Top positive review
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A roller coaster fantasy adventure with lots of twists
on 31 May 2017
Phew... Where to begin? First of all, as the book description states, fans of Brent Weeks' "The Night Angel Trilogy" and "The Lightbringer Series" will love this book. McClellan shares Weeks' ability to seamlessly run multiple complex plots in cohesion with one another and leave the reader intrigued and guessing. (In some cases more coherently than Weeks does, in my humble opinion, but admittedly this is only the first book, we'll see how well it all sticks together in the second and third books)
A unique variation on the theme of traditional magic makes the mechanics of this world fascinating. The book provides a solid foundation to the world without branching into long chunks of dialogue or exposition to keep the reader up to speed. Making a setting feel real and "lived in" from scratch is a difficult thing but this book achieves it effortlessly.The amount of description of characters and locations is deep enough to allow the reader to form an image in their own mind without burdening them with excess text to pour through. Some books go to extreme lengths in their descriptions and can bore the reader, sometimes less is more and this book does it well.
The characters are believable and relatable, they pull you into their lives and I never felt like I was simply reading characters in a book. There are many sub-plots; a valiant yet bloody battle against a foreign aggressor, an ancient magical mystery, a man trying to create a new and fair government out of the ashes of a coup and all of the political intrigue that entails, an estranged son sorely trying to win the approval of a distant father, struggles with addiction, and an element of "who dun it," each riveting on their own while combining and intertwining to make a greater whole culminating in a suspenseful finale.
One review I read here complains that the middle of the book seems to lose steam but I disagree, never during my first read through did I feel like there was lost momentum. There were different pitches of intensity but nothing less gripping than the pure-action parts. I was engaged and left wanting for more the whole way through.
A thoroughly enjoyable read and I'll be moving straight on to the next in the series.