Tag Archives: fantasy novel

The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin : Review

Thrown into chaos, the aristocracy of the Winter Kingdoms must defend itself against magic, and with the clock ticking, the fate must rest on the shoulders of our heroes.

Matris “Tris” Drayke, a Prince of Margolan must flee from his older brother Prince Jared and his evil sorcerer Foor Arontala, after the slaughter of his family. Now a fugitive, Tris must travel with his friends and seek justice, and a way to save the kingdom. Along his quest for retribution, he must learn to control his powers before they control him, and call upon the armies of the dead

Kiara Sharsequin, the Goddess Blessed Warrior Princess of Isencroft must find a way to save her self, her kingdom and her father from Foor Arontala — a dark wizard, and from King Jared, to whom she is betrothed. Searching for the answers, she must set out upon a Journey; one of hardships, self discovery and truth.

The Summoner is the first book in the Chronicles of the Necromancer by Gail Z. Martin.The story started out a bit slowly; the first chapter and a few other spots seemed to be info-dumps more than anything; telling the reader more than actually showing. However, it quickly picks up the pace and sets the story in motion, continuing with minimalistic details, as Martin focuses more on advancing the story than a detailed analyses of each character. Moving the story at a fast pace and always keeping it interesting.

The Summoner is a cliché. The good guys are all charismatic, likeable, and filled with ideas of heroism and only a small flaw or two to make sure they aren’t too perfect or unrealistic. Meanwhile the bad guys are distinctly unlikable, and pure evil — it being impossible to muster up a bit of sympathy for their cause. This book is a prime example of a formulaic sword and sorcery fantasy novel — a wicked prince and evil magician, haunted inns, ghosts, prophetic moments and magical powers which conveniently save the day every time and if not, a ghost will tell the hero what he must do. Martin doesn’t bring anything new to the table that we haven’t seen before, and as the first book in a series I kind of expected something a bit more special.

Despite this, I enjoyed the book, and I’ll be reading the sequel to it — The Blood King. Martin isn’t flashy or overly elegant with her prose, but she doesn’t need to be. It’s a story we all know, and one that many fantasy readers enjoy. It’s easy to get through, and it lets us revisit familiar territory. The characters don’t brood, or go through the “woe is me” monologues much, they know their paths, and are well aware of the challenges they face. So, despite being a cliché fantasy title, and more on the predictable side, it’s a light read, and enjoyable.

Do I recommend this book? Yeah, sure. Why not? If you like the typical fantasy story with magic and heroes, adventure and battles, then you’ll probably like this book as a light read.

Visit Gail Martin’s website here

Follow her on Twitter! @GailZMartin


Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson : Review

 

Breathe.
Hallandren and Idris; two kingdoms sitting side by side.  Hallandren; an ostentatious kingdom of colors, gods, Breath and a spectrum of  colorfully dressed crowds bustling within sunny streets. And Idris, a humble kingdom laying within the mountains surrounding Hallandren. It’s people, subdued and live modest lives and worshiping only the god Austren. To the citizens of Idris who wear only browns, the ostentatious ways of the Hallandren is an abomination and blasphemous.

With tensions rising between the two lands, the King of Idris must send his daughter to marry the God King of Hallandren, as was agreed upon in a treaty signed twenty years earlier. But when he sends his youngest daughter Siri instead of his eldest, Vivenna; motives are questioned, and the sisters must learn to cope with their switched roles, and save their country from inevitable destruction.

Sticking true to his form, Brandon Sanderson uses multiple point of views throughout the story. Siri, the young rebellious princess; Vivenna, the eldest princess – who had been born and raised in preparation to marry to Godking; Lightsong, a self-proclaimed useless God who begins to raise questions that none will – or want to answer; and Vasher, a  mysterious and rogue swordsman.

There was one thing that I felt took away from the story though. There was a minor PoV change, which while it was only 2 pages long; was completely unnecessary. It did serve to explain what happened to something (sorry I know that’s vague – but I do what I can to stay spoiler-free) that would’ve been answered when the PoV got switched to Vivenna right afterwords. I just found the scene to be quite distracting from all the action which was taking place. Also, there were areas in the middle which just seemed redundant and repetitive, but those parts were definitely still decent.

While there were some things while reading this that seemed inevitable and quite predictable, Warbreaker was a fantastic and enjoyable read. With a unique magic system which perfectly complimented and balanced the plot, action, and a fair bit of humor. This book is definitely one that would be loved by fans of Brandon Sanderson or Brent Weeks (see the previous post, ‘The Black Prism’).

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Brandon’s Website: http://brandonsanderson.com/
Follow Brandon on Twitter : @BrandSanderson

 


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