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The Book of Deacon (Volume 1)
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Showing 1-10 of 58 reviews(2 star). See all 1,831 reviews
on November 12, 2014
A flicker of potential obscured by poor editing, weak characterization, a lack of realism and agonizing pacing. I am at the 64% mark. I wanted to stop reading earlier in the book, but tried to force myself through to give a thorough review. The story feels so long and seems to get more frustrating with each page, I don't think I will be able to finish it.

After the preface, I was intrigued by the beginning of the story. Our main character struggling through a wintry plain, night approaching and low on supplies. She finds the remains of a camp, and the person who made it, surviving on the scraps that were left in a travel pack. She stumbles upon a magnificent sword, survives the night, and goes off on her merry way with the promise of a good trade for the weapon. It was an interesting opening. unfortunately, it seems to just go down hill from there. The sword doesn't even stick around for long, even though at first it seems to be the opening to the main plot. The rest of the book was spent following Myranda as she ran from place to place from a threat that was never really explained. What is the main plot again? I've forgotten.

The story often jumps around in time in odd ways, skipping away hours without being clear on the timing. One sentence the character is walking towards something that will take a long time to get to, trying to reach it before nightfall, and the next they are suddenly there and stumbling around in the dark that you were not told has finally fallen. Other times when you wish the story would skip ahead a bit, it drags mercilessly on and on. The pacing is just as maddening. The action is sparse, with loooong episodes of fluff in between. Things that should get more detail (such as her magic training) are either skipped over with Myranda getting knocked out so that you miss the scene entirely, or given over simplified and rushed explanations.


I honestly don't believe this book was edited. As others have mentioned there is a great deal of errors. I actually did not notice the grammar and typos so much as the redundant wording and contradictory descriptions. It certainly has a "first draft" feel to it.

At the beginning of the book we are greeted with a short preface. It is just under two pages long, thankfully, yet this section alone nearly convinced me to put the book aside. The writing style in this portion, in my opinion, was frustrating to read. It seemed to be attempting to sound intelligent and olde world with unusual sentence structures and archaic wording. Instead, it just felt out of place. In the preface I also found a glaring example of the writer's inability to properly convey his thoughts.

"To be ignorant of these events is a blessing. However, knowledge of the evils of old is the only protection against their return."

I know the saying is 'ignorance is bliss' but to say ignorance is a blessing, then immediately declare the opposite, is a blatant contradiction. Shouldn't this say something along the lines of "To have never experienced these events is a blessing. However, ignorance of the evils of old..."

Unfortunately, contradictory wording is very common in this book. Two other examples, both involving the description of lights:

Lights that flicker out in one sentence, then in another sentence one is still lit:

"...the shining embers flickered out. The ground became uneven and she stumbled, feeling the cold, dead grass crunch beneath her palms. Unwilling to waste even the time to stand, Myranda crawled toward the lights. There was a feeling within her that if she looked away for even a moment, the last piece of light would be lost to her forever."

Light that comes from nowhere, except that it comes from a ball of light:
"The light seemed to come from no source at all, merely a ball of brilliance floating before her."

There is also quite a bit of redundancy in the wording. Examples:
"Perhaps inside she could relieve herself of the burdensome sword and gain the means to reduce her burden further."
"The longer scar, centered on her palm, was a long, curving line that twisted back and forth on itself."

And some things that just don't seem to make sense:
"She glanced at the other customer, a young man with white hair..."
(If he is young, why does he have white hair? This is never explained.)
"His parents should have just dressed up a monkey and cut off its tail."
(They live in a country that is continually covered in snow. How do they know what monkeys are with enough familiarity to crack jokes about them?)
"While she recovered, she 'looked' at the essences around her."
(Why is the word looked in quotes? She describes being able to see magic, so why is it implied that she is looking at the essence without looking? The writer does not tell us what he means by "looked")


Characters are over simple, coming off like a cast of tropes rather than living beings. Their actions are often nonsensical, or outright moronic and forced. Even character names are Mary Sue-like. "Myranda" with a y instead of an i. A dragon she names after... herself. A fox-human named "Leo" (get it? GET IT?) and a water mage named Calypso. Really?

The main character has an air of wish fulfillment about her. Perfect and gifted, except when it services the plot for her to make a mistake. People love her and instantly want to fight over her for no apparent reason. She has no real flaws, or interesting character quirks. Her appearance is only vaguely described as having red hair and brown eyes. Literally, that is the only description of her appearance. She is clumsy when it's convenient for the story. Despite being a vagabond since childhood she somehow lacks any street smarts. She gets herself into trouble non stop throughout the first half of the book by not paying attention to her surroundings, being poorly prepared for travel despite living in a place where blizzards are a near daily occurrence, and not knowing when to keep her mouth shut.

