Top positive review
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Stirring Fantasy Adventure
on March 1, 2012
Vaetra Unveiled is the story of Jaylan, a former guardsman and current mercenary who gets himself tangled up in events beyond his control. He doesn't want to get married or be an innkeeper, but he has a sense of obligation.
As it turns out, the mercenary contract he accepts just to delay his seemingly-inevitable marriage a bit longer shoves him head-over-heels into the path of a sorceress from the mysterious place known as the Archives, and things just get more complicated from there.
The first-person perspective in Vaetra Unveiled is not something you see often in fantasy novels, usually being reserved for more of a snarky, urban fantasy tone. Vaetra Unveiled definitely does not have that feeling - it's straight-up fantasy all the way, and actually switches between 1st and 3rd person POVs depending on the character.
It's interesting to note that while I sometimes wondered if the story might have been better served entirely in 3rd person, I came to the conclusion that Jaylan's POV works quite well in 1st person, given the nature of the changes that are happening to him.
The world-building is strong, with a good core concept and several interesting ideas that I hadn't encountered before. In general, I did not get as clear a sense of place as I might have liked; the villages and towns visited by the characters seemed almost interchangeable. Some additional character of place, I think, could have helped those be stronger and sharper.
The plot moves quickly, with good and tight descriptions. The chain of events is not only believable, but well thought-out and with a logical flow. It did seem at times that more description could have been added, particularly in describing the progression of the burgeoning romance. There is a large cast of characters; it's always a good sign when I can remember their names several days after finishing the book. The ending leaves several plot threads open, but of course this is intended to be a series, which means that we will be expecting to see more from this author down the line.
I had zero editing complaints - Mr. Marvello has done an excellent and highly professional job on his first outing, for which he must be lauded. I can't even remember coming across a typo, which is a rare sight indeed!
Vaetra Unveiled is a well-plotted, strikingly well-edited fantasy adventure, in which I would have liked to see a bit more grounding of setting and either a strengthening of or an elimination of the romantic sub-plot. Overall, very fine work, especially for a first-time independent author. If you're a fan of the fantasy genre, you should read this book.