Rating: 3 out of 5
I was keen to pick up a fantasy and I am not so sure I made the right choice with this one. The first few pages were very promising when we were introduced to the main characters, but then everything kind of went haywire. Perhaps it was the plurality of viewpoints, perhaps it was the way in which their storylines intertwined ‘accidentally’.
I was left wishing something interesting would happen — or if not ‘interesting’ then something which would compel me to read on beyond the simple wish of finishing the book. Also, some of the devices used by the author were just boring. The main one here was the “I describe only what I’ve thought out thus far” where in one chapter the only person that the POV character stopped on for more than half a sentence was one of the other POV characters. And, of course, that meant that when the reader got to that POV character, they were also so observant to note the first one walking by with more attention given to them than anything else for a good while.
The action was straightforward and mostly uninteresting. The magic was compelling and new. The story of a fallen empire was not particularly thrilling. Lastly, nothing in this book connected the name of the series and the actions undertaken here, so I am not quite sure what that was about.
The last point will be a good one: ‘Darien’ is a good name!