"Many epic fantasy reads hold the same familiartrappings: destiny redirects a young life, heritage dictates its obstacles, theprotagonist either rebels against or struggles to achieve his birthright, andnew abilities come into play to change everything.
Kurintor Nyusi takes a different approach, adopting a focus onprotagonist choices in the face of changing circumstances and emphasizing thesechanging options at different points during the tale.
The battles aren't just physical confrontations, andthey don't always take place in the arena of a physical world, either. That'sjust one powerful piece in a storythat winds through threats and arrogance, strong female characters who wieldswords and defy death, and one savvy girl's devotion to her Da and her self.
Onestrength to note in the course of these events is the languageAaron-Michael Hall employs to describe scenes and characters: "Druehox was a smug churl who wouldn'thave given her the time of day had she wanted his attention. Since the oppositewas true, his advances bordered on stalking. Every night, he appeared to have adifferent woman's company. They doted and sniffed behind him as if he was theruler of the twelve kingdoms." An attention to atmosphere andpsychological insights is just one ofthe strengths that lend a touch of the fantastic to even ordinary scenesand descriptions.
Anotherstrength lies in the story line's emphasis on developingmental as well as physical prowess. The descriptions of training and battlesare well done, as are the explorations of how such training occurs on differentlevels. These insights influence into other kinds of preparations for survivalagainst all odds: "You have to be awareof your battlefield, Damali," helectured, using his cover to mask his position. "There's more to combat thanspeed and brute force. Use your mind and harness your true abilities."
From the loss of parents and the desire to carry ontheir teachings to unexpected new beginnings "Once the gate closed, Alyelu grinned. "I've shattered the mirror,Father, and buried the past. With your death, I'll truly begin to live."
Kurintor Nyusi is replete with subplots that cover various forms of choiceand transformation.
Wind these elements into an epic fantasy filled withsatisfying battles, confrontations with self and others, and changing tiesbetween present, past, and future for a powerfulsaga especially recommended for epic fantasy fans who like theiraction-packed stories seasoned with examinations of personal power and how thatis cultivated."
Readers' Favorite -R. Simmons
I am a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan. I have been readingthese two genres since I was a kid. Greek and Norse mythology, Arthurianlegends, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, comic books, classics, I read it all.So sometimes it's hard for me to get excited about new books or new writers inthe genre. Some days I believe I've simply read too much in these genres, so it's just too difficult to find a newwriter, book, or series that can really excite me or surprise me. Well, that's just some days. Then, on otherdays I read a book like Kurintor Nyusi by Aaron-Michael Hall. Suddenly, I'mexcited by a new writer and I'm seeing new things in one of my favorite genres.This book is good. It will surprise you with the directions in which itveers off. The characters will leave you scratching your head at the choicesthey make, but most of all it will keep you reading because it is soentertaining.
When describing an imaginary world with imaginarycharacters, the power of descriptive details cannot be over emphasized. This is an area where Aaron-Michael Hallexcels. I felt I have been to this world. The place felt real to me and sodid the characters. That was nice because as the personalities were revealed,you could see how this world, this environment, formed them and why they wantwhat they want and act like they act. I thought the female characters were especially well written, especiallyconsidering the feudal society they lived in. The plot is good and reflects theenvironment and the power involved. KurintorNyusi is a well written fantasy novel and Aaron-Michael Hall is a writer towatch.