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The Bellringer: Volume 1 of The Year of the Red Door Kindle Edition
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Another aspect that I enjoyed was the small involvement of two cute little magical pets. There was full-grown mini-owl, Certina, and flying squirrel, Flitter. Though they weren’t the main focus of the plot, whenever they were mentioned or featured in a scene, my heart warmed. I always love it when authors incorporate a pet or two.
However, there were some disappointing aspects of the novel. One of the most disappointing aspects is the small amount of fantasy. From the description given, I was expecting much more fantasy elements filling the book’s pages, but it seemed whenever something unnatural happened, it was taken away from the reader just as quickly. Either the scene would change rapidly or the person, who clearly contained some magical powers, would brush off any inquiries made toward his magical skills.
The pacing was also off throughout. There were scenes and dialogue that just lasted too long to keep my attention. For example, toward the beginning, when asked to deliver a letter, Robby goes through certain woods. There were so many details of what he did, saw, and/or thought that were so mundane, it really didn’t add to the plot. It actually brought the plot down. Other times I noticed the pacing slowed down when Robby was learning about certain parts of history or when stories were shared. First it was a challenge to keep track of what happened when and who were involved. Then, it was a challenge to have the stamina to read about an event that had already occurred in the viewpoint of someone who was present sharing it with someone who wasn’t.
Along with this, I found that there were scenes that could have been more developed. For instance, when Robby joins the new local militia, he repeatedly stated how their leader, Ullin, was tough and how hard they had to work, but we didn’t actually get to see much of this harsh training. By the end, it looked like the militia had improved, but the reader didn’t see any of the progress that was made.
Overall, this was an “okay” kind of read. It was a book that had its high points and one that had its low points. The series seems like it could be a good one, but it was a very slow beginning. In any case, I don’t think I’m invested enough to want to continue the series.
I could probably recommend this to those who enjoy low fantasy reads (with the potential of more fantasy to come) and to those who do not mind a decent amount of description and long scenes.
Like the best large-scope fantasy series (The Hobbit, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc), it's not just the creative other world elements. It's not just the action, the battle scenes. It's also the characters and the camaraderie that makes the reader feel like they want to be in that world and hang with these people. The main characters have their strengths and challenges. They learn things about themselves, and you can see they will need to learn and grow as the series progresses. As a woman reading a book written by a man with a male protagonist, I was pleased that the female characters were not limited to crones, virgins and victims (or as in Tolkein, play almost no role at all). In this book, men and woman learn from and value each other. They all have skills and weaknesses, some that are obvious and some that are hidden.
Most recent customer reviews
First off, I found the maps that were in the book very interesting as they gave you a real feel as to where the place in the book were actually located.Read more