Posted in books, fantasy, magic

Once more with feeling – a book review!

book-review

Book – Honor Lost

Jason Kyle

Rating 3,5

Summary

This is a story of a band of mercenaries, all very distinct from one another, who are paid to reclaim lost territories for an evil warlord. Their diverse talents and backgrounds all offer a huge variety of skills to the ensuing battle; from precision archers, skilled swordsmen and gifted magicians, not forgetting brave and courageous fighters. In spite of their talents, they find they are no match for their elven counterparts, soon being overwhelmed by elven magic and then imprisoned awaiting punishment or death.  They are granted their lives but are forced to work for the elven community and,  eventually, begin to forge relationships with their former enemy and build a greater respect for their fellow warriors.

Setting

Set in a fantasy world, occupied by humans, elves, dwarves, orcs and many other species, the story depicts a time of warring communities, whose rulers have very different agendas. Some are constantly trying to usurp the others, their leadership dependant on ruling vast territories, whilst others are more peaceful, seeking only to defend their homelands and their livelihoods. The mercenaries are misled about the reasons for the battle, but having been paid for their efforts, they are obliged to do their job. The elves are fiercely proud and skilled in their defence and are able to easily defeat the mercenaries, but they are also strangely hospitable to their prisoners, showing a great deal of empathy and understanding.

Writing style

The level of detail in the descriptions bring the story to life, it’s not hard to imagine all of the characters – and the illustrations at the end just add to the depth of  imagery.

At the beginning, there was a lot of fighting, it’s clear that the author knows what he is writing about, however I did feel that, at times, there was simply too much descriptive text, albeit well crafted and very visual;  as a reader I tended to flip through the story, looking for some different action. I understand the author is setting the scene, building the conflict and developing his characters, and the story seems to take off in the second half. The magical elements were well-defined and definitely not run-of-the-mill, the distinctive characters were realistic, humorous, animated and creative.
There were a few typos, duplications and tense issues, which occasionally caused me to stumble as I raced through the pages. However, this is a well-written tale, incredibly strong and visual, very believable and hugely enjoyable.

My thoughts

For me, this story took a while to get into, however, I’m glad I persisted, as it is beautifully told.  I raced through the last few chapters, thoroughly engrossed in the happenings and eager to see what fate beheld the main protagonists.  The attention to detail is impressive, I could easily see this as a TV series or film.

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Author:

Dreams can come true and mine was to live in Spain forever and ever ....  Well, after studying languages many years ago I became totally enamoured with all things Spanish, I finally made the big move for a more 'relaxed' lifestyle in 2003.  Since then, I have been teaching Spanish to Ex-pats and translating. Also, I trained as a Community Manager (Social Media) so that I have a genuine excuse to be on Facebook, Twitter and the Internet for hours on end, but then I started to write. My first attempt was for NaNo 2012 with 'The Nasrid Charm' (a story set in Spain and the Afterlife.) Like most first drafts, this is in need of serious revision and has been placed on the backburner, while I pursue my mystery stories. I'll get back to it - one day :) 

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