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The Final Warden (Gifts of Vorallon Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 252 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The protagonist of the novel is Lorace, a young man who awakes one day with ritualistic scars on his body and no memory of where he’s come from. In this world many people have a particular ‘gift’, which could just as easily be called a ‘power’ or ‘ability’. As the story progresses Lorace discovers his own gift, which he calls ‘sight’, the power to see within his mind places far from his location. In the context of the fictional world these gifts are said to be given by various gods, worshipped by the humans, dwarves, and elves together. Lorace is in possession of a mystical artifact called the godstone, sacred to the gods (naturally). With the aid of humans from the city of Halversome and dwarves from the city of Vlaske K’Brak, Lorace works to recover his memory and discover why it was lost. Along the way he becomes drawn into a war between the peoples of this world and demons from the realm of Nefryt, whose ravages threaten to destroy the world city by city.
The strongest aspect of this story is the quality of its worldbuilding. Within the first few pages, the amount of detail and complexity to the setting blew me away. The details of the world came out naturally, through character interactions and through comfortably brief narrator’s exposition. I was impressed with it, and I hope that I can come close to doing as well in my own work. The plot was at some points plodding and it took some time to get set up to certain key events, but I wouldn’t say I was bored with it. The book is relatively short, just over 200 pages, so for me it was a quick read overall.
There were several typos throughout the book, such as using “–ing” when “–ed” is meant and misusing apostrophes frequently. Given the overall quality of the rest of the story, this was strange to me. Apart from that, the story ends on something of a cliffhanger. Lorace’s main story arc is completed, but the arc of another character, a demonic entity called the Devourer, is left unresolved. This book is the first of three, so I may well get the next in the series to see what becomes of the Devourer. Cliffhangers are an annoyance to many readers, but the fact that the main arc of the story was resolved satisfied me in this regard.
The last comment I want to make on this book is that it fits one fantasy category that I’ve been hearing a lot about lately: Noblebright. The opposite of GrimDark fantasy, Noblebright is generally positive and optimistic. Heroes are heroic and villains are defeatable. This may make for more predictable storytelling, but it also provides some comfort for many readers who’ve felt lost with the recent trend that’s been popularized by ‘A Game of Thrones’ and its imitators. Fans of Noblebright fantasy and fans of more tradition epic fantasy will enjoy this book, and I’m pleased to say that I did.
The main character is a hero with a very grand destiny that he can either accept or reject with only his friends and the entire world's survival at stake. Sounds very similar to other fantasy books; but these three have a very fresh take on that very familiar plot and is worth reading.
Without giving out any spoilers I can tell you that the elves, dwarves, dragons, and sorcerers are not the only folk who wield powerful gifts. The humans are gifted as well and all must face their own fears and failures before they can fulfil thier destinies.
It is a well thought out series that I think would please the most jaded fantasy reader.
The Final Warden is a great introduction to people looking to get into fiction. The story and mythos is incredibly rich for a shorter series. There are three books, so you don't have to worry about waiting. The author has a great hook to lead the reader into the story.
Whether you are new to fantasy, or a hardened reader who's read the King Killer Chronicles and Lord of the Rings, I highly suggest the Gifts of Vorallon books 1-3.
Starting a new book is always a bit painful for me. I like getting to the meat of any subject. Thomas did enough in the first couple of chapters to raise questions in my mind. I was wondering why he used the word Killer for a character, and not Assassin. It made sense later in the book. This in part illustrates the authors ability to connect little pieces in the story. By the end of the book I still have many questions, but I also see that part of the story will not fit in until a later date.
I really enjoyed the authors use of rising and falling action. Little by little I was pulled deeper and deeper into the protagonist's world. The mystery behind the origin of the protagonist adds to the story. As he becomes more aware of who he is the action continues to build, to the point it made it hard for me to put down.
I have given this a five star rating. That does not mean I think it was "perfect". I would have liked to been grabbed a bit more at the start of the story. That is something that I feel like even big name authors struggle with. Without knowing what the rest of the series holds I wonder if to much information was given about the hero. However that is part of the mystery that intrigues me to want to read the next book in this series.
The author has an excellent vocabulary and constructs a world full of texture as he weaves his story. His imagination is simply fun to see in action. If you are looking for a easy book to read in the fantasy gendre, complete with heroic characters this is a good choice.
Every "good guy" perfectly follows forms of etiquette, is unfailingly polite, and never seems to have any noteworthy flaw(s).
Further, the book simply ends at one point. Not in a traditional cliffhanger sense... it simply ends.
A mediocre effort.