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Gedlund (A Tale of the Verin Empire Book 1) Kindle Edition
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- File size : 3215 KB
- Publication date : December 5, 2014
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 638 pages
- ASIN : B00QN3M7NG
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #620,469 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I would like for there to be a bit more steampunk punk in some of his future writing, perhaps the lovely Mr. Glynn may find adventure in a part of the Empire where such tech is more common? Should Mr. Ray choose to reprise Tammen Gilmot's character, it would be quite interesting for him to be a bit of a sidekick to Glynn as a historian / biographer in the mould of Dr.Watson, following and assisting the indomitable Glynn, detective adventurer - foil to the establishment. Whatever the direction he takes with this world you may be sure that I will be reading.
The characters are particularly fun to read about. Each one has a mystery at the center, and Ray teases them out over the course of the book, keeping us engaged and wondering. The same is true about the world Ray has created. There’s much more going on than we ever see “on stage.”
Meanwhile, for sheer Fantasy fun, the number and variety of magical beasties is a delight.
Honestly, I’ll put this book up with McClellan’s Gunpowder Mage series and Evan’s Iron Elves series. Great stuff.
I remember having the sense as I was reading that I would be rather playing the game of this story - the author's description of the environments is keen and elegant and the mood is set that you can really get a sense that exploration would be wonderful. The first act drops you into a Bernard Cornwell-eque Napoleonic army camp peppered and mixed with the bizarre and the fantastic of Bill Ray's manufactured world - hardened soldiers facing down hordes of goblins in battle array. BLAZE!
The story transitions from the mud and grime of an entrenched army camp to the relative splendor of the Verin Empire's capital city - reminiscent in my memory of how I imagine Victorian London. Here the story throttles down and sets up the man thrust of the rest of the book.
Next, the group makes a military expedition into Gedlund to confront the Lich King. This main portion features some dynamic storytelling. There are periods of page-turning peril - including very memorable confrontations with Lightning Giants and Demonic Fiddlers that, as mentioned above, have stuck with me very vividly for years.
But, I cannot remember why Gedlund and the Lich King needed to be confronted in the first place, and I don't remember how the Lich King was defeated. So a lot of the point is lost on me - which wouldn't be so much of a problem except that the intriguing aspects of the book are rendered abstract. Also, if you proceed to book #2 as I did, you might feel a sense of guilt that the long suffering PTSD that certain characters (the wonderfully written Gus Baston) have to cope with as a result of the Gedlund campaign is mostly lost on you, even though you experienced it "with them".
Top reviews from other countries
Unfortunately, he doesn’t go to some of the more mundane destinations he expects and for his first time out, he is sent into the thick of things holding the line against Goblins. Which is how he ended up under Captain Valdemar Hoskaaner’s command and subsequently on his way to Gedlund.
We see the bulk of this story through Tammen. He is kind of a serious guy who puts his best effort into everything he does including helping others. I liked him and that we feel just as out of sorts and uncomfortably green as he does in the beginning. He starts settling in, and us along with him and it’s a comfortable read with a nice easy voice.
For that reason, the point of view change about midway was probably my biggest grievance. I’m not sure if it was the suddenness of having character’s that up until then we only saw briefly through Tam’s eyes, or if it was a little because neither were characters I cared about. But whatever it was, the change in pov jarred me out of my relaxed viewpoint.
I do understand why the change was needed, especially in the back-end where it helps to keep the scope of the battle as large as it was (luckily by then I was used to Gus, so it was comfortable again).
The world is a neat mix of goblins, elves, and other ghostly things, eerie creatures, and the very cool Everlords- Gedlund’s version of vampires.
I enjoyed the setting- it was atmospheric and there is a good sense of gradual creepiness with each encounter they have with the Everlords, making a nice build to the end.
I’m going to go on a bit here because I really love military fantasy. I don’t know what it is about it but I like the guns, the uniforms, even the silliness of some of the requirements. I like the order- everything has a place, a path, a chain of command- it all fits together and somehow the chaos of hundreds of soldiers manage to become a large-scale working instrument (and to think I can’t get three people to use a laundry basket)- they either do their job well, or they whole unit stands a chance of falling apart.
So as military fantasy’s go, I found a lot to like in this one. There’s a lot of battles which get progressively bigger until the finale. There are organising troops, gun use, and marching- some of my favorite parts were the parade row marching and just any of the scenes where they had to keep or use a tempo. I especially loved the use of sound combined with the visuals to bring the scenes alive.
I also like knowing how things work. I maybe don’t want it to be in-depth for pages and pages but the insights and little details included here and there of everything; from bookkeeping and requisitioning gear, to moving the army- be it, equipment, people, or just the large guns that have to be broken down for the ships or hauled across the land and put back together etc. this was totally my jam.
I appreciated those kinds of small details for helping to round out the world and adding that bit of realism to the inner workings of an army that is essentially the equivalent of a small-town worth of people. And this is one of the few books I’ve read where the war actually felt larger than just the company that our mc, Tam, belongs to. I don’t know if it was the imagery (the one I had in my head of that lightning golem stamping across the field of soldiers was pretty great) or what, but the battles felt huge- as if an actual army was there.
Some of the battles did get a little long. I personally think one in particular would have been more impactful having Tam and co. arrive in the aftermath but that’s my opinion. Though, I would have missed the cool parade march to ‘show off’ to the city and that would have been a shame.
This is a good solid story. I enjoyed it and it’s definitely worth checking out.
I liked the somewhat political turn the plot took.
Nicely placed foreshadowing to remind us of certain things we may have forgotten so when they came about in the final battle, they felt right.
Self contained story.
The logs/notes at the beginning of the chapter are a lot of fun, add a lot to the story and by the time you get to the end fill in some details that you may have not have realized you were going to want to know.