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Legends Reborn (The Light of Epertase, Book One)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2011
My Expectations

I expected an epic fantasy story revolving around Princess Alina and Rasi including love, misunderstandings, problems with parents and society embedded in a brutal war. So nothing really new under the sun. In this case it depended all on the execution. The cover shows a warrior with a back that looks like an octopus - an interesting element which intrigued me more than the blurb.

Theme(s)

As far as I could identify The Light of Epertase houses several themes. Some of them are more obvious than others.

First and foremost Douglas R. Brown wants to entertain without a wagging finger and a moral sermon. That is done in a clever way which let the reader easily forget the omnipresent story of two lovers not accepted by their surrounding, the never aging story of David versus Goliath, the endless craving for power and the more psychological question of how do human beings react under extraordinary circumstances. The most obvious theme is the title of the series itself: Legends Reborn.

Dear me! That sounds highfalutin.

Let me say it more simple. There is a love story. There is a brutal war. There are people who do everything to gain their power. There are extraordinary beings in extreme situations. That means we face familiar themes which are intertwined in a clever way. One can't exist without the other. All that is subject of The Light of Epertase. I know, I know, I know it is nothing new but what counts is the execution.

Setting

Epertase is the continent of a fantasy world which shows familiarities with our world. The towns and hamlets reminded me of medieval Europe. It is good to have a map in order to identify the geological formations which play an important role for battle strategies. Transport wise we have ships and horses. There are no flying objects.

On the weapon side it is getting interesting. The inhabitants of Epertase use swords, bows and and crossbows. The Teks who are the invaders use "oil" driven war machines, cannons and firearms. I would not describe it as a steampunk element. It is like two worlds colliding. This is the ultimate fight between David and Goliath.

The world is inhabited by different peoples with own culture and partial long history. There are symbiont and mutants, shape shifters, beings with supernatural abilities and there is mind talking.

The depiction of the towns and the country side are not overwhelming but efficient which means you get enough information to imagine how the world looks like.

Plot

The Light of Epertase tells several stories a once and they are all intertwined.

First we follow Rasi and learn something about him and the country. Then we meet Alina. While they both cross their ways their story is entangled by the danger of an upcoming war and the secret plans of characters who try to gain power or other who try to defend their power. And these plot lines are honeycombed with stories and spotlights of some extraordinary beings. It is simple and complex at the same time. And not to forget the supernatural factor ...

The Light of Epertase is a character driven story. And the fights and battles are the stages for real warroirs. As the story starts with Rasi followed by Alina. The story widens by adding point of views from other characters.

Character(s)

The leading characters are the warrior Rasi and princess Alina. Both are well crafted characters. You can follow their development - especially the impact of events which last only a couple of minutes - plus their inner conflicts and so on. Even if you may not agree with Rasi's action you can understand why he acts as described. At the end of the book you will know why Rasi is one of the Legends Reborn.

Beside Alina and Rasi there are several other characters on both sides where we get information about their abilities their thoughts and their actions.
All these characters are far beyond to be anemic. Of course it would be nice to get some more information about peoples and single persons. But do not forget that The Light of Epertase is the first book in a trilogy.

My favorite character is the mercenary Simcane who is a mountain of a man. He loves his country and he prefers to fight for the country and not for the king. He is a fierce fighter and as people see only his fighting qualities they underestimate his intelligence and his heart.

Style

I like the rhythm and the pace a lot. It is like an ascending sawtooth-shaped line which culminates in a climax which is not the end of the story. The end of the book is a calm down and an indication what to expect in the sequel.

I also like the alternation between thoughtful dialogues, depiction of country and inhabitants, romantic parts, fights and battles. It is done in a way which force the reader to continue.

The description of violence and romance gives the reader emotional showers. The prose fits well and is a little bit rough at times. Once a while you find a bit of humor.

Parts of the dialogues reflect mind talking. And the mix with real dialogues gives several scenes an idiosyncratic touch.

The Inevitable

The Light of Epertase delivered much more than I expected. Loveable and fascinating characters, a rich palette of emotions, action from single combat to epic battle, thoughtful dialogues, intoxicating story telling and magic.

The Light of Epertase is one of my favorite fantasy debuts in 2011 !

You want to discover a new and promising voice in the world of fantasy?
Then readThe Light of Epertase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2012
Don't interpret my two star review to mean that this book was bad. It really wasn't bad - it was really okay. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

When I read a book, especially a fantasy, I want to feel completely absorbed in the world. I want to close my eyes and be able to picture the characters, the settings, the clothing, the creatures - anything and everything. That's not Mr. Brown's writing style, though. His writing is concise, in a way that he explains what's happening, and leaves you to work out the rest with your own imagination. I'd say the one exception to that is when there is some sort of fight or battle, which is the only time I really felt that I got any of the details that I was starving for.

