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"THE SORCERER'S RING has all the ingredientsfor an instant success: plots, counterplots, mystery, valiant knights, andblossoming relationships replete with broken hearts, deception and betrayal. Itwill keep you entertained for hours, and will satisfy all ages. Recommended forthe permanent library of all fantasy readers." --Books and Movie Reviews, Roberto Mattos "[An] entertaining epic fantasy." --Kirkus Reviews "The beginnings of something remarkable arethere." --San Francisco Book Review "Action-packed .... Rice's writing is solid andthe premise intriguing." --Publishers Weekly "A spirited fantasy ....Only the beginning ofwhat promises to be an epic young adult series." --Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Morgan Rice is the #1 bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the epic fantasy series THE SORCERER'S RING, comprising seventeen books; of the #1 bestselling series THE VAMPIRE JOURNALS, comprising twelve books; of the new vampire series VAMPIRE, FALLEN; of the #1 bestselling series THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY, a post-apocalyptic thriller comprising three books; of the #1 bestselling epic fantasy series KINGS AND SORCERERS, comprising six books; of the new epic fantasy series THE WAY OF STEEL; and of the new epic fantasy series OF CROWNS AND GLORY, comprising two books (and counting). Morgan's books are available in audio and print editions, and translations are available in over 25 languages.
Morgan's newest releases are ROGUE, PRISONER, PRINCESS (Of Crowns and Glory--Book #2) and ONLY THE WORTHY (THE WAY OF STEEL--BOOK #1) , the debut of a new epic fantasy series, and ARENA 3, the conclusion of the Survival Trilogy.
TURNED (Book #1 in the Vampire Journals), ARENA ONE (Book #1 of the Survival Trilogy), A QUEST OF HEROES (Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring) and RISE OF THE DRAGONS (Kings and Sorcerers--Book #1) are each available as a free download on Amazon! BEFORE DAWN (Vampire Fallen--Book #1) and ONLY THE WORTHY (The Way of Steel--Book #1) are available as a free download via KU.
Morgan loves to hear from you, so please feel free to visit morganricebooks.com to join the email list, receive 4 free books, receive free giveaways, download the free app, get the latest exclusive news, connect on Facebook and Twitter, and stay in touch! As always, if any of you are suffering from any hardship, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to send you a free book!
A Quest of Heroes is the first book in a very long series. It is a book with many plot concepts lifted from other well-known stories. It is also a book that tries very hard to be good, but trips over its own feet in the telling.
One thing this story does not lack for is reviews. Most likely that is why mine will probably never be seen. That's OK; I'm used to being ignored, kind of like Thor, the main character. Be prepared, because I will probably drop some spoilers, at least of a minor nature. However, since most of the challenge of this book seems to be with the inconsistencies of story points, such spoilers will be part of it.
I choose a book most often based on the low star rated reviews. Within those reviews you can decide whether criticisms are warranted (and widely felt), or if someone just wants to be Rex Reed and pan everything. This book is no different, and has a plethora of low star reviews to it. After reading the story, I would say that the vast majority of the complaints, at least concerning the story line itself, are valid. I just don't mark them quite as negative as others. By the time I read this book, it looked like most of the grammar, spelling, and homonym issues were corrected. The story line problems, though cannot be corrected so easily without a complete rewrite.
In general character development is nil; what we have are cardboard caricatures of knights, kings and princesses, all being pushed around a big board. The main character of this volume is Thor. He is the youngest of four brothers in a family with only a father. Thor, of course, is treated badly, given the dirtiest jobs, and generally not wanted. There is some foreshadowing of the mystery of Thor's birth and how he is "Special", but nothing comes of it in this volume. This is a common device in fantasy stories, but you have to start somewhere, right? Thor wants to be a member of The Legion, the elite fighting force of the kingdom. Of course, he is rejected during a selection event in his village. Undeterred, he goes to the royal city and tries to "prove himself" so they will let him stay, even though he was rejected before.
