The Cycle of Arawn: The Complete Trilogy
Written by Edward W. Robertson.
Narrated by Tim Gerald Reynolds.
Dante Galand is for all intents and purposes an orphan from a small village where a priest had taken him in and introduced him to a quest for knowledge. By sixteen he had launched himself out of the village and fully into a quest to learn about Arawn. This quickly led him into mugging drunks nightly to stave off starvation, killing a guard hanging around an old temple so he could get a precious copy of a book, hiring his own private thug (Blase Buckler) and eventually being mentored by Callimandicus, a centenarian Nethermancer who wants his head council position back. That is a large bit of the beginning but storyline is only part of the experience.
There are a wealth of species in this tale also. Some kind of lizard folk play a small role as disposable assassins, seven foot tall nomadic clannish hominids called Norren and some really fantastical predator called a Capper that has huge horns, scales and is resistant to most any weapon.
I really enjoy how Dante and Blase play off of each other and others with their constant dry humor. The Antagonists are good too, Cassinder the monologuing bastard trying to enslave everyone, King Morddegan who wants…everything, Samarand who wants to every city in revolt and The Minister who wants to destroy the rest of the world in revenge.
I consumed this work in audible form during my never ending work commute and I enjoyed it immensely. The storyline and narration really never sagged though in the later chapters there four or more places where there were repeats in the narration missed in editing. No problem though, it didn’t detract much.
Good job! Giving this work four out of five entertainment units.
Rising of A Mage
Written by J.M. Fosberg
Anwar is part Giant and apparently gifted with magical leanings. He’s bonded to a healing Priestess who seems to want to do all kinds of services for him. Growing into his powers he forges bonds with Wizards, Kampur’s guard force and…the king.
This was short, entertaining and I made it through to the end even though I think I was reading the first edition. Good job, I give it a three out of five entertainment sword strikes.
The First Key of Kalijor
Written by Paul Lell
Katrina and Rianna Thorindal are sisters who live in the massive city of Rathalon in the land of Kalijor. They set out on a quest driven at their mother’s request, one of them anyway, to find an old friend who has turned evil and turned their other mother into a Gollum. It seems like Riana is having increasing trouble keeping her blood from spilling out of her nose and flying off in uncontrollable rages. I’ve known some women like that.
Ree and Willhelmina work as couriers for a gnome like man named Xavier. He has them trained in advanced combat tactics and outfitted like seals to run important errands for Solidarity Online, a solar system spanning online interactive gaming company. Industrial espionage is literally war.
The girls-women are in and out of the game so much that real versus virtual become a blur. Exotic characters in the game could be NPCs or they could represent players from the outside wheeling and dealing on the inside.
The action is fairly consistent and the characters stay true to themselves as things develop leading to a lot of entertainment. In Kalijor many type of people are involved ranging from Elves, Dwarves and Trolls to half-breed dragons and satyrs. Outside many people in society have chosen to physically alter themselves including many gene level mods leading to almost the same level of variety.
This is the first of a series and I’m giving it a four out of five. You can also check out his website for all you would need to embark on a table top RPG of Kalijor. Great work Paul Lell!