Let's talk about that for a bit, shall we? At the very beginning of the story we are told that Myranda has been on her own for a long time, traveling wherever the icy winds take her. In her world, a century and a half old war has been raging and she is surrounded by patriotic citizens who love the war. Myranda, having lost her family to the war (like everyone else in this world... but I digress) has developed a loathing for the endless, pointless killing. She knows, without a doubt, that expressing her pacifist views to people makes them angry. Dangerously angry, to the point that she has been in mortal peril because of it. The very opening scene is her wandering through a deserted wasteland because she upset some villagers with a mumbled comment about the war being a waste of life, and then asked one for directions. The angry villager she asked lead her off into nowhere to die in a blizzard. So how is it, after years and years of this kind of treatment, she hasn't learned to stop saying things that she knows upset people? I would say this is her biggest flaw, but I don't think it was intended as a flaw by the author. We are told that Myranda has a good heart, always wanting to save others rather than harm them for any reason. We are told this, but we don't see it. If she is supposed to be a healer at heart, why doesn't she really ever do anything with her pacifistic beliefs? She only stumbles on healing magic out of necessity, and uses it as a way to escape her problems, rather than a way to show the characters nurturing side. Instead, we see an immature adult woman who never learns from her mistakes, broods on her unpopular opinions, and runs from her problems. Oh and by the way she's an amazing healer, mage and fighter with hardly any effort.

From page one to the 64% I made it through, Myranda does not change. She doesn't learn anything, come face to face with her faults, question her morality, nothing. There is no character progression, or even a hint at it.


Yes, this is a fantasy. But even a fantasy must have some grounding that makes it believable. World building is an important part of that. If you're going to make a world from scratch, it has to be believable. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things about this world and the story that don't make sense. Situations often feel forced towards a particular ending and conflicts are poorly supported.

Overall, this book might be enjoyable for someone who just wants a simple fantasy book. Perhaps teenagers would enjoy it. If you want a story that is more fleshed out, with strong characters and thorough editing then the Book of Deacon is not for you.
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on February 16, 2012
This book grabbed my attention by the ratings and the price. I was confused by the summary but quickly dived into it with the skepticism that the story will unfold it self. However, I had to wonder the situations that allowed this woman to go through where not only unbelievable (not as far magic fantasy) but in a normal struggle clash then high climax then downfall. Too many mishaps and too many unanswered questions linger for me to fully stay with the story!Example: She is between the age of 18-25 never does say exactly. She is wonder the land of her birth from the south to the north cause she is a conscientious objector after her uncle dies from a lynch mob however she goes on unscathed from rape or worse death. You don't find this out til after she finds that blasting sword and fate meets her to her next demise. Which is 35% of the book at this point cause the author spends a lot of time describing the scenery and the need to survival. I wonder why until the midway in when all she is face with are challenges that had me rolling my eyes. Seriously about 65% of the book is her cheating death or leaning something that doesn't effect the book as towards a moment/flow at all! She meets with a fox man name Leo/Lain (goes by many) that you find out 75% of the book is actually an assassin to turn her and the sword over to the bad guys. Who they are you? You just find they aren't human. He is actually the Chosen one to stop this war that's been going on that sounds like decades. He was about to hand Myranda over to the bad guys but when he didn't get paid he let her go without the sword. This is where the sword is no longer seen nor asked by Myranda. Then by mere fat chance she meets up with him again. She doesn't know he was the one to betray her. She saves his life from the experience she learned from the previous encounter of a new character. What a coincidence many are like these through the story. Like meeting her baby dragon we find out towards the end (as always) that he was there following her along her journey of discovery and survival to keep her safe was his words. At this I had to wonder if the author was grabbing ideals out of a hat to pitch to the story. Now if that sounds like the cruel picture of an assassin that the author pictures at the end of the story I didn't buy it! Myranda is so press for awswers she does the thing she hates most and she sccumbs to a striking blow to the fox man. He then hands her a memorable and leaves the next day to go back through the cave. I guess running from destiny or to make another book. Who knows and who cares.....

