It’s nice to see a Fantasy story where the girl gets to use a crossbow. Eliza, for being a princess-y type, is a solid character who’s equally witty and brave as the men. Thomas and Sarentha aren’t quite what I was expecting either. As common lumberjacks thrown into an adventure, they of course adapt and become heroes. But strong Thomas is a pacifist, and roguish Sarentha has a good heart despite his focus on shiny coins. Together, these main characters are an odd trio, but their friendship is really refreshing to see in this kind of story. The other minor characters are pretty good too, and it was cool to see the author play with races you tend to see in Fantasy – dwarves, elves, goblins, wizards…and more.
The writing itself is a little too fast at times and doesn’t take many breaths to let things settle in. But this is an action kind of Fantasy story, so the scene changes and many, many, many characters give you a sense of this world’s scope. There’s enough comedy thrown in to balance out the violence, although one of my problems with the book was the quickness of the killing. Thomas is angst-y about killing AFTER the fact, but he sure doesn’t hesitate in the heat of the moment. That was a little weird, but I get the attempt to add depth to the character. And it was hard to root for these characters right away when the first time we meet them they kill someone. So, sometimes these action/violence bits were just a little off, I thought.
Overall this book works as a nice, quick, fun read – just don’t expect too much from it. Perhaps suited best for a YA audience, it was still fun and enjoyable to read as an adult. The “big secret” helps to build mysterious suspense until the climax, and the twist/reveal was really cool.
See it on Amazon!