Rating: I LOVED IT
Series: Kale the Wanderer #1
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Publication Date: August 28th, 2014
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Book Blurb: Khale the Wanderer: dark warrior of legend, a reaver with a demon’s soul.
King Alosse: ruler of Colm, willing to risk everything to save his city and its people.
Princess Milanda: an innocent, kept pure since birth, unknowing of her fate.
Neprokhodymh: the cursed city of sorcerers where Khale must make a choice that will scar him for life, or fall into darkness forever.
Loyalty, he thought, the first and the worst of all sins.
But Timoth had come to accept that common men, rich and poor, lived to disturb and upset the world around them.
But beware the men of this world above all things. They have a darkness born to them that not even the Gods can fathom. I know this because I am its root and seed.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s super short (just over 200 pages), so this review won’t be terribly long.
It basically follows Khale, a very not-so-honorable man, that is tasked with escorting a princess to be betrothed. There’s a lot of little things going on in all that, but I don’t want to spoil any surprises.
The world feels like it’s just emerging from a post apocalyptic event. Left in the lands between cities are areas of great danger, full of monsters and erratic storms that can rip your skin off. It’s very dark and lonely. For my taste, it was nicely developed. No huge info dumps which I always appreciate. It was rolled out with story.
The characters range from an overly honorable Leste of the King’s guard, to a sheltered princess, to a very dark man with a very dark past. To my surprise, I enjoyed them all. While the princess is new to the outside world, she’s a tough girl, and her strength in the face of all she learns is pretty easy to get behind. Leste is also a character you want to support. She’s the good gal in the story. Khale is a mixed bag. There’s a few tiny sentences that can stir up some sympathy, but overall he’s a killer, and he likes it. Even so, I found him interesting and layered nicely. I guess being cursed to immortality can make a guy see things differently, and James did a nice job showing us the impact on Khale.
The writing is nice, the pace enjoyable, and the shortness makes this a quick read. There’s some dream parts that are a bit hard to follow, and sometimes I had trouble imagining what was happening in a handful of scenes. None of it took away from the story.
This was close to being in my “LIKED” category, but what moved it into “LOVE” was it’s darkness, interesting world but lacking complication that would otherwise slow down the plot, and characters that ranged all along the likable scale. It moved enough that I never had a problem picking it back up. Overall, if you’re looking for a darker, fast read, I highly recommend this book.