Read between: 12th-18th January 2016
Number of pages: 533
Published: July 4, 2013
I was sent this book via the author through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. The reason I included trilogy in the title of this review is because I was sent all three books as one- which is probably why it took me so long to get through it! To be honest I expected more from this book when I agreed to review it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, however, it did get a little repetitive in places and predictable in others- my rating reflects that.
Each book in the trilogy sets a different scene at the beginning before continuing the story to draw you in.I made notes on each of the books so I hope that this review will be detailed enough without giving too much of the plot away- although, there will be spoilers. Out of all three books, the first is probably my favourite but I liked elements of all three.
In this book we are introduced to the main protagonist, Aldrick, and his family as they travel to his home town of Asturia. They seemed like a pretty normal family. Then they get ambushed and the excitement starts. Aldrick knows how to fight- although it got me interested, it was a little far-fetched. My only problem was the way his wife Jelena was written- as a typical beauty-slash-damsel in distress- slash- long suffering wife. She could have been so much more.
We are also available to the Tournament of the King, a competition to crown the new King- it became a crucial part of the storyline. To start with I was rooting for the regent, Brodan. He came across as the perfect candidate. However, as the story progressed, his character changed quite suddenly. I didn’t like him the rest of the story.
The tournament itself was an interesting read, I liked finding out what the tasks entailed, and which entrants would compete in the next round.
There were some very predicatable elements, such as wine being poisoned, and there is also a secondary storyline but I worked out the revelation of before I even got to the second book- but actually, it slotted into the story well.
The fantasy element really shone in this book, it had shapeshifters, dragons, haunted forests and evil magicians. It was much more what I expected. However, the revelation that the new King of Asturia is actually the missing prince was less of a shock because I’d already come to that conclusion myself. (It was pretty obvious.)
I liked that Aldrick’s character got to develop and grow stronger as he started upon a quest to regain a stolen artifact. I liked following him, Garrick, Warren and the others, to find out what lay ahead. My main problem is with Garrick, first, he seems to pick on his friend Warren at every opportunity. He seemed extremely arrogant, even more so when it came to women. I didn’t like his behaviour toward women- especially as a female reader. That being said, I still prefer him over Brodan.
Finally, it is easier to understand Brodan’s behaviour when the rivalry between the two kingdoms becomes known, but it is still no need for him to throw tantrums and scream about traitors. I’m glad he didn’t become king because I wouldn’t have been able to deal with his bratty behaviour. I much prefer arrogant Garrick- his characterisation doesn’t change.
The final book answered a lot of questions I’d bought up reading the previous two, e.g, why Aldrick had visions, which was good! I don’t like being left confused! Although I did find that one chapter was practically identical to a previous one- I got a bit muddled because I thought I’d skipped something- I hadn’t. It also didn’t help that the chapters jumped from 9, to 32!!
I did eventually get sick of Brodan’s tantrums like I mentioned above, he won’t admit he was responsible for lots of deaths and then he goes too far, killing one of the main characters toward the end of the book.
Despite all the drama, they did complete their quest! They managed to find what they were looking for, and although sometimes close to death, survived relatively unscathed. There was one point during the quest where Aldrick woke up in a room full of books…..I want one.
Unfortunately, Garrick was still an arse to Warren, but he can be forgiven because he’s on the good side.
The book is left open – ended so there could be room for a sequel – it would be exciting to find it what happens next.
If you like high fantasy I’d recommend it, but take it with an open mind, it’s okay, it’s not fantastic but it’s okay. There could have been more, and it some places there could have been less.