Deacon is the man who wrote the story of Myranda and he is an illusions wizard. He is also describe of being born in the mystical paradise land that Myranda finds herself in the rest of the book of. He is 25yr old. However it was miss dialogue that he was 250years old in an argument with her over her accelerate level of magic. He tags along with her on her studies and you get the vibe that something will go there with them. It doesn't as of yet. I was also wondering in the dark weather Deacon had any intentions with her other than friends. It lead that maybe but then he let her slip away and I was baffle at the ending. This book might appeal to Harry Potter readers but I was confused, hoping for more, disbelieving, and utterly disappointed! I gave this a two star cause it was a hell of lot better than the stories that I've read.
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on April 25, 2012
I began reading this book with the best of intentions of loving it. It sounded fascinating, it seemed well written, great descriptions, and then I hit the point of no return.

I don't care what world you inhabit, as a young girl who has been on the run a good part of your life I just can't buy that you'd walk into a scary tavern, allow your money to be stolen, take the gifts of a stranger (including alcohol), and then invite the stranger into your room. Unless girls in this particular fantasy-setting have the amazing ability to overpower anyone who may come their way (or rape has never existed), it just would never happen. Perhaps, as the author is a man, he doesn't understand the fact that girls are taught from birth (in most societies) that you don't do that kind of stuff. A well-traveled, despised girl would be even more suspicious and cautious.

If that wasn't bad enough, just as I was getting comfortable with the story, attempting to overlook the ridiculous leaps of faith in the horrible judgement and overly simplified luck of this young girl, the stranger turns out to be a fox/beast-man?

No forshadowing, no warning, no indication that in this world there were more than just humans...and suddenly, within a chapter, you are expected to accept this premise and the idea that this one particular beast is completely different from all other beasts and happened to find the perfect disguise for himself to blend in with the humans.

Perhaps if the author had made mention of this earlier, or if the war that is so hated by the heroine was between humans and beasts, or if somehow she was more wary of strange "men" buying her drinks and then letting them into their room....but all this together made me put down the book. I just couldn't take it. Too many leaps, not enough explanation. Fantasy is one thing but you have to make the world and culture something people can relate to in some way.

That being said, the writing style was very nice and had potential. I SOOOO wanted to love this book. I wouldn't necessarily refuse to read the author again, but perhaps after a few more books.
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on February 17, 2014
So I was reading this book, finding it to be a pleasant if not captivating tale about a stoic young woman eking out a hand to mouth existence, and I reached a point where within a few paragraphs the author totally destroyed my desire to read any more. The following explains the scene:


So the main character finds herself rescued by some resistance group, right after having been abducted by wraiths (?) intent on taking her to an elf general (??). She is told that, in having found a sword which she no longer even possesses, she can serve as a great inspiration for the cause. She is definitely a VIP. Well, a couple of days earlier she had wounded her shoulder, and as the resistance leader inspects it, she tells the main character that the arm is definitely not salvageable. A healer should look at it quickly. No problem, says main character, just point me in the right direction and I'll ride to medical attention in the morning.

Resistance leader rolls eyes and says look, you may be a VIP, but that doesn't mean we're gonna give you a horse. You can hoof it on your own. After all, it is only a *five* day journey by foot.


I'm sorry, but this just didn't make any kind of sense to me, and seemed a shoddy way for the author to treat a character whom he had already handled poorly up to that point. I realized that there were no characters that I had any connection to, the plot seemed to be chugging along on an autopilot of misery, and I didn't really have a sense for things ever going anywhere. I cut my losses and picked up one of the dozens of other books in my queue.
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on September 7, 2013
I've read several books, didnt finish some because i simply didnt like the story or the story telling (from known and respected authors) but this one is the first book i didnt finnish because i didnt like the writting.
So about the writting:
Reading a book is supposed to be a pleasant experience but reading this was not one, it was dull.
The prose is plain and seems flat and hurried.
The passage from one scene to the next is not smooth but sudden and made me wonder if there was a paragraph missing in between (it wasn't). It was like seeing a movie and pressing the fast forward button, frequently, for a short time.
I didnt like the way the author tells the small parts of his story.

For example a girl in the middle of nowhere just before the sunset, freezing and starving, saw a reflection somewhere far away. As she approached, in the night, she saw a pile of stones, and several other things (in a sequential kind of way, the one after the other). She managed to start a fire and cook some meal, then slept in a tent and when she woke up in the morning she realized that the pile of rocks is a dead dragon. I never lived in a fantasy world but i suppose a dragon just a few feets away from someone would have been the very first thing to attract the attention.

