My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The publisher provided with me a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.
The first thing that stood out to me in this book was the fact that the first names, of both people and towns, introduced all started with the letter ‘M’. Having three names starting with M right off the bat might not have been the best decision and I was actually somewhat dreading reading more because I worried that even more M names would appear. There was Maegwin the main character, Morran an old man and the town they were in the was Mallyn. And then only a couple pages later there is mention of another character whose name is Meryk. I understand that not all character and town names will start with a different letter but starting things off like that didn’t feel right to me. Thank goodness the next name mention didn’t start with an ‘M’ or I might have set the book down right then and there, thank god for Randle appearing.
As far as main characters go Maegwin and Rovann were alright. I didn’t feel attached to them in the first half of the book and that feeling continued throughout the remainder of the book as well, with them growing on me only a small amount in the latter half. While there was a decent mix of secondary characters I felt that some of them were tossed in the story just because the author felt like adding them in, not because they had a specific role. A good example of this was the sibling soldiers, their banter got tiresome very quickly and I really didn’t see their significance to anything happening other than they were the talkative pair of the traveling group that was attempting to thwart the bay guys. I also didn’t care for Leo’s character, his presence seemed to be too convenient at points and I was wondering just who he truly was and why he kept insisting on following Maegwin and Rovann even though he was a simple minstrel.
The antagonists weren’t overly strong characters either. The Songmaker is never actually seen, at least I don’t remember seeing him in the book, but his presence and influence is obvious with certain events. I would have at least liked to see more of him, even if it was a simple sight of him before he disappeared. Meanwhile Hounsey, who I would consider more of the main antagonist than The Songmaker, also had a bit too small of a role for him to truly feel like a antagonist. It wasn’t until almost the end that you truly see him.
I found it strange that while Rovann is the First Mage he missed the presence of other mages along the journey nearly every time. Should he not be able to see/detect other mages, especially enemy ones, before they are attacking him. It’s one of the reasons why I found his character to be weaker than it should be. It’s one thing to miss something once, but to do so repeatedly and each time putting ones life in danger is just ridiculous for someone as apparently powerful as he is.
While magic plays a very big role in this book I found that there was a lack of describing the magic, how it works, the different disciplines of it. Yes, there was some very small decriptions of it but I felt there could have been more. Now I don’t expect the book to turn into a manual on how this magic exists and how it works but I certainly would have liked to see more of an explanation on it. I also would have liked to seen a bit more about the various Realms mentioned and visited in this book.
Another thign about this book is while I enjoyed it I found that the story didn’t stick with me. When I reached the half way point I could only barely recall things that happened at the beginning and by the end I had forgotten most of the book. Now sometimes when this happens I can remember all the details weeks or even months later. But as it sits right now there is very little of this book that I can talk about because it’s simply left my mind.
This book wasn’t perfect, it had moments where my attention wandered or where I found myself wishing something more significant was happening. However that beign said it wasn’t terrible either. The slow points made sense as things progressed, not everything can be action and attention grabbing, but I did still feel that something was missing to take it from good to great.
Though there was a lot of typical fantasy characters and storyline parts within this book I still for the most part enjoyed it. Would I recommend this book? Yes. While I wasn’t completely amazed by it I found it to be entertaining enough to share with other. Will I read the rest of the series? Yes, I do plan to check out the series and see exactly what else unfolds with these characters and the kingdom.