on May 26, 2012
Conklin manages to write a book that is at once recognizable as fantasy but at the same time wholly his own. There are the escapists conventions: swords, battles, beautiful women, and magic, but it's this last one, magic, where the genre is subverted in the best way possible. In the world of Eulogy, the system of magic is reality-bending, and as such functions on a philosophical and psychological level, posing existential questions while swords flash in the foreground. I don't want to scare away readers who are in it for the adventure. There is always that, too, from personal quests to wars that sweep across the whole landscape. I just want to point out that there is something beyond the surface, and for readers like myself, who come to the fantasy genre only rarely, it's pleasant to find a book that successfully explores the deeper side of things while remaining thoroughly entertaining.
on March 25, 2012
Fans of Robert Jordan will see that Conklin's writing style bears marked similarities. At times, the writing evokes the ghosts of great authors like Brandon Sanderson, Terry Brooks, and Even Stephen King. Yes, when you see the situations Ark is faced with and the horrible twisted things he is forced to do, choices he is forced to make - you cannot help but wonder if a little of the horror King's specter hangs over Conklin's shoulder as he writes. Blending realism, brutal no-win situations, triumphs, and deep character relationships in a way that makes this fantasy tale a true epic adventure is part of Conklin's unique storytelling that keeps the pages turning.
Conklin has written one of those books that gets in to your brain and whispers to you anytime you aren't reading it. The adventure is very much your own for with his characters, Conklin draws from the reader the magic they didn't realize they were bringing with them. Like most stories the overarching battle is good against evil, the characters each must face the darkness and demons that lie inside the soul of anyone who loves, hates, strives, and suffers. Some win. Some lose.
Eulogy is a journey with many roads that wind along all moving in the same direction and yet not toward the same goal. The roads intersect at times before blending together in to one truly remarkable adventure.
on March 17, 2012
Sometimes, you find a book that you know--just know--you have to finish. You know it after the first page. After the first question is asked. At times, after the first sentence is read. Because the ending taunts you with its secrets. The story tightens like a net around you. When you find Eulogy, you'll know it's such a book.
The cover draws you in. When I first saw it, it brought horror to my mind more than fantasy, but in retrospect, it's appropriate. This isn't a clear cut tale of good against evil. There's real characters here, with darkness in their hearts, demons clawing at their souls.
There's a mad king, a guard, a spitfire. There's others too. With such a vast cast of characters, it's remarkable that I found something to like in each of them. And in a few, something to love.
Irreor Ark lies at the center of the tale. He's the guard, the nice guy, forced to fight for the ones he loves. At the beginning, some may call him the farm-boy. Reminiscent of Luke Skywalker and Rand Al'Thor, he starts out the Archetypical Hero. But, oh, how he changes. The overwhelming circumstances Irreor is put in, the horrible, twisted things he is made to do, made me feel sorry for him. They made me care for him.
I loved Irreor. Rooted for him throughout the entire book--so important in such a long book. And yet, Conklin did something near impossible. He made me love another character even more.
Kipra. The spitfire. The perfect blend of fire and ice.
Her sister followed in their mother's footsteps. And their mother was a whore. But Kipra is different. She will not be used. Right from the start, she's a complex character, and I loved picking away at her thoughts. See, Conklin throws you into a character's head, submerges you in their personality. His skill level in that aspect is almost on par with Robert Jordan. Simply, he's one of the best.
And though I could compare his plotting to Brandon Sanderson, and his prose to another writer or two, there isn't much need. Conklin has a unique voice and a fresh story to tell.
You haven't read anything like Eulogy before.
I wish I could talk more about what happens in the novel, but giving away even a few details may spoil the plot. There's so much mystery. So many important events. That's why you'll have to finish this book. You'll have to know the end. Expect many long nights of reading, as you strive to reach it.
The complex story takes a while to build up--common in epic fantasy. And though I may have preferred the first half of the book to move along faster, I understand why Conklin did what he did. He took his time, piling brick upon brick, building my expectations, so that he could bring them crashing down on me at the end. Squeezing my heart. Making me fight for every breath as I read the last page.
Eulogy closes with a bang. And it has stuck with me for days after.
