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Revelations (Salinor the Beginnings Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Classifying Samuel genre for this new series depends on the entry point in the readers mind. The writing is fluid, richly painted and full of exotic concepts. There is a sense of an epic: the Book 1 merely introduces us to a strange and fascinating realm that doubtless will become more and more familiar with each new entry in the series.
The story soars the imagination, in part because the writing is so lush. To point, the Prologue offers seductive tones that act as a magnet to keep the pages turning: ‘“Tell me why should I, Sailor, goddess of all, grant you this request? Who are you to deem yourself worthy of the favor of the gods?” Aorta, a boy of eighteen, looked up at Sailor and couldn’t believe his twist of fate. Had he travelled leagues across land and sea, had he braved the turning of winter for nothing? And now after trekking up the mountain of the gods—the pass of Gain’s—a feat that had killed many a man, he was faced with this. He was even stopped from using his last bit of strength to vault himself from the top of the mountain in an act of self-sacrifice. All this he had done to save his mother, and now he was being denied. He was stopped from killing himself only so that she could taunt him. Laugh at him as he took his dying breaths. Could the gods really be that cruel? Even still, he came at his mother’s orders, and he’d come too far even for the mother of all to deny him. As long as he breathed, he would fight for his own mother’s life. “In strength, when I was broken, in faith though doubt was certain, in hope against hope, I believed against all odds that I could save her. Even if it meant the taking of my own life.” Sailor seemed appeased by this, yet chose not to help regardless. “If I told you that even life sacrifice wouldn’t ensure your mother’s life, what would you do?” “My mother, Ronal’s, is a great seamstress. Let her make you a dress worthy of the gods. If it is not, then my whole family’s fate is at your hands.” Sailor nodded as if to say that was reasonable before replying, “She shall use the fabric of the gods and make the dress for my daughter.” It has been said that the gods can only sew the material of the gods. By setting this task, Sailor was sealing Aorta’s family to a fate of death. Aorta, for his part, showed no hint that it could not be done. So on top of the Margarine Mountains, home of the gods, the deal was struck. Then Aorta went home to his dying mother. The goddess temporarily healed Aorta’s mother to allow her to do the best work she could. And she got to work immediately. On the fourth day, she produced the impossible: a gown so beautiful that Sailor decreed that anything too beautiful for words was equally comparable to Ronal’s’ gift. Ronal’s not only gave her the dress, but also supplied two more gifts, which showcased the skills of hunting, craftsmanship, and weaponry that she had taught her children. And so it began. The province from which the family came was named Toroth after Aorta. From there, Ronal’s and her three children formed an underground alliance to overthrow the magician rule. But first, she had to kill the magician who accidentally poisoned her and refused to rectify the mistake by healing her. Blessed with a new resistance to magic, it was a fair battle.’
A Prologue, this, and the story has yet to begin. But to attempt to condense this epic is almost unfair to the potential reader. Sailor is a fantasy land of peasants and magicians, the land of Atorathians, Keldonians and Mironians. Here Danais and Leo, both orphans, search for truth, and grow into love for each other that grows beyond the years as mature, becoming more than partners in life and love as they struggle against evil using magic powers. Those they encounter are sorceresses, spirits, passion, lust, and a fervent desire to overcome the odds that threaten them.
Recommendation? Read this novel and follow this young author closely. All the seeds are here, waiting to fully bloom. Grady Harp, January 18
Salinor is the name of the all-powerful goddess after which the author’s mythical world is named and according to legend, was established following a harrowing trip made by a human to visit her with hope she would save his mother who had been poisoned by a magician. The rather ethereally described world is populated by several quite different races who have the ability to exert differing skills at varying levels that can be enhanced further by training; e.g. magic, construction, assassination, hunting, love. There also are untrained peasants, who as would be expected are the lowest caste. After establishment of this world, it prospered until, as might be expected, a split formed between the magicians and non-magicians that led to the War of the Beginning. An uneasy peace lasted till the present when desire for power again reared its ugly head with assent of another tyrannical ruler. Members of the old alliance again formed and began initiating a highly dangerous plan to eliminate the new upstart. The obvious need for secrecy was escalated by the ease with which the plan and/or any of its perpetrators could be discovered. And of course, beyond the obvious simple physical infiltration to the group, their ‘enemies’ are magicians controlling every imaginable type of magic including shape-shifting. So, all discussions and activity must be on the ‘need to know’ basis and ‘when the time is right’. There seem to be two main protagonists in the tale. Danais, is a peasant discovered as an abandoned child in the wilderness and raised as a farm worker by his uncle Torak, who as the tale develops, appears in some manner to be involved in the secret plot. There also appears to be growing evidence that this developing young boy is more than the simple peasant he appears. The second is Leo, also an orphan with the same or similar anxieties and introspective tendencies. Unlike Danais however, he has the advantage of being a magician. The story continues with rather lengthy descriptions and/or dialogue interspersed with physical activity considerably magically interlaced that continues to the closing pages where the statement is offered: “The start of the prophecy?” “You and Leo. There are only two people who would want to see you more than we do: the ones who sacrificed the most for the cause. But that will be revealed in due time.” Danais then must leave all he ever has known as he realizes the journey has officially begun. ““Danais,” Leo said again. Again he looked towards Leo, and the two of them shared a smile. “Come””.
Discussion: Quite frankly, this is one of the more difficult reviews I have attempted to write, It is about a story I attempted to enjoy for several reasons. The author certainly exhibits the product of a highly imaginative and creative mind from which a fantasy of large proportions has evolved. He also has introduced two protagonists who are similar in several ways, complex, somewhat unstable, obsessed with their status, introspective and who develop a close relationship. Also supportive characters are presented with enough ‘quirks’ to make them interesting although they often appear ‘unannounced’ and provide answers simply through magic. However and most regrettably for this reader, the plot and general features of presentation provide a considerably negative reaction. Descriptions are unnecessarily detailed and over abundantly supplied. Similarly conversation, often about subjects seemingly unimportant to the story, are set forth in quantity. Both factors not only slow the tale’s progression but deter the reader from the plot itself. A plot that already is quite confusing because everything seems to hinge on a specific factor which eventually ‘sort of ’ reveals itself as the subject to be dealt with in the adventures next episode.
Conclusion: A fantasy of possibly epic proportions that no doubt will appeal to readers closely attuned to the genre. Existing problems have been enumerated for others than those so dedicated. The next volume, of course, hopefully will correct many of these features.