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STAR RATING: 4 Stars
Book Description from Amazon
A far away star supernovas and sends waves of force and change rippling through the cosmos. The waves crash into Sarnen Karnea’s world and thrust him into a deadly struggle to keep his loved ones from harm and to keep a secret about his son from the Zangava Empire.
The waves awaken new and old forms of consciousness, and stir ancient primordial resentments, that threaten to destabilize the Empire’s dominance in the world. Challengers from across the ocean, and from under it, seek to capitalize on newly developing Imperial problems.
Like the Empire, Sarnen must adapt to survive, and must ask himself which of his virtues he is willing to deny in order to reach his goals.
I was skeptical about downloading this book as it didn’t sound like something I’d enjoy. In fact I’d venture to say that initially nothing about this book really grabbed me. The cover did not excite me at all (lucky I don’t put much stock in covers) and the blurb was only mildly intriguing. But, I have a thing about finding good books by unknown authors so, true to my usual ritual, I downloaded a sample first, and gave it a go. I am happy I did.
The crux of the tale is about a world dominated by a tyrannical empire who controls their citizens by fear and force. In the world of Elemental Rancor, strange hybrid creatures abound, and the Elements have a consciousness of their own. The disappearance of a star brings unexpected changes to the way the world works, in particular with regards to communication with the Elements.
What I liked about the book
I loved the richness of the story. There are many layers and many stories, but they all come back to the changes caused by the vanishing star and how this affects the character. I especially enjoyed the many different creatures. Half shark, half humans. Hawk creatures. A strange octopus-type being called a Ponmoray. Dinosaurs. Even a human modified to breath under water. The author’s imagination knows no bounds.
I found the concept of communicating with the elements fascinating. My favourite was the new-born magmanoid, the child of fire and earth. He struggles with good and evil and I really enjoyed his inner dialogue.
What I didn’t enjoy that much
As much as I enjoyed this book there was one niggle for me. The book contained too much detail. Almost every character, even the minor ones you meet only once, had a name. Sarnen Karnea, Jorsana, Torgal, Lorgen, Vai, Fianna, Tallabas, Kafshad, Ainheim, Mallory Lanon, Lt Halsan, Lt Refan, Lorence Treagan – these are only a few of the characters we meet in the first couple of chapters. Some of them you never hear from again. The sheer amount of characters made the story confusing and I found myself having to go back a few times to remember where characters fitted into the big scheme of things.
The niggle above aside, this was an awesome story. I was continually astounded by the wonderful imagination of Charles Lominec. This is the first book in this series and I look forward to reading the rest of the story.
STAR RATING: 4 Stars