Series: Rise of the Papilion Trilogy #1
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Rating: I REALLY LIKED IT
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The Rovers had been sent to decimate the Southernlands. Instead, they awoke its savior.
Ten years have passed since the Rover army tore through the Southernlands, leaving behind a trail of devastation and death. Most believed the attacks were random acts of brutality. The wise, however, knew the truth: the Rovers sought to destroy the one thing powerful enough to thwart their conquest. They were searching for the Papilion.
A new commander, bent on completing the mission left unfinished by his predecessors, leads the Rovers back into the Southernlands. Fierce and determined, he comes armed with a precious artifact and a secret purpose.
While the Southernlands reel under the new terror, the Purple Morrow, a harbinger of hope, appears to Jeru, an unsuspecting and solitary clan hunter. Finding himself enmeshed in a series of incredible events beyond his control, Jeru is compelled to take the first steps towards discovering his ultimate destiny.
This almost reached a loved it rating, but it just fell a hair short for me. If you’re even remotely considering picking it up, I recommend you do so. It’s a good story, has a nice set of characters, and an interesting world.
First off, the world is set with more of a clan type feel versus huge cities and an advanced civilization, though I think they might exist in other parts of the world. Not to say the clans are caveman-like, just that it’s more of a close-knit community. However, because there was some history that the reader needed to learn, there was definitely some info dumping sections and quite a few I skimmed. Especially towards the end. There was a good amount of description and . . . I’ll just say stuff, for lack of a better word. A lot of filler actions; telling us what the character was doing while listening to conversations, sticking details about settings in the middle of dialog or scenes. It wasn’t over the top, but for a reader like me, it did bog down the story just a bit and was one of the reasons I wasn’t as engrossed as the wonderful story could have had me.
I will say, the overall story line was interesting, and the snippets of information we learned about hints at a much larger story, which I’m hoping will be revealed in upcoming books. Not to mention the prospects of visiting new sections of the world which sound intriguing.
As for the characters? Kelen I never felt much for until I actually read the sample chapter for the next book. Though his past is a mystery to himself, his actions—though he did start to question himself—and because we don’t know enough about him, lent little room for sympathy. A shame really, because if I had known what happened to him in the beginning of the book, I would have found him much more interesting. Jeru was supposed to be the character to get behind and root for. He was your typical good guy, which I find just fine, but something held me at a distance. It’s hinted at several times that his past is terrible. However, what I found out didn’t resonate as harrowing as what some of the other characters went through, so my attachment to him never solidified. Don’t get me wrong, he did go through something and I did like him, but I was left with a sour taste when I found out the big secret. What happened to him was kind of a let down compared to the hype. Nyssa was another character we spent some time with. I liked her. She was strong and determined. I didn’t see much growth from her, but I think the story focused more on Jeru and Kelen. All the characters I liked, but I didn’t get character crazy about one in particular.
The writing, aside from being too descriptive for my taste, was smooth and I never got hung up on Forde’s prose. It had a nice pace with action scenes to break up some info dumps and lengthy character conversations. I will say my Kindle version was poorly formatted. Dialog between characters often ran together instead of starting on a new paragraph, and the italics had spacing issues. The italics I could easily ignore, but the run-ons with the dialog made me stop and have to go back a few times to figure out who was speaking. It happened often enough that it frustrated me. However, I really believe this was purely a formatting issue, not necessarily editing as not all the dialog had the same issue.
So overall, it was an entertaining read. If the story sounds interesting, which I believe it was, I encourage you to pick it up.