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Kalanon's Rising (Agents of Kalanon Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Darian Smith is a very talented writer, one whom I would rank on par with BrandonSanderson and Peter V. Brett. His plots are engrossing,his settingshighly developed and he has a real knack for immersing you fully intothe world. Kalanon's Rising is both a murder mystery and apowerful fantasy novel, and Smith displays a considerable amount oftalent and imagination at penning both." - Booksellers NZ (booksellersnz.wordpress.com/tag/kalanons-rising/)
"Well written and compelling throughout. Definitely a standout." - Judge, SpecFicNZ Novel Manuscript Competition
- ASIN : B01LWZOTWS
- Publisher : Wooden Tiger Press (October 15, 2016)
- Publication date : October 15, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 3096 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 424 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #337,670 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Smith does a wonderful job of setting the tone early. We’re introduced to Sir Brannon Kesh as a former war hero but now reluctant warrior. His loyalty to the kingdom of Kalanon is unquestioned and while he serves as King’s Champion he is torn between that role and his role as a doctor. While Brannon is certainly the main character in this story, nearly all the other members of his team are also interesting with backstories and motivations that make you root for them. It’s the characters that work so well to make the concept really shine. We have a warrior turned physician who is tasked to solve a torture/murder and the stakes are quite possibly the start of another war. The whodunit aspects are well implemented and, as I said, the strength of the various characters help to elevate this into something beyond a simple, cozy murder mystery. There are also gruesome descriptions of murder scenes which one wouldn’t normally find in a cozy mystery, it’s more Bones than Murder, She Wrote. Not only is the concept interesting and the characters engaging, but the plot plays out well, keeping you guessing and there are interesting bits of magic worked throughout the story. I love when the magic of a fantasy world is important to the plot, and that’s certainly the case here in Kalanon’s Rising. Smith doesn’t just stop with all of this, though. He begins painting a realistic world—one in which prejudices between former enemies plays a role that feels true-to-life. All of these elements work together in just the right proportions to give us a fun, interesting, and authentic feel to a story that is really one-of-a-kind because of its concept.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the entire novel, there were a couple things that didn’t quite work for me. In the early chapters there was a tendency to tell rather than show, especially when it came to world building or some of the backstory for Brannon and Kalanon. This might have been the most expedient way to get the reader up to speed on necessary backstory, and sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do it, but I prefer when it feels more natural. In the second half of the book Smith finessed things a little by having characters see the perpetrator, but not think of the perpetrator’s name. A character might think, “So, it was HIM!” But they don’t actually think of the name. This frustrated me a bit. I felt it didn’t add much at that point, other than suspense that was more frustration than actual suspense.
Kalanon’s Rising is a wonderfully engaging fantasy whodunit with high stakes and fun magic. One of the more unique books I’ve read recently, I’m looking forward to the sequel—though this one stands well enough on its own.
5 – I loved this, couldn’t put it down, move it to the top of your TBR pile
4 – I really enjoyed this, add it to the TBR pile
3 – It was ok, depending on your preferences it may be worth your time
2 – I didn’t like this book, it has significant flaws and I can’t recommend it
1 – I loathe this book with a most loathsome loathing
*** What to expect
The murder of the king's nephew (and presumptive heir) is guaranteed to draw attention. The King's Champion, a current physician and previous war leader, is tasked with finding the murderer and resolving what promises to be a highly political crime.
Together with a few unlikely helpers, Sir Brannon must navigate a world where mages draw on spirits from other worlds and animate the dead, where everyone has secrets and a single mistake would see the spark of a war that would tear his country apart.
*** What I liked
Smith gives us a fast moving plot and an interesting magic system. I enjoyed Brannon working to solve the murder, with the occasional detour to other points of view. I enjoyed learning about the world and its interesting mechanics.
*** What to be aware of
One of the most immediate things I noticed was the language. To me, it felt too modern for a non-contemporary setting. That also applies to some of the concepts that the characters bandy about, which seem anachronistic. Still, this would likely appeal to any fans of the CSI shows.
*** Felix's Review
Felix found the mystery part a bit predictable, without any major twists. He also had some questions about the interactions and choices of a few of the characters: he'll fully stand behind the intrigue and scheming, but found those on a personal level of some of the side characters stretching his credulity.
It's an interesting work, with a lot of promise. Though I feel it could have been much more, that could be down to personal tastes. I'd recommend it if you like epic-ish fantasy adventures and crime shows.
Assaph Mehr, author of Murder In Absentia: Togas, Daggers, and Magic - for lovers of Ancient Rome, Murder Mysteries, and Urban Fantasy.
Top reviews from other countries
I enjoyed the:
- murder mystery which did keep me guessing.
- various types of magic shown.
- strong female characters and particularly related to one who was the mother of a young child.
- main character who was a warrior turned physician.
Imaginative and different.
I have now brought the whole series and am working through the next book.