The Carbynarah Chronicles #1 by Jon Franklyn
From the very first page of The Carbynarah Chronicles, you are thrust into a story that has already begun. The story is in play and you and the first 2 characters you meet are there to catch up. There is war and it is in progress and from the first page on you never stop being in a battle or preparing for a battle. You always feel like you are driving toward a destination only to meet another diversion or reason that takes you and the main character away to fulfill the need of another part of the war. Although the entire book is set within a war, the actual main story revolves around a Maiggii named Yron. (Maigii meaning not full wizard). As he is pulled into the needs of the moment, we watch his journey and magical growth. However, the magical growth comes with questions and more questions.
Although many fantasy books come with maps, this is probably the very first fantasy book that I truly needed one. I have often thought that maps were mostly there to give the author some visualization of the land they are creating as well as the reader an overview of where things are. But generally once engaged in reading a story I find that I don’t rely on it very often. However, the manner in which this book is written is that you never stay in one place very long. You are quickly moved from one location to another depending on whether someone needs assistance or if a message needs to be sent or just to move the story continually forward. As a result, it was sometimes hard to get straight in my own mind where people were going or where they were coming from. Don’t get me wrong, quickly moving from location to location helps increase the intensity of urgency you feel. After all, it is a war. You should feel unsettled because the characters are unsettled and their very lives are on the line. So in the end I was glad there was a map. However, I do wish it could have been bigger on my screen. I would have even taken a more detailed map to help show the topography even better, especially since wars and battles are often about positioning and overcoming landscape obstacles as well as using the landscape to your advantage.
This story itself is very good and is a great read. The pacing is fast and intense and there is a richness to it that sometimes other books miss. I enjoyed the characters, although at times I wished they would talk more so that I could know what they are thinking. At the end you are provided answers to some questions, but it also leaves some questions unanswered that you hope get satisfied within the next book. It does have a few grammatical items, but never were the issues so glaring or overwhelming that it became annoying to read or continue. In conclusion, I found this book well worth the time I spent reading it and can definitely recommend it.
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book, through Reading Deals, and I gave an honest review.