This is an intriguing story, but it is not an easy read. Of course, the fantasy genre is not known for it’s easy reading. The way the words are woven together in this tale makes for a challenging level of readability that requires all of one’s attention. A large portion of the difficulty can be attributed to passive voice, which I am a fan of, but too much of a good thing is not always good. The characters are well developed, the platform is solid and the structure is strong.
Even as my mind was getting used to the idea of a switch to a more difficult readability I was quickly being sucked in, along with everything else in the prologue. Needless to say by the time I got to the first break of the book I was in full on curiosity mode.
The names used are unique and interesting and the material is fresh and creative. The detail is specific in all the right places and vague in the right ways as well, making it easy to picture the places in the way that the characters perceive. As the story progressed I was afraid a few times that some things were going to be described to death, but everything survived and I always knew what my surroundings looked like.
Normally I would never notice whether a chapter was titled or not, but in a tale like this they help to clarify where you are and who is there immediately and I would have liked to see chapter titles to provide a layer of separation between the settings when the story jumps scenes. At the very least a little italicized “you are here” at the beginning of the chapters that start with a drastic setting change would smooth out those speed bumps.
Even though I was unable to breeze through this story, it took me on a path that made me feel better for completing it and, frankly, it made me feel as if I was experiencing genuine, grown-up fantasy.