Even if you don't care about imagery, though, there were other things that just felt flat to me. Like, for example, character motivations. A lot of times, it just seemed like a character was going from point A to point B, with no explanation of the journey in between. On one page a character might be devastated about something, and then three pages later they might be in contented bliss. Maybe I can understand the essence of the *why* (perhaps a lot of time has passed in those few pages, for example), but I'm the kind of reader that wants to take the journey from point A to point B *with* my characters.

As for the story, it's hard for me to say whether anything was either good or bad - the plot, the characters, what have you - because I just felt so completely detached from everything and everyone. Without being absorbed into the story in the way that I like to be, based on my own reading preferences (as described above), I felt like I was just emotionlessly observing the events as they happened on the page. So, I find it hard to pass judgment on any of the critical aspects of the story. All I can say is, I did finish the book, and I finished it relatively quickly, if that means anything. Everything felt rushed to me, but there I was, rushing right along with it.

I can see why so many people enjoyed this book. It's a fantasy with action and romance, magic and strange creatures. However, Legends Reborn isn't the type of book I'd personally seek out in a reading experience. So, in the end, whether or not you enjoy this book will probably depend on what you like and what you're looking for.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
In Matthew 1012, Epertase warrior Rasi is filled with regret and sorrow for the atrocities he committed under the guise of war though he tries to rationalize he was only following orders of his commander Prince Elijah. Epertase desperately conceals from his pregnant wife his despair and guilt he feels from his combat experience.

Rasi joins a celebration honoring Prince Elijah as the Light of Epertase shines on him. When he feels he can properly leave the coronation, Rasi heads home. He intercedes in an attempted rape but the hooligans kill the women. Authorities blame Rasi for the homicide and cut out his tongue and dump him into a pit to fight the rashta; shockingly he kills the beast. However the tentacles from the rashta discharge into his back. Over the next seven years he hides in the shadows until five years ago a woman began traveling with him.

The Teks invade Epertase and Lithia to take the oil they need to run their machines. Their superior firepower leads to many massacres. Although few know it in beleaguered Epertase, Rasi is the only hope but that is contingent on Princess Alina replacing her corrupt father King Elijah on the throne. Others prefer sacrificing the royal daughter to the Light of Epertase.

This action-packed military fantasy is a strong tale that hooks the audience from the onset and never loosens that grip until the final confrontation. The Epertase world is established on solid footing in the first few chapters; once the foundation is anchored, the story line turns into an extremely fast-paced read. Though the plot goes down the path readers will expect Douglas R. Brown provides an entertaining gripping thriller that is difficult to put down.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2011
Rasi a loyal soldier to the king and loving husband and father-to-be who suffers nightmares of his bloody war memories who's life changes drastically when he leaves the celebration of the Prince's advancement and promotion by way of a shortcut to get home to his soon to be angry wife. Rasi awakes to find his tongue removed and tried, found guilty of murder for the woman he tried to save. Sentenced to death by way of rashta, a large wolf like beast with seven tentacles on it's back. Rasi escapes and learns of the ill fate brought down on his pregnant wife, and swears the corrupt King Elijah will pay with his life. Rasi hides in the forest and lives out life there waiting... Eight years later Rasi saves Princess Alina when her and her fiance are in the woods to late. Grateful and finding a friend, Princess Alina visits Rasi through the years, and through these visits Princess Alina and Rasi fall in love. Then a blood thirsty people come by sea looking to kill and take all the black blood in the ground from Epertase for their machinery. At the same time the signs are appearing that The Light has chosen to pass soon, from King Elijah to Princess Alina, and someone is desperate to take advantage of the weak moment when The Light can be stolen.

This sounds like a lot going on in this book. And there are but it all flows together nicely. We meet the main characters in the beginning and take a quick journey with them through the tough parts of their lives as they come in contact with each other. This span of 12 years happens quickly in the beginning, setting up the characters to where we need them to be and how they all met and react to each other. When Alina is captured we start to learn about the contact with this blood thirsty mechanical race of people determined to kill off the current residents of Eperase and take it for themselves.

The chapters are shorter ones, so they are easy to read a quick section when you are on the go or can read for five minutes.

