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Runemaster (The Shardheld Saga Book 2) Kindle Edition
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I enjoyed this book very much. There’s plenty of action to keep the reader turning the pages, (and quite a bit of grim dispatching of enemies with swords and axes, magic fire, heads on spikes, a poor soul with his heart ripped from their chest, etc.) and each character’s personal growth is handled with care. The new major characters all come with their own histories and personalities, and I enjoyed getting to know them. The magic (and there is much magic in this story) is plausible and the systems make sense. If I had a quibble, it would be the amount of unfamiliar words used. There were some in Shardfall, but they could easily be fathomed in context. Here, I found myself wishing that rather than a list of words at the back, that the author had footnoted the words on the page where they first appeared.
This is a fun story that will entertain all age groups from teens to adults. Four and a half stars.
I received this book in return for an honest review.
The book picks off from the first book Shardfall. Muus continues his journey to kalmari to return the skyshard stone. Muus gets separated from his ex-master Kjelle and the Volva, Birthe. The journey of Kjelle and Muus are thus separately narrated by the writer.
Then there is a third narrative line of Tuuri, follower of the Jarl Rannar. Tuuri is caught by Kjelle but he somehow escapes only to be caught and doubted by his own master. Fate turns when he escapes once again with the help of a little boy.
The flow of the three narratives were really clear. It perfectly made sense to narrate the story line as three parts. Characters like Oddil, Harab who weren't exactly given high importance in the previous book got their much deserving attention.
Overall the three narratives have more or less the same goal : Fight the evil Fynni who are wrecking havoc all over, collect the runes & deposit the stone at Kalmari.
Kjelle falls in love with Birthe and uses her help along with Ajkelle, the bear warrior to fight various enemies along their path.
Muus on the other hand falls in love with the Druidess Moirra who guides him on a quest in collecting all the runes (in the form of knuckle bones). They are accompanied by Prince Ottil, Handman Geir, Hraab. They fight against plenty of naked-painted false druids who terrorize innocent people using magic and try to bring back the old gods.
My previous complaint of lack of proper introduction to character sort of got answered in this book. The slight hazy feeling that I had while reading the first book completely disappeared while reading this one. Reason: This book was faster and neater than the first book though the narration style of the writer remains the same in both.
The story is typically written along the lines of various fantasy fictions like Eragon, Percy Jackson series. Yet it’s a unique book. For someone who has no idea of Nordish names (The writer was kind enough to reply me via my mail and clarify what Norden means: the Norden are the lands in the north that is Scandinavia, especially Norway) or about Scandinavia, the book was crystal clear with proper glossary.
The characters had that depth though I found Muus's character a bit vague. May be the mystery around him would be cleared up in the next book.
The plot was very much alive. The writer ensured that there were just enough twists to keep the reader engrossed.
One more thing I found rather odd was that the book just ended! It just ended BAM! (Yeah. Just like that!) I was expecting more and the book ended. The best trick in the work. End the book BAM! Make the readers want more and put that as a separate book to keep the interest alive. The writer accomplished that perfectly. Not that I am pointing that as a mistake. Some smartness that was from the writer! (I'd do the same too. So no! I am not complaining!)
For someone who is a weenie bit old to read fantasy, the book didn't really make me feel like I was 12 to read fantasy. It was perfectly written for a 12 year old as well as for a 20 year old (Er......I am neither 12 nor 20)
But then there is no “perfect” age to read a particular genre of book, is it?!!
VERDICT: For all those who love fantasy, this is “the” perfect book to read! I am really looking forward to read the third book!
Kjelle must deal with the loss of the boy who made him feel brave, while ultimately finding his own courage in Muus' absence. Can he do it? Or was he coddled to the point of never knowing any different. I think he will ultimately surprise everyone in the end, by finding a strength he never knew he could have.
Muus is gradually remembering his home and the family he lost long ago. But with the clock ticking, he needs to hurry up the process. So he must find the one person who can ultimately help him dissipate the fog shrouding his mind. Will his journey be eventful? Or will his memories continue to be clouded?
The world's fate sits atop his shoulders. Even with friends around him, can Muus continue to bear this immense load?
I absolutely loved this book. I love how Kjelle is finding himself more with the absence of Muus. It took a terrible storm to wrench him from the safety he felt when Muus was around, and he is seeming to begin to hold his own. I cannot wait to see what else is in store for this character.
There are so many people that are met in this second book of the series. So many new faces who are helping Muus on his journey as the Shardheld. So many people who are being helped by him. I hope against all hope that he does succeed in his journey to fulfil the destiny laid out for him. I also hope that the tyrant taking over the lands gets his just desserts. He deserves it.
The third book cannot come soon enough. I am eagerly anticipating more to this story.