Rebel Elements (Seals of the Duelists Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Our protagonist, Bayan, is virtually kidnapped from his family and homeland where he will serve his emperor as a magical adept, or live out the rest of his life as a potionner- a menial and dis-respected cast-off. Eventually, Bayan will make friends and find his place in this new world in which he finds himself, although, through-out much of the book, the reader wonders if Bayan will ever get over being angry long enough to adjust-
Positives- As stated before, this is a beautifully written novel. There were no grammar issues, the formatting was flawless, the sentence structuring was superb, and a great deal of attention was paid to nice details like- glossaries, maps, and descriptions designed to help the reader get a feel for this vast, magical world.
The dialogue was also spot-on. This was quite a feat as the large cast of characters all had different dialects, social mores, and individual belief systems- Well done!
Negatives- As always, I state both sides of what I read (and feel) in the books I review... This was a good book, there is no doubt about that. So good, in fact, I may pick up the rest of the continuing series as it presents itself. However, there were a couple of flaws-
First- both Bayan, and the girl Kiwani, have deep anger issues... this is a good thing within the context of the story-line, (strong emotions make for stronger magical constructs!) Unfortunately, anger is an ugly emotion and tends to leave an ugly taste in the back of your throat. I wish that the author could have used a lighter touch with the negative emotions involving her principals- I found myself (at times) rather disliking the characters I was supposed to be rooting for.
Second- Right around the 70% point of the book I found myself veering dangerously close to "I don't care land!" This was because of the great care the author took in describing everything extensively. On one hand, I find this to be very helpful, especially in fantasy writing. On the other hand, it did (for me, at least) slog the plot-line down a bit.
In most fictional novels, that is the point where the pivotal moment occurs- the tension... and I began to wonder if this was going to happen at all. I muscled through, though, and was glad I did. The final battle was filled with heroic deeds, and nifty magic tricks- there was some understanding attained and some growth within the hearts of our protagonists.
Final appraisal- this is a well written and interesting fantasy novel by a new author that bears watching- 4 stars!
This is an excellent epic fantasy with several storylines coming together in a richly woven tapestry. The writing is smooth, the plot interesting and fast-flowing, the world varied and fascinating and the characters have depth and are well-developed. I was compelled to keep turning the pages to see what would happen next. I look forward to the next book in the series. In the meantime, I'm going to let my twelve-year-old read this and tell me what he thinks. He loves books with characters that use magic and he reads so much that I'm running out of recommendations for him.
*Book source ~ Many thanks to Red Adept for providing me with a review copy. Please see disclaimer page on my blog.
I enjoyed the system of magic here which involves a lot of physical training, so no soft mages in robes here. I hate writers who don't have some sort of organizing system to the magic of their worlds and especially where casting magic doesn't seem to involve any effort or cost to the mage. Jasmine Giacomo created a system where there are rules and limitations as well as physical cost to her magic which to me makes for a much, much more enjoyable read.
The only complaint I have is that the rest of the series isn't available right now.
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