You know what day it is: Book Review Wednesday! Today, we’re going for an old school style epic fantasy novel complete with elves, dragons, goblins, and demons…
Bane of Evil
In the unforgiving lands of Saventia, two brothers unite on their southern homestead. After learning of an ancient evil plaguing the lands in the North, the brothers are compelled to embark on the perilous journey together and stop the spreading malevolence at its very source. As the Southern Lands plunge into chaos when the plot of a cursed necromancer is revealed, the brothers must press ever onward in their journey, all the while facing truths and falsehoods concerning the world around them.
Suffering crushing losses and gaining unlikely companionship along the way, allies are sought through the aid of the dwarves, elves, and gnomes. And even the least likely of all places: orcs and dragons. How will the brothers stop what is thought to be unstoppable? Are the dragons truly friend or foe? With enemies at every turn, how long will the brothers be able to endure?
My Review: 3.5 Stars
I was sent this book for a review by the author, and I’m glad I got a chance to read it.
First off, I can’t help but love a classic (if slightly clichéd) tale of good versus evil. This was a villain you wanted to lose from the very beginning, and you wanted the heroes to win. No real “shades of grey”, but definitely clear on which side would triumph in the end.
The story had a very classic fantasy feel to it, so it brought me back to my early days of reading Dragonlance and Dungeons and Dragons. It wasn’t the modern, thought-provoking fantasy I like to read, but no less fun.
There are a few things that I found a bit hard to read. The writing style is a bit amateur. There are A LOT of instances when the author “tells” instead of “shows” (something all authors struggle with, no doubt). The narrative jumps from inside the characters’ heads to an omnipotent POV even to the heads of the characters who are dying without any transition. The head-hopping and POV flaws make it hard to stick with it or take it seriously, especially during the action scenes. The good vs. evil struggle was a bit clichéd, with some of the more typical fantasy tropes. There were a number of times when the word choices or sentence structure didn’t really flow, and the dialogue sometimes felt jerky or stiff.
But, when all is said and done, a solid effort, and not a bad read!
Here’s a Taste:
Shai stood in front of the pyre. The bodies of the deceased piled high, reminiscent of a pyramid of death. A slight odor of decay exuded from within the mound of dead. As he looked into the mass, the faces of goblins and d’rakari stared back as if pleading for the sacrament to begin. He wondered if the beasts would afford him and his comrades the same ceremony were their fates reversed. Would these mindless creatures allow a gentle passage into the afterlife? Or would his body be torn asunder and displayed in various grottos as trophies to the goblin’s victory and d’rakari’s triumph? He shuddered from the thought.
“May your next life be free of suffering and hate.” Shai ignited the pile with a simple cantrip, and the fire spread across the pyre slowly. A warm breeze swept across the land and encouraged the fire. Hastened by the wind, the flames began to consume the remains of the dead. Shai turned from the blazing inferno and walked away as acrid smoke billowed into the air.
Flesh melted and fat sizzled as the remains of the beasts burned within the fiery pyre. The terrible stench of death and burnt flesh pervaded the warm, summer air. The carcasses fed the hungry fire as it consumed the corpses until all but ash and small bits of bone would eventually remain. A black stain would serve as a temporary monument, marking the pyre’s place. It would remain until the wet season started. The downpour of rain would finally wash the stain from the earth, and wildflowers would grow where the stain once resided, forever masking the pyre’s existence.
About the Author:
F. N. Scott is a pseudonym of James Young, prior military medic and civilian healthcare practitioner turned author. As a debut indie novelist, Bane of Evil is his first published work. Hobbies include writing, reading (fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, and the classics), scheming plots to take over the world, and trying to survive as a starving artist. You can follow F. N. Scott on Twitter @FNScotty, or visit his blog and website at www.fnscott.com for updates and extra content.
Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1457528169
Tweet at him: https://twitter.com/FNScotty
Connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fn.scott.5