- File Size: 2329 KB
- Print Length: 651 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: January 22, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00I1S2CP4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,880 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$25.99|
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Harbinger of Doom ( Epic Fantasy Three Book Bundle) Kindle Edition
|Length: 651 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"... a masterfully crafted epic fantasy about the ages old struggle between good and evil." ---- Carol Marrs Phipps, author of Elf Killers
"I am not exaggerating when I say that excellence is in every part of this book - from the dialogue, the settings, the pacing, the plot, to the overall feel of the story... a classic in the making." ----- Rai Aren, co-author of Secret of the Sands.
"...a must read for all fans of classic sword and sorcery. A blend of Howard, Moorcock, Wagner, with a twist of Lovecraft. Well written and hugely entertaining." ---- Jimmyonly (an Amazon reviewer)
"The Harbinger of Doom Series is a masterfully written story with Epic Heroic Battles, Adventure and great characters." --- An Amazon Reviewer
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One of my biggest complaints, however, involves Theta. He keeps getting touted as the ultimate evil, the deceptor, etc etc, but he seems to be the most honest of the group. Mostly because he rarely says anything. I can see the Harbinger of Doom bit, but the rest (other than Traitor, that one I get) doesn't make any sense, even with the flashbacks and exposition. Is this utilized in another book further down the line? I like to hope so. If it turns out to be one of those where his secret is revealed and everyone accepts him anyway and pledge their loyal friendship, it would make for a very boring plot twist.
Also, did not care for the ending of book 3. I'm afraid as much as I enjoyed the series so far, that ending had the opposite effect of setting the hook. Regardless, it was still a worthy read.
Now, the truth is I only listened to the first part of this collection. I just couldn't go any further.
Okay, first, let's talk about the author's "foreword."
Is there some sort of factual basis to this character (Angle Theta) or is this a fabrication similar to what William Goldman did for The Princess Bride?
I honestly don't know, but I lean toward the latter. Either way, it comes off as gimmicky and disingenuous. If it's true, well that's cool, but it doesn't change the story. And if it isn't, then it's a heavy handed gimmick.
Either way, in my opinion it should have been omitted.
Now, as to the story itself, I have to confess myself disappointed. I knew going into it that I'd be getting something Conan-eske in A Norse setting, so it would be brutal yet heroic and relatively simple.
Had that been what I got, I would have been reasonably happy with it.
Unfortunately, rather than resembling Conan the hero (I hesitate to call him main character or protagonist as he's not actually the focus for that much of the story) is more like superman.
He's brilliant, he's immensely strong, incredibly skilled, possessed of powerful magic, and seems to know things far beyond the ken of ordinary mortals. The stories say he's killed giants, dragons, even gods.
All this has the unfortunate side effect of making him rather boring. He has no weaknesses and no character arc.
Also unfortunate is that we learn about all this not by seeing it but by being told about it.
The other hero, Gabriel, has a similar history. Yet for some reason, everyone else around them scoffs at the reports of Theta's accomplishments while accepting Gabriel's as gospel.
All that aside, my two biggest complaints about the story are so common as to be almost cliche. Unfortunately, they were common of books written in the 80s. It always frustrates me when I read a new book that does these things because it screams loud and clear that either the author learned to write during that period and hasn't kept up with modern standards, or has only read very old books and never bothered to learn about writing techniques and grammar standards at all.
1) Head-hopping. Bouncing around between the POVs (being inside the heads) of multiple characters within a single scene.
Yes, there is an argument to be made for it being in an omniscient POV, but it doesn't seem that way. We don't consistently see every character's thoughts in each scene and each POV seems to be in the voice of the character rather than on omniscient narrator.
2) Lots and lots of back story. Excessive back story. Most of it completely irrelevant to the story. For example, shortly into the story we have a MASSIVE aside about one character's past love interest who never reciprocated. We hear about how their friendship began, how it progressed, and how it was finally expunged, all in the middle of some fairly interesting things happening, so it completely killed the tension of the plot.
And did that information matter to the story?
No. Not one little bit. The love interest makes no appearance in the story and none of the information given comes into play in any way.
The only thing about the entire aside that means anything at all was learning that for members of the warrior order this character is part of, marriage is frowned upon.
During the first half to two-thirds of the book, I would say (I'm guessing, so don't quote me on this) the story is about 60% back story.
Almost everything we learn about each character is told rather than shown, and their actions in the present largely do not support those things we have been told about them.
There is a surprising amount of cultural detail, but surprisingly little description about the things I would expect it of. We get rather long descriptions of rituals and the like, as well as the appearance of main characters and their weapons and armor, but almost none of any of the monsters until the big ones at the end. I got almost no sense of what most of the creatures are meant to look like.
As expected, the story is very straightforward with no real twists or turns. In the end, it's largely a battle between larger than life heroes and godlike demons.
There is some decent action, but the lack of vivid details of the action makes it read like a summary, which unfortunately takes away almost all the tension and makes it quite dull.
The ending does come off as something of a blending of the Cthulu mythos and Conan the Barbarian, which could have been amazing if the author had pulled it off.
In the end, if you enjoyed the tone and style of the Howard Conan stories but found the action too intense or the back story far too light, this might be a book you would enjoy.
where have you been all my reading life? i have long ago paused my reading of fantasy books after "the children of hurin" because nobody seems to write that good a story anymore.... until now. your story riveted me. i am starting volume 2. and i can't wait to read the rest of Angle Theta. his immortality and prowess remind me of Thranduil. i want to see this in a movie one day.
-- mrs. dean
Top international reviews
Anyway to the books in question. I have read a lot of fantasy books over the years, some excellent and some not so good, In my opinion this saga Is somewhere in the middle.
It's not all about magic and sorcery. It's there but up to yet it's pretty much in the background. Good fights and not too descriptive regarding the injuries so fine for greens to read.
The characters coming to life a bit more now and we are learning more about each one as the story unfolds.
I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
A decent story so far and would recommend it to all new reader's of this genre as its pretty uncomplicated and easy to get into, maybe not for the fantasy die-yards out there but all in all its a great read and definitely worth giving it a go, what's to lose.
M C Sterry.
It goes up to book 11 currently and not the end of the series (books 7 & 8 don't relate to the characters so I am not sure why they were slipped in) and to be honest it is getting expensive for small books (under 300 pages for almost £5) so little frustrated really and not sure I would read this author again as it seems to be spinning it along too much, I know author's have to make money but ....