A Brother’s Will – Kallodhan Book 1
Genre: Epic Fantasy.
I love a good quest and Justin Wright has all of the “right” ingredients: A powerful king has disappeared, a strange menace is threatening the land, and the three brothers left to watch over the kingdom are not exactly getting along. Toss a strange wood and even stranger girl into the mix and voila — instant quest.
The premise for the story, while not unusual in itself, clearly develops unique peculiarities within its world and the medieval building blocks within those fantastical elements. The writing is strong and the characters gritty and realistic. I’m also partial to strong female characters and Wright does not disappoint.
My favourite aspect of the novel is the ability of the ruling Layne family to change into Lynx (and each kingdom has other unique shapeshifters). However, it isn’t just the fact that the animal changed into is a Lynx (the most gorgeous big cat out there), but the well-crafted way in which the “change” happens: a sharpening of the senses, the feel of skin to fur and claw, the subtle change in thinking patterns and perception.
In fact, I would have been inclined to give A Brother’s Will a higher star rating except for two very important things:
- It’s too short for the first novel of an epic series.
- It’s not a book.
I think the first point is fairly self-explanatory but the second needs an explanation.
A “book” or narrative has a clear arc (beginning/middle/end) where a problem is introduced and the characters work toward (and against) resolution — the same is true for the characters. A Brother’s Will is clearly the start of an over-arching story that abruptly ends without any attempt at a more minor resolution (sure, one brother discovers his father, the king, was at a certain location but is no longer there — that’s a clue, though, not plot closure).
If this book had been labeled as a “mini-series” or “epic serial” of sorts, I would have easily given it 4 stars. The problem is, that even if you’re doing a divided/serial/mini-series with key installments, there has to still be that fundamental rule observed: one smaller plot point needs to be brought to fruition before the “book” can end. Only having the over-arching plot to follow leaves readers unsatisfied and cross.
Still, if you know ahead of time that these are “serial episodes” and not “books”, you’ll easily fall into this world and get lost in its magic and its monsters.
Review by M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor.
Categories: Book Reviews