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on 29 May 2015
Good start of a new trilogy. Interesting characters and backstory.
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on 27 January 2014
Good start to an intriguing story line , i am looking forward to seeing how the characters knit together .
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on 26 June 2016
Good read.
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on 29 January 2016
Grand
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on 4 March 2016
JUST AN EXCELLENT READ !!!
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on 24 October 2014
Great read
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on 16 July 2014
Very hard going - but stick with it Book 2 is better
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 17 June 2013
This is a relatively good start for a new author and what seems to be a new fantasy trilogy. Like all good books of its kind, it reads well (for me, at least), although the story is not terribly original and neither is the set of characters.

The story is that of a troubled kingdom made up of five provinces and four cities, the so-called Free States, united by their ageing King Cael some three decades ago against a common enemy (some kind of inhuman monsters - the story does not go into too much detail at this stage). The Kingdom is at war and facing invasion from savage and barbarian hordes from the north commanded by a mysterious warlord and his two lieutenants who seem to be also somewhat inhuman and have special powers. The ageing Kind of the Kingdom's army has marched north to confront and defeat the invaders and the story essentially takes place within the rather squalid capital city, its temples and the palace, as the "herald of the storm" arrives and seeks to destabilize the authorities.

The dominant impression throughout the book is one of somewhat unexplained decay and decadence, with much being made about derelict sectors of the city and slum quarters. The problem I had here is that the author does not clearly explain why or how the "past glories" may have faded away and the rot set in. There is an allusion about the vast city port of Steelhaven not being the busy emporium that it used to be but the reason or reasons for this are just left untold.

The story, which I will refrain from telling, has a number of characters and jumps from one to the other as chapter follows chapter. This is also a well-used technique. However, I found it worked rather well in this book both for presenting the characters and for keeping up the suspense. The characters are not very original. In addition to the ones mentioned on the book's back cover (an unbalanced veteran, a disillusioned assassin, a hapless apprentice, a drunken swindler who is not an "artist", contrary to what another reviewer mentioned, and a desperate thief), you get the young, rebellious princess unsure of herself and who was not meant to be the heir to the throne. All of the characters will, of course, become more than what they are at the beginning and this is quite predictable, not to so almost obvious at times.

Despite all this, and despite the fact that the drama did not quite work as well as it could have for me, I very much enjoyed the read, including the atmosphere of "doom and gloom" and although it felt a bit overdone, at times. Four stars for a good first effort.
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on 23 April 2014
Telling stories using the points of view of a lot of characters has gotten popular recently, but authors should be wary of jumping on the bandwagon. The first 7 chapters or so all feature new characters, and do so at the expense of capturing the attention of the reader early on with the narrative, and without giving any character time to shine. When fighting starts, I think the author overdoes it, making the characters just a bit too super-human for dark fantasy for my tastes.

In contrast, Game of Thrones starts with with a powerful prologue and then (for the most part) weaves the characters around each other developing the events of the visit of the King to Winterfell.

The book is really let down by the weak opening and flitting between initially unrelated characters with little immediate plot binding the threads together or reinforcing them in your mind.
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on 23 August 2014
The novel begins with the introduction of a cast of characters who each get a couple of chapters to set them into the story. The author doesn't have much sense of dramatic structure, no big rise and fall of events. Throughout the book there's just a steady pace as events gradually build, and it's all quite standard stuff.

The cast list is basically a collection of archetypes from Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy novels (Spoilers): the red head princess; the older warrior who's given up fighting but takes up the sword once again; the young thief; the young assassin; the struggling young wizard who is most likely destined for greatness; the charming criminal with a good heart beneath it all. The plot is also quite predictable at times and the way the separate stories interlink is a bit deus ex machina.

The writing style is reasonable, although there are too many F words thrown in and every now and then there's some horrible scene which breaks the usual feel of the novel - it's like the author is trying to make it needlessly gritty like a Joe Abercrombie or George R. R. Martin book. I find it refreshing when writers avoid this current trend of unnecessary grotesqueness at every turn.

So, Herald of the Storm is an okay book. It's readable, much better than the load of sadistic fantasy novels out there; a fairly standard example of the genre, where heroes can still be heroic.
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