upon the individual moments. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and may be a matter of taste. I get the feeling that as the characters grow, so will the sense of epic.

One slightly jarring note is the way the POV characters are used; Catrin is undoubtedly the protagonist and hogs the lion's share of the narration - yet Nat, Chase, Benjin and others all have POV scenes, but they are protracted and we are not permitted the time or space to explore their own states of mind. Given the ending of the book (the main group of characters are separated), the book seems quite expositionary, with the promise that they will be explored in greater depth later in the series.

It might be that these quibbles are pointing out common symptoms of a self-published book, and perhaps it would be doing the book a disservice to pick up on such symptoms when they may be eliminated upon professional publication. And it certainly shouldn't detract from the fact that the bones of a potentially exciting and rich book are in here. The middle act notwithstanding, the book is enjoyable and the world of the Godsland is rich, vibrant and well-written, and I will certainly be exploring more books in the series in the future.

Rating: 3 / 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable action you have to read this it's great, 13 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is a great book in the Lord of the Rings type, it is slow to start then the action starts non stop page after page. You simply cant stop reading as it pulls you from page to page with none of the page filling antics of other books. So if you think you dont like it after a few pages, then don't give up, keep going then you are hooked till the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A light easy read, 13 Sept. 2011
By 
Jordan Paterson "A book a day!" (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed reading this fast paced fantasy story based on a young girl who inherits great power and the path this takes her and her friends on is one that is easy to follow, interesting to read and made me order the second book in the series as I wanted to know the outcome.

Not a booked I'd tell all my friends to read but one i enjoyed on my daily commute.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great first part to the trilogy., 28 Oct. 2014
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I really enjoyed listening to this story. Having it read by the author is good as he obviously knows how he wants the spoken parts to be said, and the correct pronunciation of names.

I drive a lot in my job and this story made the journeys much more enjoyable.

I had to keep listening as I had to know what happened next.
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4.0 out of 5 stars decent enough, 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (The Dawning of Power trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I agree with a previous review that this book is slightly predictable but still enjoyable. I wasn't blown away, but I found the story engaging enough. The style of writing is good, although I think the author needs to have a look at ways to impart urgency without spelling it out for the reader.

Still, good tale and I'm off to get the next in series now, which is as good a review as anything!! :) It's still free on Kindle as I write this review - it's certainly worthwhile downloading and reading. I have a feeling now the set up is done, the action might start to become a bit more..well....actiony!! (just showing why I review books and don't write them I suppose!!)
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