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Broken Justice: Through Darkness Tall Volume I Paperback – May 1, 2013
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About the Author
A New Hampshirite, born and raised, D.W. Craigie hails from the North Country. Reading and writing is a life-long passion of this mountain boy, and he believes the written word is the soul and cornerstone of any society. Without words of inquiry our minds stagnate. Without stories of hope and loss our hearts grow shallow. To the best of his ability he has tried to convey that passion for writing in this, his first novel.
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In Broken Justice: Through Darkness Tall, author D.W. Craigie strikes this balance. His characters are rich, interesting, and are motivated by familiar goals and experiences. From the young, wandering Kailen to the weathered, displaced Morriki, any reader can find common ground. I find it particularly compelling that the antagonists are as intriguing as the protagonists, the major differences relying on guidance versus misguidance, rather than two-dimensional "bad guy" traits, which many first authors tend to use. In addition, the world of Broken Justice is intricate, vast, and logical. The author writes as though it's a world we already understand (and to some extent, he's right - the politics and religions, though extrinsically different, are inherently the same to those of our own in their execution and ability to inspire, for better or for worse). It is written in such a way that the world unfolds naturally and without an onslaught of exposition, which makes it one we can quickly understand and in which we can believe. The reader is not treated as an outsider, but as an active and invested participant.
Fueled by the vibrant characters, expansive landscape, and deep history, the plot contains the crucial elements we've come to expect from fantasy while infusing a unique insight and voice. It builds from the intricate character subplots and culminates in a greater climate of turmoil. Battles indicate a greater war to come, and they test character allegiances and preconceptions. I will not go into greater plot detail, as it would be a disservice to both author and reader, but suffice it to say that, at the end of each chapter, I felt the need to turn the page again.
If I have one major criticism of this novel, it's that I want more of it. It ends in such a way that I still anticipate the next move - I feel that I should be able to turn the page and keep going. Some of the subplots come full circle and feel fulfilled, but the major character an story arcs are still left hanging in the balance. This first novel clearly relies on the remainder of the trilogy, but I can tell you this: I will undoubtedly return for the second outing.
If you're a lover of fantasy, or just a lover of well-written work, then this one is for you!
Not so with "Broken Justice". Craigie has given us a glimpse of a world that stretches far beyond the meager pages of the novel and allowed us to see a snapshot of what feels like a deep and rich history. His style is like no other, blending fantastic elements with literary control, weaving a new form of storytelling that is fresh and exhilarating. He deals with the grit and grime as well as the bright and shiny, allowing his world to breathe and grow.
With a story already so steeped in mystery, political maneuvering, and chivalric mechinations, "Broken Justice" is merely the first flagstone along a path to a masterpiece in the making.
Broken Justice: Through Darkness Tall by D.W. Craigie is a new and unique look at a world much different than ours, a world called K'aeran. In K'arean there are the Cardanans, a relatively peaceful people who live in Carodan after having escaped from the Noriziem Empire during a time of chaos that resulted from a hard hitting plague that split the empire into five clans. The Cardanan clan wanted nothing to do with the cruel and brutish other clans that had turned their religion from one that worshipped the Six Dragons, to just one dragon, Galateagan the Black the god of Chaos. The Cardanans worshiped Antaunna the Blue, the goddess of balance and the sea, and through the sea they fled the land of the Noriziem to Carodan and have prospered ever since. Broken Justice takes place a few hundred years after their self-exile.
In the world of K'aeran we focus on a couple of things. On one side of things there is Kailen, a Warden of Carodan and protector of its people and lands. He is strong man and the main protagonist and he is put through a great many tests throughout his journey during this book. This is the man who will decide the fate of Carodan, and he isn't even aware of it yet. Then we have a decenter, Morrikii, the main antagonist, and his people have decided to make amends with the Noriziem clans in order to get back to Carodan and rule the land as he formerly tried to and failed. This former attempt to dethrone the king and take over resulted in his exile to the northern country of Fridinikar, a cold wasteland. The king however did not expect the people who were ruled under Morrikii to follow, yet they did and he allowed it. There is also a Grenar, a creature of the land of Carodan the Cardanans had chased to the edge of their country where the Grenar population remains minus this one mysterious one.
As the story progresses it becomes obvious that Carodan is not as safe as it has been in past centuries and a time of unsettlement is headed for it. The Noriziem are bonded together for the first time in hundreds of years with a common goal to take over Carodan and they are bent on their objective. As tensions rise and the action progresses the reader finds themselves needing and wanting more. This is volume one in an intended three volume series and its gives a kick start to an expansive world with a deep history. At 235 pages this novel is a must read for those who like series such as The Lord of the Rings, The Inheritance Cycle, and Dragon Age. There is also a history section at http://dwcraigie.com/lore_and_legend.html for those who like rich back stories to their novels.
The author will draw the reader in early on as he creates an air of empathy for all characters, heroes and villains alike. The story then picks up pace to take the reader on an emotional ride where their empathy turns to fear and thrill as the characters battle physically and emotionally for their home and identity.
This novel deserves five stars for its stark portrayal of political turmoil, human perspectives, and crisp fantasy elements that drive this genre. Highly recommend.
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