To me we have the feel of the classic fantasy feel along with a few new twists to the abilities present in the characters. I enjoyed this one for that feel. I like my fantasy and the different takes on the characters and creatures present. The abilities coming together in a group:
~ mind speak which is present in one very special person
~ people with a liquid metal on their skin that can be hard metal when hit
~ people who use machinery and oil in a time where horses are still used
~ creatures are dangerous and deadly large and new ones to us ~ including the ones on Rasi's back.
~ a touch of magic force
~ and we have our rising magician here too

As you read through the book you realize there are a few Legends coming to shine at the surface and they are nothing like the pretty boys you may think of. They are tough and ugly. But even as mean as they can be, they have the biggest hearts for their home and the ones they love. I think one of my favorites is Simcane. I have to say when I saw that cover I was really curious what kind of people I would be meeting here. But quickly in the beginning I learned of Rasi and those tentacles on his back. I found I enjoyed learning about him.

We get to see through different views and different sides in this book. Though most of it is focused around a few characters we do get to see the opposing side from time to time. Which is nice as we get a feel for those characters and people as well with what is going on around the world. With war laying on the outskirts of Epertase we are anxious to get the Princess's kidnapping resolved in time for the war we are sliding into. I feel we get a close to the book, but there is still more to come. I'm curious to see where the next book goes.

Very nice fantasy read here. Easy to read and understand with all that is happening. I'm very curious to see where the trilogy goes and ends.
Book 2 ~ A Kingdom's Fall - due out Fall 2012
Book 3 ~ The Rise of Cridon - due out Fall 2013

I would suggest this fantasy read to those who enjoy fantasy books. It's easy and quick to read through.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2012
I just finished reading "Legends Reborn (The Light of Epertase Book One)" on my new Kindle and my three word response to this book is simple: Old School Fantasy. Douglas Brown gives us a straight action story with clear-cut villains and noble heroes. It's a little bit "Conan the Barbarian" a little bit "Game of Thrones" and there's even a touch of "The Road Warrior" for those of you who are looking for a wrinkle in your fantasy.

The hero is an honorable warrior named Rasi who is pushed nearly to the brink of insanity by the horrors that befall him. On some of the youtube interviews I've seen with Brown, he seems almost gleeful about the amount of torment to which he subjects his hero.

Rasi is a pretty straight-laced hero and for those of you who are looking for a highly moral protagonist, this is the book for you. As an example, Rasi is the type of character who feels guilty about stealing a horse, even when he's in desperate pursuit of an abducted princess (who he also happens to be romantically involved with).

Early in the book, Rasi is bonded with several self-aware tentacles (he refers to them as "straps") that make him resemble Dr. Octopus. I was actually left curious as to what these tentacles are and if there are any more of them in Epertase, but I guess I'll have to wait for those answers in the second volume of Light of Epertase since Rasi is kept too busy to contemplate it in book one.

"Legends Reborn" follows Rasi's fall from revered hero to disfigured outlaw, while an invasion from a hostile, technological society allows him a shot at redemption. I also enjoyed the world building of Epertase, especially the "Lowlands" society that is based on a kind of "Brave New World" mind control.

The pace is set firmly at breakneck speed throughout the novel, so much though that at times I would have liked Brown to slow things down and give a few more details. However, I came to appreciate the "cushion" distance the author gives us from the action, since some of the events are so traumatic that they wouldn't be at all enjoyable if seen from a front row seat. Perhaps you could compare the narrative style to something like "The Call of the Wild," although "Legends Reborn" is a bit more complex.

"Legends Reborn" is a tough novel from a new author that knows classic, barbarian style fantasy. You'll be intrigued by what's included and left yearning for more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2011
Since the beginning of time in Epertase, the Light has determined when the throne should be passed on. It hasn't been challenged for over a thousand years. Now as an army advances towards Epertase, the Light decides that King Elijah is no longer fit to rule and that his daughter is the kingdom's only hope for salvation. Things look dim when she is abducted by evil men but little do they know that Rasi, her secret lover from the outer mountains is willing to do anything to save her. While they prepare for her sacrifice in an effort to steal the Light, Rasi prepares for blood and the future of Epertase hangs in the balance.

In The Light of Epertase: Legends Reborn, Douglas Brown takes a common literary archetype and makes it his own. He accomplishes this through creation of a world that is a mix of fantasy, a hint of contemporary and even a little steampunk mixed in. When you start out, Epertase seems like just your ordinary medieval kingdom but the author gives us some hints that things aren't what they seem, especially when the Tek army comes into play with their guns, mechs and suits that run on "black blood". The only weapons Epertase has to fight back with are swords, arrows, some magic and siege weapons, which makes you wonder just how they're going to overcome this threat.

Douglas tells this story with a gritty writing voice that isn't for everyone but I had no problem with it at all. I felt sometimes it helped me get into the mindset of the characters. The storyline sweeps you up from the beginning and the fact that he didn't start in medias res let us see the characters grow and I grew to love them and the story the more I read.

If you're looking for a fun epic fantasy that's not run of the mill, give The Light of Epertase: Legends Reborn a try.

