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Birthright and The Serpent Scales Review,
This review is from: Diablo: Birthright Bk. 1: The Sin War (Diablo: The Sin War) (Mass Market Paperback)I've been an avid fan of the Diablo video games for some time and having not had the opportunity to read any of the previous Diablo books I found myself owning a copy of Birthright.
The plot centres on Uldyssian a farmer from the small village of Seram who is constantly plagued by the deaths of his immediate family to a pestilence. His only surviving relative is his brother Mendeln, who also takes on the roll as a focus point in the series.
After an altercation with a missionary from the Cathedral of Light he is thrust into the spotlight following the missionary's gruesome demise.
The writing in this series is pretty good, although I do feel that it improves greatly by the second novel, almost as if Richard Knack has expanded his vocabulary, as in 'Birthright' you will come to notice the overuse of certain words. To name one specifically 'countenance', which just so happens to be used dozens of times in this - essentially short novel. With that said though by 'Scales of the Serpent' the writing and vocab is much improved and it's never really 'bad', quite the opposite.
The first novel, as you would expect from a trilogy, is very much about setting the scene and introducing the characters and it does so very well. The characters are portrayed adequately and support the main plot twists effectively, whilst some get less page space than others, you will find yourself siding with one or two of the main bunch and cringing at the others.
'Birthright' focuses predominantly on telling you the story behind the Temple of the Triune, one of the two major religions in the Sin War universe, whilst the second novel 'Sacles of The Serpent' concentrates its focus on the Cathedral of Light. Whilst the two religions are essentially painted as the main threat it soon becomes clear
that the common enemy is a demoness by the name of Lilith, the daughter of Mephisto. The writer has fun having the characters wage war against the temples whilst putting down obstacles from Lilith, who appears very much like a Loki/Puck esque villan, very mischievous but a threat none the less. I personally feel that so far, Lilith has been an excellent villain partly to the fact that Knack has done a really good job making her down right annoying.
The general pace is steady throughout but it really picks up speed in the second novel and whilst it does introduce a few new characters it doesn't stall the plot too much. You will be grateful to know that the second novel answers many questions from the first, enough to satisfy whilst asking many more presumably to setup the concluding novel.
The third novel has finally been released and I will be picking it up shortly, but for those who were waiting to see if the completed form was worth their time then I can assure you it certainly is. A short but enjoyable read for fans of the Diablo franchise.