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Brimstone Angels (Neverwinter Nights Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 339 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Evans is a very skilled writer. Without rambling, her ability of description is almost lyrical. However, her best strength is in her characters. Normally, when I read a fantasy novel, I stick with books where the protagonist is a human. Other than the Drizzt books from R.A. Salvatore, I tend to stay away from stories that focus on the other fantasy races. This is especially true for characters that are hell spawned, devilish, or demonic in nature. However, earlier this year, I heard a good podcast interview with Evans and thought I would give Brimstone Angels a try.
Farideh and Havilar are tieflings, a race of people with devil blood flowing through their veins. I think they are a creation that came out in one of the later versions of Dungeons & Dragons. Having not played in almost 30 years, I knew nothing about them and was pretty skeptical before this book. Farideh is the spell caster of the group. Her pact with Lorcan greatly increases her powers, but like her twin sister, she is seventeen and faces the same angsts and trials all teenagers do. Evans does a good job building romantic tension and describing the sometimes rocky father-daughter relationship between Farideh and Mehen.
The less brooding of the twins is Havilar. Very talented with a glaive, she is the light hearted fighter. She provides comic relief through the book as she repeatedly tries to figure out a name for her weapon. Mehen is a dragonborn warrior who, if this was a modern war movie, would be the crusty old NCO who struggles to keep the kids out of trouble.
The cambion half-devil Lorcan is probably my favorite character of the book. He lives in the Hells and tries his best to survive by not angering his more powerful mother and half sisters. Sometimes he appears to actually care for Farideh. However, as a cambion, Lorcan is evil, and his affections for her are always self serving, sometimes seem abusive, and never good for her relationship with her father and sister. He is the equivalent of the bad boyfriend that the family doesn’t approve of.
I rate Brimstone Angels four stars. It is a very well written and easy read. I still have a lingering bias against none human protagonists. However, I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked the characters of Farideh and Lorcan. As the first book in what promises to be an epic series, I am hooked. Indeed, Lesser Evils is already sitting on my shelf.
Evans excels at writing deep characters, heroes that are far from perfect, whose best intentions sometimes end up causing serious problems. Her villains are likewise well developed. She also does very well at composing intricate, layered plots where the many characters are each able to interact consistently with their motivations. She does this while making everything captivating and entertaining without confusing the reader.
I enjoyed this a little less than to the last two novels to date in the series, mainly because having started halfway though I now knew a fair amount of the backstory of the characters. The early parts of the novel thus weren't as engaging for me, but once characters had been established and arrived in Neverwinter I felt things pick up. A new reader should be engrossed from the start.
Keeping up with the terminology may prove challenging for those unfamiliar with D&D's denizens both mortal and monster. Erin Evans used all proper phrasing from the established lore; either a background in the lore and monsters or a whole lotta Google will go far.
Extensive background knowledge of Forgotten Realms unnecessary to enjoy
Twin sisters dynamic differences and personalities
Read like a novel but easy to visualize as a campaign
Characters were all a lot of fun
Sometimes there seemed to be a bit too much description
There was an end
This book was a lot of fun to read for a variety of reasons, but I most liked the characters. We were given several different POVs throughout, which worked well to carry the story. My favorite was seeing through the demon's eyes! I'm glad these characters have not only a sequel but two more books as well.