Congratulations, Mr. Conklin, you've written a tale that I'll remember forever.
on April 2, 2012
"Eulogy" is a standalone horror/fantasy work by author D.T. Conklin This Kindle e-book was a 1246 Kb download (428 pages) and was priced at $0.99 at the time of writing this review.
<spoilers> general theme...no specific details revealed
This is a convoluted story of powerful magic that allows it users to do incredible feats (like create life), however, it also imparts on them an increasing madness. This story follows two leaders who are diametrically opposed to each other. The problem is that both are becoming increasingly mentally unstable. This then is a story of their increasing insanity and how it affects a normally quiet, tranquil island.
Some thought on "Eulogy"...
1.) interesting premise for the plot featuring both some intriguing fantasy as well as some truly bizarre scenes of revolting horror.
2.a) several well described individual conflicts and mutli-participant battles.
2.b) many unexpected twist and turns... many things are not as they seem in this unusual novel.
3.) main characters can be injured or killed. An important factor in my sense of believability for a story.
4.) a beautifully detailed and colored map. Expandable (and still legible) on the Kindle Fire.
5.) cover art...one of the most intriguing covers I've ever seen. It has an eerie and spooky quality to it. A cover that tends to 'follow' you around! Very unique.
1.) a difficult, laborious read... a real labor of love to finish.
2.a) the two main characters (a leader on each of the opposing sides) became increasingly insane. And if that were not bad enough, the book devotes a large amount of time and space into recording their thoughts and conversations...much of which is nonsense. The problem here is that every once in a while they'd say something intelligent that would have an important meaning to the flow of the plot.
2.b) I found it difficult to concentrate on these idiotic ramblings after a while...I simply became weary of trying to make sense of the senseless. Skimming became almost of a necessity, increasing my peril of missing something of substance or importance.
3.) irritating character traits... two people in particular
a.) Irreor Ark, one of the main protagonists...for a leader he was indecisive at times and forever blaming himself for doing the wrong thing or for failing to live up to expectations of himself or others. His feelings of guilt were, from this reader's point of view, unrealistic and unwarranted.
b.) Kipra Steel, a brittle, unhappy and confrontational heroine. Just so inflexible in almost every way, it was almost impossible to garner any sense of attachment to her. She was very easy to dislike.
Both these character has major roles to play in this book. I simply became tired of their ongoing flaws and their inability to change.
This book had so much promise...and it did have some really great moments.
It was one of those books that I felt the author tried to do to much... he knew what he was talking about; I just can't say the same for me. It was just so difficult to read and make sense of thoughts and conversations that frequently ventured into the realm of the insane. I simply became weary and gave up on trying to interpret many of the seemingly obscure passages.
It's one of those literary works where I wondered if my intellectual reading skills were simply not high enough to truly appreciate a book of such depth and revelation.
Can't remember a book I was so tempted to stop reading...but I didn't.
Can't think of a book I've been so glad to be finally finished.
As it is...2 Stars.
Many thanks to amazon friend Mose Siregar III for bring this work and author to my attention
on April 2, 2012
There are very few books that have had such a deep resonance with with me. It is only the second book in my life to make me cry. Whether it is the story of two mad brothers who wanted to feel love; the story of three friends defending themselves and the city they love against a war where they they are out numbered, or whether it is a tale of the human condition that happiness is the most poignant when juxtaposed with sorrow doesn't really matter. It is all of these. Irreor Ark is the protagonist, a young man with incredible skill with a sword. His loyalty to his friends Bran and Kipra is almost devote. Bran is a blacksmith, and like a mountain is big, wise and peaceful. Kipra is a tornado, but is filled with rage and hate for a mother and a sister who chose the oldest profession to garner power over men. Underneathe that, she has a soft spot for Ark who trains Bran and Kipra to use swords and daggers in self defense.
The characters are all forced to change as war confronts them - there is a prophecy at work here, and the prophets children, Fier and Villien want to stop their father from his insane plans. Villien, like Kipra, is filled with hate for her parent, but to the n-th degree. Fier is more philosophical. They both want to see their father again - Villien just wants to kill him as well.
