Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Kron Darkbow is at it again. The hero of City of Rogues and Road to Wrath is back in a brand-new book from Ty Johnston. It's apt to be months before I get around to reviewing it, but I'll be surprised if it isn't pretty damned good.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Goblins, the coolest web comic ever (possibly excluding Sluggy Freelance), has won an Aurora award for Best English Graphic Novel. Tarol Hunt, the creator, richly deserves it, too. The Auroras are given out by The Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association (CSFFA), and they're Canada's most prestigious genre award.
Congratulations, Tarol. You make a fantastic web comic that's full of action and excitement and manages to be truly moving at times, and laugh-out-loud funny at others. I highly recommend it as one of the best sources of sword and sorcery adventure out there.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
There isn't much time left on this, but for today only (Jan 24, 2012) if you buy a book from the talented L.C. Evans, you can take a free book from one of 22 other authors. It's all part of a tribute to Evans, who passed away recently. Some very good authors are participating. I encourage you to check it out. Here's a link:
Monday, January 23, 2012
My rating: 4/5
Ty Johnston's Kobalos trilogy continues with book 2, Road to Wrath. At the end of City of Rogues, revenge-obsessed Kron Darkbow transferred his rage from Belgad the Liar to a fantastically powerful wizard named Verkain. Now he's on the road to Verkain's kingdom of Kobalos, accompanied by Adara, master swordswoman, and Randall, Verkain's son who has become a healer.
The action never stops. Kron thinks he's done with Belgad for now, but Belgad isn't done with Kron. Along the road they'll meet savage mountain tribes, superstitious villagers out to murder Randall for using magic, and a tribe of cannibals who've escaped from prison.
Then there's Verkain. He has summoned indestructible war demons and sent them out to find Randall. If Kron and his companions can somehow survive this gauntlet of enemies, they'll have to face Verkain himself, a wizard of such mind-boggling power he could swat them all like insects.
My reaction to this book was similar to my reaction to City of Rogues. The story is irresistible. It drew me in completely. There was no question that I would keep reading, and I'll be reading the third book, Dark King of the North, as well.
The writing is flawed. Things are phrased in clumsy ways. And the number of typos is distressing. Yet the power of the storytelling trumps all of that. It's irresistibly entertaining.
The emphasis in these books is on action. The world-building is moderate at best, as is the characterization. Kron himself is almost ridiculously wooden at times. None of the characters are especially complex. Still, there are some interesting relationships and some tricky moral dilemmas that give the book some depth.
The wealth of action is one of the book's strong points, although it leads to one of my minor complaints. There is an appalling body count among the bystanders, in this book and in City of Rogues. Sometimes I almost wished the heroes would be killed, because they kept escaping at such a dreadful cost to the local population.
Overall this is an excellent adventure story with loads of action, and definitely recommended.
Read Road to Wrath on Smashwords