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The Legacy Chronicle: The Sword, Vol. 1 Paperback – May 2, 2016
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About the Author
T.H. (Trevor Howard) Paul is a private secondary school literature teacher at Hebron Academy in Hebron, Maine. T.H. has lived most of his life in Maine, though he did attend Wheaton College in Massachusetts and spent time living in Germany and the People’s Republic of China. T.H. started working on the Legacy Chronicle when he was a freshman in high school, tasked with writing a serial story by his freshman English teacher, Ross Markonish. That story blossomed into a lengthier book, a deepening mythology, and even spawned his own variation on popular tabletop role-playing games, which was dubbed Ascension by one of his good friends and players in Tianjin, PRC. T.H. lives on the campus of Hebron Academy with his wife, Molly, and their dog, Zoe. When not writing he enjoys playing ice hockey, board and video games, drinking tea, and hoarding Legos he swears are for that aforementioned tabletop RPG he runs sometimes. This is his first novel and series; built from over fifteen years of tinkering, rewriting, frustration, and hope.
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The prose is richly detailed, and the writer deserves credit for his world building. Plus, although this may seem like a trivial detail, the writer excels at character naming. By using appropriate names for the setting, he increases the immersion factor.
He also uses a lot of the standard fantasy character archetypes: the reluctant hero (Trem), the hero with a dark past (Ghost), the turncoat (spoiler), the strong woman (Lena and Raymir). I like how he also pairs up characters to an extent, which aids their development. For example, Trem is often compared and contrasted to Jovan. Some of the pairings are quite interesting: The knight Logan and his orc sidekick Grimtooth are an agreeable duo, while the young mage Diaga and his firecat familiar Neep are the most unique characters in the book.
The first 100 pages are slow, and the opening would have benefited from a couple of action set pieces early on to serve as hooks. However, once the heroes band together, the pace picks up, making for a more enjoyable read.
I would have welcomed some more ambiguity in terms of good and evil. The villains are clearly identified, right down to stroking their chins menacingly. The few plot twists are predictable, so don't expect a lot of surprises.
I look forward to the next volume in the series and watching this new writer evolve his story.
It is not to say that the writing is terrible. It's not. It's just that the synopsis of the book it totally different from what I have expected. The synopsis said that it is about the protagonist Trem and his patient Joven. To some degree yes, it is but there are way more characters in the book and multiple POVs than I expected. Trem probably takes just about 1/4 of the books and the rest is being shared by multiple characters. I like building affinity with the main characters of books I read so I tend to shy away from multiple POV books like GoT. I understand the attraction to most but I'm more of a traditionalist myself so I cannot say that is a bad thing.
The thing that hacks me the most is the formatting. Sometimes, the story would go from one character to the next mid-paragraph that by the time you're at the end, you're probably confused as to who is talking.
The premise is interesting but the execution is lacking. Mr.Paul spent too many pages on descriptions and character building that half of the book is probably that. I like a good set piece but the story needs to move on.
There is also this weird sense of slowness. You have this kind of Romeo and Juliet effect wherein you know for a fact that things are supposed to be happening at a fast pace but the characters spend so much time in introspection and generally being difficult that the sense of urgency is completely not there.
The main plot is nothing special and some of the sequences would probably remind fantasy readers of quite of few books with the same theme going on so I was expecting that there would be some kind of hook or a variation of the formula to keep it interesting. I would say that the changes the author made were too little to distance itself from possible comparisons in the genre.
Ultimately, I felt that I got jipped when I bought the book. I was expecting something and was given another thing. I don't think I was ripped-off but I do think I was deceived.