- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1143 KB
- Print Length: 368 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615935753
- Publisher: Nef House Publishing; 3 edition (10 Dec. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00H9Y47LS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,662 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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The Goblin Wars Part One: Siege of Talonrend: (Epic Fantasy; Book One of the Goblin Wars Series) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Similarly, it's no coincidence either that all the best fantasy centres around interesting characters. The Siege of Talonrend is no different: the characters have their own unique voice. What struck me most about them -- sticking with the fantasy-comparison thing I have going on here -- is that they had a degree of complexity to their motivations that I find, unfortunately, lacking elsewhere sometimes. Gravlox and Vorst especially interested me here.
The story is interesting and develops well, with excellent pacing that builds until it moves a hundred miles an hour at the end. I won't spoil any part of it, but I will say that the end, the last few chapters, were -- to me -- the best part of the book. They were quick, they were exciting, and, having read them, I couldn't wait to read the next book. And that's exactly what I will do.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
But I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. There was a lot to both like and dislike here. In pointing those things out, I hope to both give feedback to Mr. Thaman and grow as a writer myself.
Spoiler warning: I will give everything away without a shred of mercy or tact!
Still here? Great! Let’s dive into them tunnels and start digging!
The first part of the Gobllin Wars series offers exactly what it says. In any other case, that’d probably be very bad thing. Goblins were, are, and will stay an overused fantasy race. A Tolkinistic atavism. Luckily, Mr. Thaman has put his particular twist on these little buggers, giving them a mistress reminiscent of the good old Overmind. This, in my opinion, worked marvelously. Especially later, when her control over the creatures starts to fizzle out. Different individuals deal with their newfound freedom in their own different ways, which was fascinating to see. To me, this was likely the most interesting part of the book.
On the other hand, we learn of the aforementioned Lady Scrapple through lengthy exposition, which significantly dulls her impact. In fact, I think that if the prologue were to be omitted entirely, the scene of her dramatic rage near the end would have given her at least twice the punch.
I found the city of Talonrend a lovely place. I really liked everything about it. Its backstory is mysterious and tickles the imagination about what might be happening behind the scenes. The architecture is marvelous, its defensive systems are imaginative, and I’d have been saddened to read about its winged spires getting plucked and broken. Great work on the city there.
Mr. Thaman seems to have a knack for the grandiose in general. The war at the end of the book was very, very well described, especially from the perspective of the human prince. It was a pleasure to read.
On the other hand, while I found myself invested in Talonrend itself, I could barely get into most if the book’s characters. Gravlox was good. So was Vorst, most of the time. Why most of the time, you ask? Because pieces.... or rather chunks of her character development just seemed to happen. She falls in love with Gravlox practically offscreen. They kind of win a fight, and the next we see them they are making out as part of some healing magic. Why? I’m not saying this has no sense, but I’d liked to have seen at least a hint of why this was happening. The goblin commander was also very well done, no complaints about him at all. An effectively conceived and executed semi-tragic villain right there.
Speaking about villains, I found them disappointing. Well, not immediately. The scheming lady Keturah was intriguing right from her introduction. She had the air of someone with a plan; someone who was playing with fire yet knew exactly what she was doing... only to die from overcommiting to a proxy battle. I found that not only anticlimactic but damaging to the nature of the character. Jan, the other villain and de facto main antagonist of the book is pretty much a card-carrying bad guy. He seemed competent as well... until the point he pretty much destroyed his own plan in a single fit of rage. The goblin army he and his sister planned on unleashing onto Talonrend? He killed it himself.
And then there was Herod. Herod was a likeable guy through and through. Up to the point where he flat out refuses magical treatment from a goblin after pretty much acknowledging they’ve saved his city. Granted, he might be going delirious from the fever. Or maybe it’s something that would be resolved in the next book. But damn, it is a strange transition for a likeable character, and it occurs literally within a single scene.
Given what I’ve written, one would think that I hate this book. But I don’t. Not at all.
This is a fun, light read that plays with fantasy tropes in a way I’ve never seen before. This, I think, gives it power. And it’s not only that, but there is a lot of soul to be found within these pages. The language might be rough in some places, but the message gets through. The author really seems to enjoy writing this, and that translates to the reader. Or at least it did to me.
So in conclusion, I give this work 3.5 stars, rounded up. And I thank Mr. Thaman for making goblins cool. So the rest of us don’t have to.
What I really like about the book is the way the action seems to increase in pace as you go along, almost as if it was the author's deliberate attempt to use this writing device to grip the reader and keep them excited about what was taking place. It worked in a big way, and I found myself wanting to know what would happen next and how the war would play out. The characters in this book, furthermore, were very well developed and highly interesting and entertaining.
Stuart Thaman is definitely an author I will be following on Amazon, and I look forward to getting to Part 2 this weekend.
What I mean by that is the entire prologue, and all throughout the first chapter, rather than showing us how the world works, the author just tells it to us as an aside. I would prefer to learn about the world through the interaction of the characters, rather than through explanations by the author.
The premise is interesting and promising, but the writing style just isn't my cup of tea.
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