During this attempt, he shows a magical power unseen before. This causes everyone to accept him, kind of. He starts training, and here is where the inconsistencies begin to mount within the story threads. The low reviews between them cover a great many of the challenges; in my first draft I tried to list some of them, but I cannot do justice to the inconsistency of time and place. One does not change from peasant kid to (unexplained) honorary son of the king to vaunted warrior to prisoner in a dungeon, all in the span of days written within the story. The low star reviews explain them far better than I.
So - if I reference the low star reviews so much, and there seems to be such a disconnect from reality in so many areas, why did I award three stars? Through all the problems and bad writing, the obvious and not-so-obvious borrowing from other stories, there is a very good base of a story here. The author is in such a hurry to tell it, which seems to be common in teen stories, that the tale loses any touch with time, place, and physical realm. Inconsistencies are ignored, action is edited to fit the time alloted, and what could be a great story of fantasy and the coming of age of a young hero converts from an orderly circling carousel to a spinning top, flinging horses and canvas in every direction.
I am torn whether I will go on in this series. The plot, though in many ways cliche', has an interesting pull. At least for a while, the reader can suspend disbelief regarding all the inaccuracies, mistakes, rushed story line, and outright questionable writing. I know I cannot take 17 books of it, but I might at least try to find out what happens next.
I try to use the word hate sparingly. If used too often it loses it's meaning. I usually come to realize that I don't hate whatever is happening, or some material object. What I really hate are social and political commentaries that denigrate others. There is a lot to hate there. This book is pretty bad. Ok, really bad. The author begins with an often used fantasy trope. That of the smaller, less socially impressive protagonist. The young lad that dreams of a better life far away from the only home he has ever known.
The main character then attempts to step out to begin the life that he knows he is destined for. This action causes a confrontation with the first way-station he must pass on his way to his destiny. That of getting out from under the tyrannical rule of his family. All of the people he knows are shocked, and immediately disparage our young hero for his audacity. The only thing that can be done is desperate, and seemingly impossible! Those that doubted the will, and bravery that the main character possesses, will soon receive their due! He will do what he dreams!
This book's author has all that happen in roughly 30 pages. The protagonist is introduced, has his chance to begin his lifelong dream, his family puts him down, he decides he will carry on bravely, slays a monster, learns about his "special destiny," and triumphs to win his place in full-on heroic fashion. The rest of the first 1/4 of the book has a similar break-neck rehashing of every old cliche in the fantasy writer's junk drawer. Young protagonist is challenged to a task that seems difficult but he pulls it off with a casual air. He then earns the respect of the well-loved sons of the king. He gets beaten by the local bully. But wins the respect of his comrades for his ability to keep getting up. This of course brings him to the attention of the greatest hero of the realm and brings him into the inner circle. He meets the King, they hit it off like gangbusters. He has an instant connection with the beautiful princess. Gains the ire of the Queen due to his low social standing. Etc.. Etc.. Etc...
All of this we have seen and read before. This novel would improve immensely, if only the author had taken a little bit of time to put some flesh on the old bones of familiar fantasy roles. However, that would mean the author cared enough to go through that process. This author clearly did not. I read the whole book. Each encounter only served to check off another item on the tattered list of hero and quest story-telling. And I have a great affection for those types of books when done well. So, I can't hate it. But I definitely don't like it.
Wierd mix of YA themes and term writing level. Finished it but had to force myself to do so. I agree with another reviewer who said it almost feels like it was written by a bot. Lots of repetitive word use. Thor "sprints" an awful lot. Lots of time inconsistencies: Thor meets Gwen at midday, sounds time with her, they part company, he was for hours, morning turns to afternoon, just as one example.
Also, with her in the new trend that end seem to have off producing books that are really chapters in a story, not complete stories in themselves. At least when Asimov wrote the Foundation trilogy, or Tolkien the LOTR series, each book study on it's own and didn't require you to read the next one to have a sense of resolution. There is no resolution in this book. At all. And I suspect that reach of the other books is the same.
Hopefully, the writing improves in subsequent episodes (I can't bring myself to call them stories), but I won't be finding out.