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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2013
It's fair to say that I am addicted to fantasy fiction novels and series present me with wholesome and abject escapism. This wonderful first book is more than enough to captivate me and send me rushing to purchase the others in this series. A previous reviewer likened David A Wells to David Eddings, having read all of his books I can categorically conclude that Wells is superior in every way. More of the same please.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2013
I enjoyed this story. It was fast-paced, engaging & the good characters were likeable.

I especially liked the fact that there is a good amount of descriptive narrative in this tale. I enjoy being able to mentally see, in detail, what the author is imagining his character's surroundings are like, what food they're eating, what finery they're wearing. It adds a greater depth to what's happening.

There were a few point that irked me, but only slightly. I found the repetition of the main character's back story a little annoying at times, as did I the description of his newly acquired fighting instinct. Then there was the Americanisms; I'm sure a prince in medieval-like times wouldn't have referred to his mother as 'mom'.

However, despite the down points, this initial instalment displays some good potential & I think it's worth investing some time to this series.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2013
Well, I gave it a go, but I will not be continuing with any of the other books. For some it was the endless "slathering" of butter over biscuits, but for me it was the use of the term "the man who was not a man" some twenty or so times in the space of a couple of pages along with the way a physical description of a character was crudely shoehorned into the narrative every time someone new was introduced. Maybe, as some have suggested, the book is aimed at a young audience, but it was just too poorly written for me to care about the plot. I was half expecting the villain to twirl his moustache as he contemplated his evil plots. Too crudely written and too childish in its morality for me.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2013
I was intrigued by the short description about this book, so started reading it, when I actually came out of neutral reading mode, I realised I was at chapter 10, this story just flows without any need to think too hard about it, with characters, places and things that by their description appear very easily in the cinema in the mind, also known as imagination. I have already purchased the other 3 books in the series, I'm sure they will live up to the expectation of more brilliant descriptive storytelling at its best. A great first of series book, with a great storyline to proceed to tell. Very impressed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2013
This book was recommended to me by a friend and to be honest I did not hold out much hope. However by the time I was halfway through I had bought the rest of the series. Nice easy reading with a great story and interesting characters. Anybody with a love of fantasy books should give it a go and let's face it at the price you can get it for you'd be mad not to. Must go as book 2 is waiting
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2013
This book actually grew on me,yes the author has a tendency to be over descriptive on mundane things, do we really need a page on how the tables are set out at a banquet? Again there isn't much new here but then that could probably be said for most new fantasy novels & it's easy to see where some of the plot ideas came from.There were a couple of concepts that didn't work for me,the Gorleon for example, just not sure why anyone would want to cross a Gorilla with a reptile & at this stage our lead character reading the magic "skillbook" hasn't really done much.I have seen enough to make me buy the second but at this stage not fully ready to invest in the whole series so far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2013
Great story with characters I care about. Very direct writing style which drew me in right from the start. I've just finished this and I would usually switch to a book by a different author by way of variety but not this time, I'm off to download the next book right now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2013
Whilst this is not perfect (yes some phrases are overused) some of the complaints in some reviews are bordering on snobbish I feel. Yes we now like and expect complex characters and plots in Fantasy these days but sometimes I think the reason of fantasy books is forgotten. To me that is escapism and adventure. And this book really gives me that sense of enjoyment that reading fantasy fiction all those years ago gave me! Yes, like I mentioned this is by no means perfect but if you're after a good, roaring fantasy then I'd recommend to really give this a go. And also at the price you can't grumble! I will definitely be picking up the next books.
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on 24 August 2014
Two stars for the storyline, another for the improvement in writing style throughout, and a fourth because (as a fellow lover of writing fantasy fiction) I have genuine respect for the author. Foremost, my congratulations for writing a novel, Mr Wells, and I have endless praise for your commitment to the series and for your unrelenting belief in your work. It saddens me a little to have to continue a little negatively about the first installment of the series.
Granted, I'm only able to judge this book as it's the only one of Mr Wells' I've read so far, and I wasn't particularly blown away by the start of the book. The entry into the series had the potential to set the tone for the remainder of the novel, and instead came across hurried, dispassionate and repetitive. At first the writing style and basic vocabulary had the feel of teen fiction.
I persevered, however, and grew to enjoy Wells' storytelling once I'd accustomed to it. I felt Wells 'told' me the story rather than let me believe I was there. I was also not so impressed with the lack of character perspective, as it shifted several times per chapter. In some ways this was a fresh approach that felt as though I was watching a movie, though it came at the expense of Wells truly getting his teeth stuck into characterisation and development. Alexander became a 'generic good guy' and his companions seemed to float in and out of existence as means to fill a role, rather than being people I really wanted to invest in.
Wells' passion for action shines through, and something always lurked around the corner. I quite liked this, but I also felt carefully placed dialogue would have helped the author to curb his characters 'over thinking', which seemed inserted as a means to fill the gap between action scenes. Alexander's backstory became a chore to read repeatedly. Yes, Darius died. I don't know how many times Alexander's moments of over thinking reminded me of this. I know it was the author's intent to drive this fact home ... and it worked to begin with, but it soon became monotonous.
To quickly put the remainder of my negativity to one side, the Americanisms irked me some. 'Mom' and 'Dad' being words that stuck out. There were others but I don't remember them. All they ever seemed to snack on was biscuits, and the author repeated certain phrases throughout, practically word for word.
On the other hand, there's a lot of positive things to be said. I was impressed with the standard of grammar and spelling, and the use of punctuation. The author worded certain sentences beautifully, and others he worded unconventionally, but they worked. His narration flowed well after the first few chapters, which were a little clunky in comparison, and was overall easy to follow. His writing style went from teen novel to a good standard throughout the course of the book. It was as though he found his muse half way through, though to really have given this book the best start possible I'd have suggested he give (the beginning, at least) one final draft before publishing, so that the standard matched the remainder of his work.
I wasn't particularly gripped by the storyline, but fantasy is a hit-and-miss genre anyway. It's a well-worn path, and so writing something unique is more difficult than it might appear. Still, Wells' formula worked ... and there is something about it that keeps you flicking those pages.
A solid start to his (presumably) first series. And I felt the author's note at the end was a really nice touch. I wish Mr Wells all the best in the future of his stories.
For those who claim this is the worst free fantasy book on the market, you clearly haven't chanced upon reading the atrocity that is The Sorcerer's Ring. Ouch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2013
Terrific series hooked in from the first chapter, very likable characters and drew connection with them quickly eager to find out what happens to them. Only problem i had with series is losing sleep during the week.
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