Monday, 10 October 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: The Sword of Fire and Sea 1: The Chaos Knight - Erin Hoffman

Release Date: 28/06/11


Three generations ago Captain Vidarian Rulorat's great-grandfather gave up an imperial commission to marry a fire priestess. For love, he unwittingly obligated his descendants to an allegiance with the High Temple of Kara'zul, domain of the fire priestesses. Now Vidarian, the last surviving member of the Rulorat family, struggles to uphold his family's legacy. The priestess Endera has called upon Vidarian to fulfill his family's obligation by transporting a young fire priestess named Ariadel to a water temple far to the south, through dangerous pirate-controlled territory. A journey perilous in the best of conditions is made more so by their pursuers: rogue telepathic images called the Vkortha who will stop at nothing to recover Ariadel, who has witnessed their forbidden rites. Together, Vidarian and Ariadel will navigate more than treacherous waters: imperial intrigue, a world that has been slowly losing its magic for generations, secrets that the priestesshoods have kept for longer, the indifference of their elemental goddesses, gryphons - once thought mythical - now returning to the world, and their own labyrinthine family legacies.


I’m a person who is usually world hopping from one fantasy title to the next and when this debut arrived from the US, I was more than excited to see what I was letting myself in for, the book blurb sounded like my cup of tea and so having made one, I sat down to get started.

What unfortunately unfurled was a title that really didn’t do much for me as s reader, the prose was clunky, the overall concept reasonable but it was the execution that made this feel wrong on so many levels as it felt more like various stages of journey that were written at different times when the characters weren’t fully formed for the author let alone their execution for the reader to latch onto.

Sadly this wasn’t the book I was hoping for and whilst I can see potential for the idea as well as the world, the overall presentation left a lot to be desired. I’ll take another look at Erin’s work in the future but hope that the errors are overridden in the next instalment to bring some order to the world and characters for the readers sake.

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