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The Misery Knight Paperback – December 3, 2012
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For a first time author, the character and storyline are well thought out and developed. It's a "hero's journey" story with unexpected twists and turns. As the plot progresses, so does your understanding of the characters and their background. I felt that I got to know them as much as I would if I were meeting them on the road, sharing their journey with them. They are presented with all their virtues and shortcomings unabashedly presented, without judgement or embellishment. The reader is left to make their own judgement on who's beliefs are "right" or "wrong" or just who is "good" or "bad" - pretty refreshing since they are on a quest to save the world.
And there is just enough building of that world that you get a sense there is something terribly wrong with the land and it's people. While many clues to the reasons why are given, you (along with the main characters) never fully understand what happened to make it that way. Hopefully, this will be explained in the subsequent books. Since the inhabitants of this world have little knowledge of their distant past, history is viewed through their eyes, with revelations just as astonishing to the heroes as the readers.
One thing I did find confusing was the geography of the continent they are on - there are a few references to the geography of the outlying island nations but, it seemed the main continent was just one giant land mass and including a map would have been helpful as the party moves around a lot. This didn't bother me for the most part, I was just curious to see how the different landmarks relate to each other (you'll have to read the book to know what I mean).
All in all, I did get to genuinely like many of the main characters and I look forward to reading the next book.