Book One of the Old Wounds Trilogy by Peter Buckmaster
Published on: January 16, 2018
Ragnekai Winds is the first book in a fantasy trilogy where kingdoms and characters make their play for more land and more power.
“There are those for whom old wounds run deep. There are those who do not forget the past. A kingdom without a king. A realm without a ruler. There are those who will see this as a sign. A sign to rise and take back what was theirs.”
The debut novel of a Brit living in Japan who grew up on Tolkien, Fighting Fantasy, Forgotten Realms and Star Wars. The realm of Ragnekai is intended to be swiftly accessible and the story to be easy to lose oneself in.
The story starts at the death bed of King Sedmund. Several are gathered around him providing him words of comfort or false hopes of a speedy recovery. However, he succumbs to death, and in doing so leaves a land potentially in chaos because he has named no heir with more than one individual capable of taking power.
Officially, Ragnekai Winds begins the day after Sedmund’s Death. Rageneki is divided into multiple regions with different Lords over the various parts. Although respect was paid to High King Sedmund, each Lord was always the ruler of his own land. It is two days after King Sedmund’s death when the other Lords of the land begin to learn of it. But two days past Sedmund’s death is also how long it takes for the first scheming to occur and it begins in Meridia with Lord Rencarro and his Second, Sylvanus. They believe that soon fighting and jockeying for power will begin in Bregustol, the city where King Sedmund lived. Together they scheme to let those who are destined to fight wear themselves out a bit. While that is occurring, Lord Rencarro’s plan is use this distraction to his advantage and perhaps expand his territory just a bit under the guise of ‘protecting’ others.
The book is broken out into 3 parts. The first part is primarily focused on King Rencarro and the western land. Part 2 focuses on the Helligan nation, who was forced out of Bregustol many decades prior and who may or may not still have a memory and longing for their old lands. Part 3 is more mixed in the different perspectives and where the narrative begins to intertwine the multiple story lines together and reaches the conclusion of the first book.
Because there are several different regions and kingdoms, multiple POVs are used in this story – all told in 3rd person. However, not all the POVs were from the main characters. Some you would only see or hear from for a just a few chapters and may not appear to be part of the main ‘action.’ For these characters, there were times I didn’t quite understand the significance, but later on I began to see it as a way the author tie story lines together. Speaking of the story line, there was more than one time I was surprised when certain events occurred or when specific characters went a certain direction. I think this is because after reading so many fantasy stories you begin to see patterns so it was nice to see these patterns differ somewhat in this story.
Although there many several different characters, regions, and kingdoms, I didn’t find it an overly complex story- meaning that I could put the book down for several days and not have trouble remembering where the story left off or what the relationships between the individuals and kingdoms were. I personally enjoy the complex and more complicated fantasy stories and would have found it a stronger fantasy book if it were more detailed, but that’s just me.
Rating: 4 stars
Thanks to Netgalley for the reader copy and the opportunity to provide an honest review.