Author: Andrew John Rainnie
Book Rating: 9
Personal Rating: 7.5
Lets just get it right out there that I loved this book. Quite a bit. It was well paced. Moved along quite well. There was so much to love about it. It was crafted in the way a good book should be, nice action packed opening scene, betrayal, tragedy, all the notes of a good book were hit so yes, it was a masterful piece of fiction. Yet here I am not shooting for a full five stars. Lets just start of with the good stuff.
The opening just jumps right in. Death looming overhead on your toes oh my god is this one of those sequences where the characters die in the beginning and the story starts years later in the aftermath of said deaths. It was that kind of opening. One of the main characters Callaghan is introduced here with his apprentice. Just great no real details needed.
The elves later on are also a nice addition. Characters who bring a certain amount of life to the tale that it otherwise would not have had. The different races and cultures were spot on, and the descriptiveness of everything sucked you into the book. You routed for the heroes, feared they might actually die. It was all in all done well. But regardless of the fact that the plot held true, there were no obvious errors, and indeed almost all the characters were enjoyable, even the evil ones. It just had a few things that bugged me enough to not forget.
For example, the point of the book as said in the title. Killing someone in vengeance keeps them stuck in this world as a sort of ghost, not here, but not quite gone. Within itself. Brilliant. But then if they walk too far away from their creator suddenly both of them become weak. Why create something and then limit it's potential. It's like the daemons in Pullman's Dark Materials. Why can't they be separated. So many ghost stories, and fantasy novels and what not live in this rule confinement and it somehow takes away the mystery of things because you know they can't get far enough apart so some things will just never happen. The things that can go wrong are like, well they cant separate so now we have this ghost who cant find a way to save the day for fear of being too far gone for the human to live.
And not just that Callaghan is supposed to be this all wise ranger. Yet he's so quick in one part of the book to judge someone that everyone can vouch for as being good because he is the twin of someone bad. Yet on the flip side a complete and total stranger can spin him a story about something or other and he just magically trusts him. It makes no sense. The captain and crew have been sailing with someone and can say he's saved their lives many times, yet a stranger just appears out of nowhere and you a seasoned warrior will accept that, and not solid evidence from the crew people. Just… I cant deal with characters who act out of character in order to move the plot forward. If they are capable of such things, there should be a precedent before hand set up so that it doesn't seem rage inducing stupid.
The other thing was the whole rangers not having wives stuff. Sigh. What is it with this idea that if a woman joins some hero elite, or a man joins the hero elite, that now magically they are incapable of feelings and must now give up a life of either one love for ever, or even random encounters during their journey. Apparently love and sex are evil and real heroes cant have them.
One of my favorite parts was in the second half of the book. A new country with wonderful animals and a completely different dialect. Just fun. What bothered me though is when you add the last paragraph above with a love interest that arrives. It falls flat. I never believed even for a second that it would pay off. Why would it? The king obsessed with world domination, twisting history to serve his purposes, sigh. I feel like I've been here before. And the gods situation, i'm just going to leave that alone. These are just a few of the things that just made me think why?
My enjoyment level suffered because of a few too many things that just didn't make sense for the characters to do. Under normal circumstances I'd get really detailed but since this book, in my opinion, was a very brilliant action packed piece of magical world building fantasy genius--I'm not. It was indeed a well written book that I could not put down, regardless of the fact that i had a few issues with it. I loved it. In fact I loved it enough to be ecstatic about reading part two and I would recommend that any fan of good fantasy read this novel. You wont be disappointed.