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The Betrayed (The Lost Words: Volume 1) Paperback – April 6, 2012
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It is hard to match the fervor of fanaticism. TheBetrayed is the firstentry of Igor Ljubuncic's fantasy series set in the Realms, as the sect ofFeor enters the realm of the old Gods, and thepeople of the SafeTerritories must band together to stop theirimpressive force, if they can avoidbreaking down themselves. TheBetrayed is an enticing fantasy that shouldprove very hard to put down,much recommended. -Reviewer's Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review
The characters in The Betrayed are fascinating people who are placed in extraordinary circumstances... This is a lightning-fast novel in which subtle political and religious messages abound. -Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
The Betrayed is a grimdark fantasy that impresses in its scope, themes and ambitious narrative. -Bookwraiths.com
About the Author
Igor runs a popular science and technology blog, dedoimedo.com, which has also been nominated and awarded multiple times in various IT categories. Likewise, Igor's books have received favorable reviews from Publishers Weekly, Underground Book Reviews, Midwest Book Review, SFFWorld, and others.
You can learn more about Igor's literary adventures at thelostwordsbooks.com.
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After the great war all the human nations agreed to create Safe Territories where people would worship gods and live peaceful lives without the need of a military force to defend themselves. Suddenly a new violent religion came out of nowhere with a single goal to destroy the places of worship of the gods. Their first logical place of conquest would be Safe Territories. Other nations decided to join the fun as well.
This is the first book of what seems to be a four-book series of epic fantasy. There are a lot of POVs in the book of some interesting characters the major ones being Adam - a male prostitute who ended up in a military's death squad, a former criminal Ayrton currently from Safe Territories, young brother (a monk that is, not somebody's sibling) Ewan, Commander Mali of one of the major military forces in the conflict; all of these and much more make up for an interesting cast of multidimensional characters with none of them being a pure villain, or Mary Sue.
The plot was interesting enough to suck me in and keep interested all the way until I finished the book. It definitely belongs to subcategory of grimdark fantasy, but I never felt it was dark just for the sake of being such. While it deals with some gruesome subjects, it was never too gory for me.
The final verdict is 4 solid stars with the next book of the series promptly going to my to-read shelf.
The novel follows an assortment of characters through the land of the Realms. The Eracians and Caytorans have been at war with each other for as long as anyone can remember. However, a rising movement of religious zealots who worship the God Feror are waging war against the God's of old. These plot threads eventually become intertwined, and the the stakes of the entire world (and then some) become much, much higher.
The Betrayed is very character-driven in its plot and focus. Adam and Armin are my two favorite characters, while King Vlad's plain insanity made me morbidly chuckle throughout. Adam is by far one of the most interesting characters in the novel, in my opinion. Without spoiling too much, his meteoric rise through the Eracian army is fascinating to experience, and although his demeanor is cold and calculated, I was constantly turning the page to see what he would do next. His dark nature is almost charming in a way. Armin is another wonderful character who stands out. A detective set out to investigate the murder of eight seemingly unrelated individuals, his hunt for the truth ends up revealing something much greater. Mali begins as an interesting character too, showcasing the strength and resolve of a female leader in a sea of men within the Eracian army. As the novel carried on however, Adam's charisma and presence in the novel almost overshadowed her until an interesting twist later in the novel.
In fact, The Betrayed contains a lot of interesting twists and turns. But they never feel forced. Igor has an immaculate way with flow, which makes the novel a pleasure to read. He is always moving from one plot point to another, from one scene of action to the next. It keeps the story from remaining stagnant for too long, and keeps the events in motion, while at the same time expounding each individual character. You are rarely given a wall of exposition describing the characters; instead, their personality and traits are expressed through their actions, with small bits of exposition filling in the holes. The novel also focuses on politics and religion, but it is very subtle in its messages and views. They're never forced onto you, but the commentary is there, which makes unraveling it all the more worthwhile.
There are some qualms with the novel, however. The book focuses on anywhere from about 5-6 characters, jumping between their stories every chapter. Though their paths eventually start to interweave towards the last third of the novel, it is a bit jarring and disorienting to the reader at times, though the reader usually has a good idea on what character's exploits will be explored in the proceeding chapter. I found some of the characters to not be very interesting (such as Ewan), or it took awhile before I became engulfed in their journey (Ayrton in particular comes to mind). The Deus ex machina device that appears toward the end of Adam's campaign also cheapens any and all tension in the war that had been built up to that point. The author's knack for keeping the story flowing also results in the novel's central weakness -- there is a lack of physical description of the world and environments the characters are in. For all the engaging backstory of the Realms, and for all the character development that goes on, I never completely felt like I was in the world. It was difficult to imagine where the characters well, and the scenery in general. The gruesome, gritty reality of violence, destruction, and the lives of citizens definitely come through, but the physical locations do not.
Overall, Igor's first novel in The Lost Words series is a thrilling, interesting read. I am looking forward to reading the remaining books in the series, and hopefully seeing the interesting grimdark world and characters expanded upon. I give this book 4/5 stars. A worthy read for any fantasy fan.
At the beginning, it might seem little bit hard to follow all the stories and main characters. But as the story goes, you can see the big picture. They come from different places and had different past. But you can notice some similarities between them - they are really eager to accomplish their goals and want to set things right. You could say Adam is the center figure. Even though most of his decisions are smart, some of them are injudicious, mainly because they are acts of a "dead man". Then there's Ayrton, man with similar past, but has totally different point of view. He managed to keep optimism, and go further, even though he knows chances of success are quite low. And the third driver is Armin, detective who will find out all the facts at any cost. He is driven by desire to solve the problem, no matter how dangerous it can be. And the pleasure of finding out something that had been hidden for ages gives him strength to carry on and distinguish the things that must be done and things which would be nice to be done. They are in different places but fighting the same enemy...
This is very interesting book with good balance between various characters and events. Each chapter is a piece of puzzle large enough to give you some lead, but not to discover the whole picture. I'm sure you will enjoy reading this novel
Most recent customer reviews
I first heard of the author because he has a homepage where he calls him self Dedoimedo and writes some great stuff about...Read more
The Betrayed is the start of a promising grimdark fantasy series.Read more