1. The time period in which these novels are set is seemingly insignificant.
2. The setting in which the scenes are formed is of the writers own design, and
3. The common use of gods/demons/magics open up reels of recently lost or dismissed vernacular.
Here is a genre in which the author makes the rules, not conforms to them. Their characters speak in whichever manner they like, and the author is free to build kingdoms and histories with loads of imagined flourish. (no need for factual poignancy when your lands are your own.) That being said… if find you are one of those people that love the eloquence and epic nature of fantasy (think Goodkind or George R.R. Martin) then the reason above should be more than enough to entice you into the world that Carolyn Kephart created in “The Ryel Saga.” But if you are one of those people that need more convincing than a beautifully sculpted magical world… then how about the fact that this is a 2fer. Yep… that’s right, 2 books for the price of 1. ($.99)
Ryel has been living a lie, but have no fear, all of his misconceptions and preconceived notions are quickly unwound and rectified when his long lost uncle (who just happens to be a wysard) comes to take him back to Markul where he belongs. Being thrown headfirst into “wysard” training is draining and (to be honest) a little daunting, but not as daunting as the very sudden death of his mentor. Finally realizing that his mentor is stuck in the wraith-world (or held captive by a malignant sorcerer, as it may be) Ryel sets out to rediscover a long lost spell and set him free. Can he pull off the unimaginable? Who can he really trust? And more importantly… when he finally gets what he wants… is it really what he wanted?
In the first couple of chapters I was certain that “Kephart” had bitten off more than she could chew. Her descriptives were brilliant and vivid, but were leading nowhere (lots of hoping around, no clear promise of a steady plot) but thankfully, after mentally scolding Kephart” to get to the point, she finally did and the journey began. Yes… I do think that there were several occasions in which she floated away from the plot in search of unnecessary detail and expanded back-story, but this is not an uncommon mistake among new authors. (It’s hard to chop up a story you worked so hard on.) Also… as with most fantasy novels… it is not a quick read. It will take focus to keep up with the plot (especially the names) and you may at times find yourself rereading a passage just to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Since there were 2 novels in the version that I read it is also important to point out that the writing got even better (more fluid) towards the end of what would be the first novel (Wysard.)
All in all I think it was a valiant and noteworthy start to a promising career and the future of fantasy writing. (aka… buy the freaking book.. you have spent more money on less entertaining things.)
Happy reading my fellow Wysards and remember: If your lovers eyes turn black and she starts laughing hysterically… take it as a general rule of thumb that something is wrong.
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