Thank you to Rhemalda Publishing for providing an ARC copy. It in no way influenced my review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2011
The Light of Epertase, book one in the Legends Reborn series by Douglas R. Brown is due to be released in September 2011. This will be Mr. Brown's first book. His Debut into the fantasy world. I have just finished the ARC and I am excited to share with you what I experienced. I won't follow the storyline. I think you'll find that in both other reviews and in the book itself, so I see it pointless to repeat that or expose you to spoilers.

This is how I felt about the story.

The story: It was fun to read with interesting characters and an ever-evolving cast. The story is a grand adventure with historic heroes imbued with fantastic powers, strength and endurance. Vicious battles in epic scale take place without distracting from the individual character development. This story is definitely about the characters, not about how bloody a battle scene can get, however, be warned it is graphic and I would suggest not having youth read it. That is true with both violence and romantic elements.

Scale: The story is nice that it does span many different viewpoints. However, that being said I found it inconsistent. The story begins following Rasi and feels like a book about just him, then well into the book, a quarter I'm going to guess, it switches to other viewpoints. It becomes a broader book about many characters and seems to jump from an adventure story about one tortured character to a whole nations struggle later on at least half way through the story. I feel this should have been done earlier to integrate all the plot lines and establish at the beginning what type of story this is. Epic Fantasy.

Similar to some Jason Borne (Robert Ludlum) novels Mr. Brown just decimates his main characters. Now as this may be more realistic, the types of damage they sustain is just crazy, especially since they take what seems like mortal wounds and pick up minutes/hours later and carry on. I found it hard to read over those sections, not for the violence, but for the same reason I find it hard to watch Rocky films. I am pleased to report that Mr. Brown's characters earn their triumphs using their established skills. No last second miracles.

I kept tripping over modern words that didn't have a place in the established world that had been built. Example: bone names 'clavicle' and advanced medicine like antibiotics and technology names once the techs come. Also the novel changed genre's half way through going from fantasy to steam punk. It works, but it just made for a speed bump in the reading, as it was such a stretch from the groundwork laid at the beginning.

I think you'll find the Light of Eperase a fun fantasy read and worthy of lightening your wallet a little to do so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By virtue of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, skilled warrior Rasi finds himself accused of crimes he didn't commit. It soon becomes clear that he can remain neither in Thasula, nor in the service of its King, Elijah. Personal tragedy overwhelms him and as his life is now forfeit, he is forced to retreat high into the mountains with only his loyal steed, Salient, for company. Yet even when faced with seemingly insurmountable foes, even when hunted by his former comrades, Rasi remains committed to the country of his birth. Against all the odds he finds companionship where he least expected it, and even a fledgling love, yet such things must remain unresolved while enemies threaten Epertasian lives. Suddenly, the people need his skills once again and so, aided by mercenaries and with the backing of Epertase's new Queen, Alina, Rasi finds himself at the head of an army, once more pitted against a terrible foe.
Legends Reborn is an action-driven novel, full of gritty conflict and hard-fought battles. The characters are varied and well-drawn; their relationships complex. The setting is an unconventional mix of fantasy and reality, magical powers and technology, while the dialogue is forthright. The author pulls no punches - this novel grabs you by the arm. And while there is closure of a kind at the end, there is plenty of potential for the next two novels in the series. I await Book Two with great interest.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Light of Epertase Review
By: Ashley L. Knight, author of Fins & Fathom

I've been reading a lot of fantasy fiction written by ladies as of late. Imagine my surprise & eagerness to dig into a 371 page book written by a man! What a shift in the winds it was...
An engaging tale filled with the unknown, the unexpected, and the otherworld. This book has it all: life, death, love, hate, good, evil, violence, kindness, magic, science, need I continue? I find it difficult to believe that this is Brown's first work as it is pulled together so artfully. One gets the sense that each of Brown's work will surpass the next - gathering strength & stunning his readers just like the Light of Epertase. Indeed, this young author is one to keep your sights on, especially if you are in love with fantasy fiction. I look forward to book two in this trilogy - A Kingdom's Fall - being released in 2012. No, I don't look forward to it; I'm gripping the edge of my seat so I don't fall off! Hurry up & get on the bandwagon with the rest of us & read this spellbinding tale!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2011
Light of Epertase, Legends Reborn, is the imaginative introduction set in a world of Epertase, a world of breadth and depth that is shared no less so by the characters that inhabit it.
At the heart of it, Douglas Brown weaves the classic story of the Hero's Quest.
Alone, but for the symbiotic tentacles that have claimed him, an exiled warrior, Rasi, rises against all adversity to save the world and the woman he loves. But even that is not without its loss, and so the stage is set for the rest of what I'm sure will be a compelling series.
Douglas Brown is a wonderful storyteller.
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