After a long hiatus from pleasure reading caused my a sequence of beta-swaps, I came back to it with a book that promised a fast-paced fantasy adventure. And it fulfilled its promise, though not without (minor) issues.
The book starts with a character pretty much living in a library having his life changed on a whim – which is quite common in this kind of stories. But it’s faster than usual. Jaron gets thrown head-first into a world where dead knights and shades roam the world, hunting for the descendants of a king… commanded by another king – of the undead sort.
And just like that, Jaron finds himself on the run with two other library apprentices and a dwarf. The writing gets quite picturesque as the scenery passes by, though it’s not hindering the pacing. Their journey goes from one part of the conflict to another and Jaron learns the truth he was oblivious to on the go, often by field practice.
As time comes, elves, goblins, and dragons will appear in addition to two sides of the (mostly) human conflict and the undead knights.
The biggest issue I had with the book were sometimes not-so-well done PoV shifts (I’m not sure if they were outright head-hopping or just lacked clarity) – which isn’t a good thing in a fast-paced story, less so in action sequences.
As the book is quite short, there isn’t much more I can say about the plot itself. The end is something that could be seen as a true end but mostly feels like a temporary one – and the author is working on a sequel, as per his Goodreads bio.
I must also admit I like the cover of the first paperback edition more. While both work, each shows a different aspect.
The current cover is a good fit for the undead knights as a central element of the story but the smooth transition from light-green to gray makes it look like a smudge on a small image.
The earlier image feels like a better fit for fantasy adventure to me, but I probably like it more only because of my personal tastes. I wouldn’t probably touch this as much but I’ve observed some discussions about the covers the author posted on Goodreads – and thus saw both covers before I’ve decided to give the book a read.
To close it off, it was a decent, quick read, though it could use a pass for PoV clarity.