- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Spence City (April 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1939392268
- ISBN-13: 978-1939392268
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,208,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hunt for Valamon Paperback – April 7, 2015
"The characterization of all the main players here is meaty, visceral, and intelligent. Every one of them, from Valamon to the being who snatched him, has an agenda, and no two are alike. No one’s actions feel awkward or out of place; the pacing is like a roller-coaster ride; and the settings are imbued with meaning that’s subtly placed. The overall effect is a fantasy-thriller read that is intense, dark, inventive, and delicious."
“A hilarious and endearing fantasy to read. Mok blends humour and gravity together magnificently.”
(Fantasy Book Review)
“A fun read that offered quite a few surprises. Hunt for Valamon is refreshing and unique, highly recommended for fantasy readers looking for an adventurous journey.”
“In every aspect of this book, Mok brings something new. Highly recommended to anyone who loves fantasy.”
(Between Once Upon a Time and Ever After)
“A fun read, with plenty of humorous moments, and some charmingly quirky characters.”
(Locus Magazine) “A fast paced epic fantasy tale that manages to portray a number of genre tropes in a fresh and exciting way. The story delivers a tale of adventure and mayhem, played out by characters that are dynamic and varied, ensuring that the reader never gets bored. A good read whether you’re a fantasy fan or not.”(SFBook Reviews)“An original, fast paced and fascinating tale that kept me riveted from start to finish.”(Smash Dragons)
About the Author
DK Mok is a fantasy and science fiction author whose novels include Squid's Grief, Hunt for Valamon and The Other Tree. DK's work has been shortlisted for three Aurealis Awards, a Ditmar and a WSFA Small Press Award. DK grew up in libraries, immersed in lost cities and fantastic worlds populated by quirky bandits and giant squid. She graduated from UNSW with a degree in Psychology, pursuing her interest in both social justice and scientist humour. DK lives in Sydney, Australia, and her favourite fossil deposit is the Burgess Shale.
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This Kindle e-book was approximately 400 printed pages and sold for $6.49 at time of writing this review.
Please Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
General Theme (minor spoilers)
Valamon, the crown prince of the Talgaran Empire has been abducted, resulting in a surprisingly laid-back rescue effort by his younger brother, Falon. The rescue party consist of just two individuals... a cursed, female warrior, Elhan, and a young cleric, Seris, whose chief asset is that he has some magical healing power. This unlikely combo must learn to pool their assets and work together for any chance of success... if of course, they don't kill each other first.
Some thoughts on "Hunt for Valamon"...
1.) a tale set within a medieval type landscape... well written and tightly edited.
2.) some great characters, well developed.
3.) a highly labile, frantic plot that features lots of action, graphically described.
4.) the story has a nice sense of pace and timing. Not much down time and no fill.
5.) the tale is told through the characters, many of which feature a wry, gallows type of humor that is sprinkled throughout the entire novel. Not overpowering; just the right amount.
6.) an unexpected, yet satisfying conclusion.
1.) no map... a tale of travel to a variety of destinations. A map would have added a sense of distance, direction and topography.
2.) a short segment seen through a horse's perspective. Maybe the one segment of the book that felt out of place and had me wondering if it really should have been included.
What started out as an unlikely and possibly frivolous quest (giving the personalities and the initial dynamics of the two characters that were paired together) that had me wondering what I'd gotten myself into. But with a little time and patience I simply got drawn into this marvelous tale and its fabulous characters. And by the end I realized this was in fact, a small masterpiece... a tour de force in fantasy writing. The story simply got stronger and more polished as the end approached.
Author Mok displays writing that is mature; prose that is clear, concise and easy to read. Beyond this she has story-telling skills that could only be described as a gift.
DK Mok is an author to watch for in the future.
As it is... 5 Stars.
It reminds me, in many ways, of a Terry Pratchett story. We have not one, but two earnest, rather hapless young men with burning ideals about how the world should be, who struggle and sacrifice and are willing to pay any price to make it that way, because they care very deeply. We have several capable, no-nonsense young women who eventually come round to the young men's way of thinking, and provide necessary ingredients of the solution. We have some dark moments, but also some very funny moments, mostly either "hapless young man is hapless" or else clever play with language. The plot is exciting, suspenseful, and far from predictable. Every so often we have a beautifully phrased philosophical statement like "People only knew what they wanted, not what was important. That's why things didn't work." The editing is excellent, and I don't say that often or lightly.
There is one way in which I felt the book could have been improved, and it's an issue that this kind of book is vulnerable to. There are a lot of fairly generic minor characters, and I had trouble, when one showed up again after an interval, remembering who they were or anything else about them. The main characters were OK; we saw enough of them, and they had enough things that they wanted and enough distinctive attributes, that they were easy to remember and tell apart. The minor characters, though, needed to stand out from the background a bit more clearly, even if it was just through a couple of initial descriptive tags that could be mentioned again when they reappeared (the Roger Zelazny method).
Apart from that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will be looking out for more from D.K. Mok.
I also enjoyed the fact that there were several well-developed secondary characters and interwoven plot lines. I did feel that the plethora of characters caused the final chapters to become a little choppy, but still satisfactory.
One of my best arguments for this book might be that when I finished I said to myself: "Do the best review you can." I hope that is the case. You will enjoy this book that is drenched in intelligent writing rather than blood.