I also didn't like the dialogue and the monologues of the main character, it felt fake or fixed in a hurry.
I give 2.5 stars because i didnt like the writting at all but i can not tell about the story because i didnt finnish it.
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on July 26, 2013
I have been reading fantasy themed books, for children, young adults and adults for years. I adore fantasy books, but I was disappointed with this book for a couple of reasons.

1. The cliched plot. It's all been written and seen before in Sci-Fi/Fantasy, in some form or another - starting with Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea and even in the 2009 Star Trek reboot. A person of humble origins and uncanny talent, overcomes the odds to defeat evil. Honestly, I feel like there are so many books on the market like this, I think the author sells himself short by following this plot.
2. The characterisation. Myranda seemed far too naive to have survived living as a vagabond. I mean, she didn't even have her own knife at the beginning of the book - how was she meant to hunt? Protect herself? Towns that have been pulled apart by war are not soft and fuzzy around the edges. Even though previously she is close to starving, she does not wake the innkeepers' son for food so she can eat on the road before she leaves the inn. Near starvation is not something you just brush off. Myranda also invites a strange man, whose face she hasn't even seen, into her room (!). I understand that this book was written for teens, but it just rings so false that Myranda is an innocent as a newborn lamb.
3. The writing could seriously use an editor. Some of the sentences could be made cleaner and easier to understand.

I couldn't finish this book. I was really hoping the story would turn around. Right around the time Myranda got kidnapped I decided to call it quits because I wasn't enjoying it.
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on December 28, 2011
This book gets off to an interesting start. Myranda, an orphan, a wandering misfit in a dystopian world, finds a sword with some kind of power that marks her hand and also makes her a mark for the bad guys. She befriends an odd creature or two along the way, gets some help from unlikely sources, has a bit of good luck with the bad as she moves through the plot. Because she is alone, she speaks out loud to herself, which is not only amusing, but endearing. She meets Leo, who is a great character. He is a creature that is a man-fox. He is curious, has a bit of spunk and enough wildness to capture the reader's interest right away. Lallo has laced the plot with lots of good if well-worn material for a nobody-who-becomes-a-hero story. How can you go wrong with a baby dragon as a best friend, I ask you?

Yet, it happens; the story slowly goes wrong. And you might consider some of what follows to be *spoilers* so read on with that in mind.

The problem, I think, is that Myranda spirals into what my kids would call a Mary Sue - a too-perfect character. It isn't enough that she's pretty, that she's good and thoughtful and 'pure' (the word is used many times to describe her, her heart, her soul etc). Those are good things to be. However, she starts to become darned near irritating because it seems she's also a prodigy, mastering difficult magic in hours that others must take weeks, months or years to learn. Great masters of magic literally tear apart the building in a fight over who will train her first! She passes every test to prove her mastery within weeks of beginning! She masters several new weapons at the same time! She has a prophecy spoken about her!

It is unrealistic enough, but she does so in a kind of MarySueville, populated by diverse but mostly unexplored groups of people and creatures who only want peace and knowledge and learning and to heal the world of what ails it. There is also a nerdy Gary Stu (good and thoughtful and smart) magician who is in no way jealous of Myranda's rapid rise in skill and power, but instead follows her around like a lovesick puppy. While none of those things are bad in themselves, the combination keeps the story feeling very shallow and difficult to stay attached to. In fantasy, since the story will involve essentially unbelievable and unnatural happenings, the characters have to connect the reader to the story solidly, so that the reader can suspend disbelief and stay involved in the story. If the characters don't have enough depth, or enough personality to keep the reader interested, the story begins to feel too unrealistic a world in which to stay immersed. After she gets to MarySueville, I couldn't keep my mind on the story very well at all. I could only think about how irritating Myranda, and then the other characters, were becoming.

The author asks at the end of the story for criticism so that he can improve his writing skills. I hope he considers this when he begins his next tale.
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on July 22, 2016
I started out liking this book. Up to about half way through I was actually enjoying reading it. But then the main character just turned into a "Mary Sue" and it went downhill from there.
Half of the time her moods and actions only seem to happen because it will move the plot forward. Otherwise it makes no sense. The other half, her reasons are rather random and occasionally conflicting.
The dragon was cute but not enough to redeem the book. I have no interest in continuing this series. Especially given the unsatisfactory ending. This story has potential but it was not realized.
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on June 8, 2016
This story staggers along through an unremittingly bleak world populated by one dimensional characters who are all emotionally challenged and who speak in a strangely inhuman manner. It's a shame about this literary shortcoming because the malathrope character really has lots of potential.
And I'm still reading, so the storyline is basically good enough to inspire a need for resolution.
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on August 18, 2017
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