Monday, October 21, 2013

Epic Fantasy for the Wee Ones

After a good weekend of cleaning up, I can now dust off the brain and write this review. 

At the Walls of Galbrieth by Alon Shalev

Wycaan Master 1 Just Front CoverI suppose this is to be a young adult fiction novel since all the protagonists are underage, but I never got the feel for it. There is no whining for utterly no reason, no angst, and nothing setting my teeth on edge. I certainly did not make a very good teenager, and I am not the biggest fan of reading about them. The creation of the New Adult genre has given me hope of some light-er reading that still has actual substance. Epic fantasy can really stretch the imagination and exhaust it, too. After finishing the incredible Baskerville Affair series and my dose of brain food, I was on the hunt again for the lighter side of fantasy without giving up the depth. So, I checked into the YA fantasy section. I selected this book from Twitter of all places and a sample chapter off Amazon. (Oh and I really couldn't resist the $2.99 Kindle tag.)

All of the leading party behave in a very adult manner and have little (or should I say more) sense that an adolescence would have. The whole story could easily have them being in their twenties and feeling a little more comfortable to me. Although, to play devil's advocate with myself, parents wouldn't have as much hardship with an elder son being conscripted compared to a naive teenager. But truthfully, I kept forgetting they were so young and kind of got shocked on the remembrance. It ultimately did not throw of the balance of the book and maybe even helped make it a little more enjoyable for the adult readers of the world. There is great action, flowering love, and coming-of-age that does fit in with a YA book, though. I was certainly impressed by the little indie find. 

There is nothing new or groundbreaking in the Wycaan world dynamics, but it still feels fresh to read. You have elves, humans, dwarves, and some other new fantasy races (which was a nice fresh touch and I hope we get to learn some back story) coming together from centuries of division. They have racism they must deal with and overcome. Very epic fantasy of the author to do. The magic system is complete even if we don't know all the details just yet. All the pieces fit together in the puzzle. We have read the edge pieces and are now zeroing in on the center. I look forward to finding out what the overall image is because my mind keeps coming up with all kinds of endings! I highly recommend this introduction to the series and look forward to purchasing the final two novels.

Here is to getting all four feet wet in the Snow!

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