By the time war hits Ark's city all bets are off. Grief, loss, kidnapping, insanity and loyalty all play a roll as the world spins every which way. The resulting action makes the title meaningful in a way in which I would not have guessed. The eulogy itself was so moving when you know what it means (they start the book with it, but it makes little sense), that I can feel myself getting sad even now. What higher praise can I give a book than that. It is a work of art. The different storylines all contribute to the book. Despite horror, abuse, violence, disease and evil-love, friends and peace are the truely important things in life. Bravo!!! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to think about what they read. This story stays with you long after you turn the last page.
on March 8, 2012
I had started reading this book a little unsure because I have never read this type of genre before. Within the first few pages of the book and reading of the relationship between the characters, I instantly became hooked because I had to find out exactly what the characters were talking about and exactly what happened to them after this point. The author did a fantastic job detailing every aspect of the characters and made me as a reader fall in love with the characters. This book was an easy read that will definitely keep you wanting more! Hard to put the book down!! I hope to see more from this author and hope this may even become a series!!
on March 13, 2012
The book captures the way the inner demons and past of it's characters can influence and corrupt a person better than any book I have read in years. During the process the author does a good job of giving clues of the characters' many secrets without giving away these secrets until the perfect time. If you are looking for something new and surprising within the fantasy genre this book is a must have.
on April 30, 2012
In all fairness, this book had a few things working against it from the jump, that had nothing to do with the Author or the writing.
1. I'm not a huge fantasy fan. ( I'm a fan of the imprint EVOLVED PUB.) I like my books short, concise, and ready to be consumed in 3 sittings or less. This is not that book.
2. I got this book for free during a promotion and even though that sounds like a good thing, I believe if you don't shell out some coin, and put monetary value on it, you don't give a book the respect it deserves.
But given that, I sat down and gave Eulogy a shot, and I'm glad i did because this book rocked. It's an epic in every sense of the word with characters abound that interlace and weave through the first half of the 1000 something kindle pages. The massive scale of the world the author has created is tough to keep track of at times, and the bouts with madness the protagonist and his antagonist (These two could be reversed at times) suffer from, left me re-reading a few pages, okay maybe a hundred or so, but then something happened.
This is the part of the review where I compare D.T. Conklin's Eulogy to riding the F*@#ing Goliath at Six Flags. I stood in line for the first half getting set up, then got in and had my face melted off. It grabbed me by the chest hair and yanked me in. People die. Blood is spilled, and violence ensued. Brash and necessary violence. There is magic for all those who dig that kinda thing but it's not so overbearing to turn off readers of rock solid plots. This book kept me guessing until the end. I'd almost call this a Fantasy-noir if such a thing existed. Maybe it does now.
What took me 3 months to start, took me three days to finish. worth every penny I WOULD have spent on it.
on March 13, 2012
Okay, so I've only read a few fantasy novels, and can't call myself an expert in that genre, but let me tell you, this one is different. And excellent. And thought-provoking. And excellent. (Did I say that already?)
I think that's what I liked about it the most: it made me think. This was no quick, simple read. In fact, I'll probably read it again to answer some lingering questions for myself. That's not a bad thing, mind you; it's just an indication of how deep the story runs. Besides, I want more of Irreor and Kipra and Bran. I love those guys. I especially want more of the Mad King. Shezaam! That is one cool character.
This book was recommended by my favorite author, in whom I've come to place some trust, but I was still a little hesitant about it because of the genre. Well, let me just say, "Thanks for the heads-up, Lane Diamond." I'm so glad I went ahead and tackled "Eulogy." Conklin nailed it.
on March 12, 2012
With a mad king's army staring him down, a strange voice tickling the back of his mind and a corrupt city at his back, Irreor Ark has his two best friends to back him; Bran, the son of a blacksmith who hates violence, and Kipra, a defiant, man-hating spitfire. These, and years of training with his late father, who was recently murdered in broad daylight, have given him strength and character. -But there's more. Oh, so much more to Irreor Ark than even he understands. As the parched ones seemingly come from nowhere to inhabit the city, their bodies like empty shells who's skin flakes like ash to the floor, his self-discovery becomes the key to revealing truth that has been concealed for nearly a century.
Eulogy is a story of absolute madness accompanied by redemption, sacrifice and love. With characters that are relatable, the story inspires empathy, rage, compassion and forgiveness. It approaches circumstantial perspective, and shatters it into oblivion. A total head trip and trip from start to finish.