I am a sucker for big, adventure-y, journey stories. I love it when characters go on a physical and emotional trip through life, learning and growing and experiencing everything their world has to offer.
So, when everything goes to hell and Caldan is dragged out of his neat little world into the big, nasty world, I was very happy.
I love that it isn’t a complicated, convoluted mess of a story. I see that a lot in fantasy these days, and as much as I enjoy that kind of story too, sometimes I want something a lot more straightforward. Don’t get me wrong – there is a considerable amount of depth to both the characters and the plot, but I didn’t feel the need to take notes every time something happened (something that has been necessary in other series).
Mitchell Hogan’s writing reminds me a lot of Matthew Reilly’s – think The Tournament more than Contest – both have a very plot-driven style that strips out almost everything that’s deemed unnecessary to furthering the story. Compared to some of the great big meandering expositions found in a lot of fantasy, I think that makes a really nice change.
The magic system is really interesting, and helps set it apart from every other sword-and-sorcery type story. I would have liked to have a bit more detail about how it worked, but more than enough is provided to get the point across for the story. I also really enjoyed the characters, and many of the sub-plots are just as interesting as the main one. There are a few characters I’m hoping to see a lot more of, especially Felice.
All of this to say that it’s a fantastic example of Australian fantasy, with a great story and great characters and great magic. AND it’s now one of my go-to recommendations. Do yourself a favour, and go read this book!
Purchase: Booktopia | Amazon
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.