In the hundreds of years since the Holy City disappeared, darkness has fallen over the land. Human kingdoms have seized control of the realm, scattering the other races into hiding.
Bridazak, a skilled thief, and his friends, a Dwarf and a fellow Ordakian, have dared to remain within the human communities and live relatively quiet lives, until they discover a mysterious, magical artifact. The three friends are thrust into an adventure that will challenge their faith, their purpose, and their destiny as they chase a forgotten and lost prophecy across the realm of Ruauck-El, where they hope to discover the origins of the strange item and their place in its history.
An ancient, unknown enemy threatens the completion of their journey at every turn. Bridazak is about to face the biggest adventure of his life, one that may change the known realm, and answer the questions he has carried all his life. Will they unlock the truth?
I have to say that I was underwhelmed by this book. I went into it not knowing exactly what to expect as the synopsis was fairly vague. All in all, this novel was an attempt at an unoriginal fantasy quest story.
First, I’ll begin with what I enjoyed about the book: Since I listened to the audiobook version of this, I got to listen to the author and a couple other people voice the main characters. Brae Wyckoff and the other voice actors had great reading voices, and I enjoyed their narration for the most part. I also enjoyed the very beginning of the novel, before the characters were sent on their main journey. There was fairly good character and world building, and everything was described the perfect amount, where I could clearly picture the world and events, but didn’t get bored with excessive description.
Unfortunately, the negatives of this book outweighed the positives for me. I mentioned that I enjoyed the voice actors for the most part, but nearing the end of the novel, Dulgin’s voice become irritating. For a book of this length, his voice was too unnatural and eventually started sounding very fake. I also disliked how there was only one female voice actor who voiced several female characters in the story. Her voice was so distinct (since it has a slight accent) that all of the female characters sounded very similar, and made it easy to mistake them for one another.
Some reviews of this novel relate it to Lord of the Rings, which I think is completely off track! I can clearly see the author’s attempt at creating a story with a similar feel to Tolkien’s novels, but Wyckoff fell short with a super cliché storyline and characters, as well as only a mediocre writing style. I can’t say that his writing was “bad” but it was very sequential (i.e. this happened, then this, then this…) which become boring after a while. As well, many portions of the story seemed to be dribbled in thesaurus vomit – some words just didn’t sound natural or seem to fit in with the rest of the story.
One of the biggest mistakes I found with this story is too many convenient coincidences which got characters out of trouble. I am a strong believer that you can use coincidences to get characters into trouble, but you can never use them to get characters out of trouble – that’s just a cheap move. And too many times throughout this story, did characters conveniently have the right tools or the right people to save them. This story also has too many repeated events/scenes which made everything very predictable. In the beginning of the story, the Orb tells Bridazak that he will protect him of the journey. Yet the authors still tries to create scenes that appear life threatening by giving characters fatal wounds etc. which are conveniently healed almost immediately after. The repetition of trying to create life threatening events made the story appear to have no clear climax.
The cliché characters consisted of the “good guys” and “bad guys” who are polar opposites of good and evil for no clear reason (the villain is simply just evil). And the cliché villain with the evil laugh and tacky one-liners just seemed too one dimensional and underdeveloped.
I have to give props to Brae Wyckoff for his intentions on creating a brand new fantasy world and story, but everything just fell short and the story sounded very cliché and amateur.
If you are a fan of fantasy books, I unfortunately wouldn’t recommend this for you.