My next read was a bit unusual pick – a book series promising a short, light-hearted fantasy. Which delivered on its promise. Due to the books being short, I’m merging the individual reviews of the first three books into a single post.
This book grabbed my attention by its description – which maybe led me to expect a bit more humorous story from the very start.
The book starts with a dark elf female hiding from pursuers in a tomb (which is what you see on the cover) where she, cornered, uses her powers on one of the ‘inhabitants’.
And Anthony, the warrior she’d just awakened, joins her on her journey – though his abrupt awakening leaves him with more than just a few gaps in his memory. Despite being just bones and armor – and a beating heart – he not only remembers how to fight well but also has some special powers.
And what the pair will get themselves into will show Anthony using those powers while also revealing bits of who he might’ve been in a way that answers some questions and raises more just in the right way.
And what starts as a simple journey is, by the book’s end, revealed to be a world slowly devolving to disorder with a larger threat looming behind the scenes, with the dark elf and the death knight about to play a major role to avert a disaster.
The second book starts pretty much where the first one left off. Anthony and Alia go on, accompanied by the gnome Tommie – who is shown dealing with the inner struggle of following two heroes while being a struggling inventor himself.
The second book goes a bit deeper into world-building and the conflict with the forces of Chaos starts getting more into the forefront as the trio first comes across a group of cultists and then to a town that has been afflicted by the machinatios of Chaos’ minions.
That part was a bit… well, timely to read as the trio tries to hold the spread of a disease that bears strong parallels to what’s going on in t he world the past few months. Eventually, it comes to a direct combat between Anthony and a Chaos spawn.
On Anthony’s matter, he’s still far from getting his full power or all his memories back, though the end of the second book leads him to Claire – who first gives him a warm welcome (with a few fireballs).
Same as with the second book, the third one follows right where the second one left off.
Before I go on, a small mention on something I noticed by that time: the busier covers of book #2 and #3 aren’t as clear when it comes to either the Grayscale image on an e-reader or the small image displayed either on GR or Amazon.
Anyway, after Anthony and Claire go through a bit of lively reconnection, Anthony falls asleep (for the first time during his undeath) to recover his energy – and gets to relive a major battle from his past, thus recovering one major lost fragment of his memory.
Then, some members of the group get the chance to take part in the trial to become a Guardian, thus becoming similar to Anthony and being involved with the grand conflict. I won’t say on who this is shown for spoiler reasons.
What I can say is that it’ll get to a major battle where Anthony and Claire will make some nice mess together (with the help of the rest of their group, of course) – and the third book ends pretty much with the last ‘hit’ so it’s to wait for the fourth book to see the aftermath – though with the ‘length’ and pace of the books, it won’t take long until the characters are back in another part of the fight.
To sum up the first three books of this series, it’s funny and fast-paced fantasy that starts easy and continuously heads for a deeper plot. I think the books could use another pass for comma use, especially in action sequences, more so by the third book. And keep in mind I’m saying that as someone who has English as my second language and thus a high tolerance to grammar issues – so if you’re grammar freak, this series might give you grey hair.
One of the things I often ponder for such a book series is whether it’d be good to merge some (or all) into one – this would definitely be doable as one (the total page count is around 800) but lighthearted books don’t tend to be on the longer end…