One of my close friends and I are beyond similar regarding the types of books we like to read. So, many years ago, when she expressed her shock that I had not ever read The Hobbit, I jumped on it like a boulder-throwing giant on, well, a boulder. After smacking my head repeatedly against the Lonely Mountain for the first three-quarters of the book, I finally wound up enjoying it (the book, not the smacking) and being glad I read it. Did I read Lord of the Rings? Did I see the LOR movies? Absolutely not. I won’t say never (I never do), but as of now, the queue in front of that series, in either format, is miles long.
There is something about the manner of speaking and the fantasy in these types of books that I find difficult to get past. It takes me a long time to stop snickering at the made up names and monsters in which these books absolutely drip. OK, so it just boils down to what you, as the reader, like. Duh. In my excitement to actually be given the opportunity to review others’ works, I accepted some genres that, in hindsight, probably would have been better reviewed by someone who appreciates it more than I do. Regardless [aside: it is NEVER “irregardless.” Never. That’s not even a real word], I will go forth and conquer and who knows, maybe I will end up liking it after all.
After a brutal attack on the peaceful village of Embrien, a dying stranger named Naerian thrusts a pouch into the hands of Ben, a soldier sent to protect the village. To Ben’s confusion, the fading man insists that Ben is the only one who can deliver the pouch to the Order. The man apologizes to Ben while he insists that something that happened to Ben was not his fault. “You hold the key…to everything,” he says as he expires. These words set off a chain of events that Ben never dreamed to be his destiny.
Accepting this duty that was seemingly thrust upon him, Ben follows a path to the Order to discover the meaning of the map with the ancient writing and why he is the only one who can touch a mysterious dagger without harm. Along the way, people with hidden agendas begin to join the group – but is that part of a bigger plan? Meanwhile, there are those who plot against Ben and his quest, but they remain in the shadows…for now.
Coren is very well written in the sentence structure/grammatical sense. Arbethai aside (that’s the language made up by the authors), the story flowed well, but was predictable. The characters were many and mostly underdeveloped. Their actions were expected which made them rather bland. While there was a lot of fighting, intrigue, stabbing, robbing, slicing and traveling in the tale, it seemed like the story was going to chug on to despite all of that. It was on a track and if the doings happened alongside the track, they got left behind. Though I could not have told you exactly how it would “end,” I would have been close.
I won’t continue with the series, but chalk that up to the genre. For you true fans of J.R.R. Tolkein and his kin, I think you will enjoy Coren. I’ve decided it’s a style to be henceforth and forever known as QuestLit. This is the Elven version, complete with new language. Arbethai is the new Klingon, yo.
3 of 5 Stars
Adult Fiction; QuestLit Fantasy
Coren: Remnants of Betrayal by Morgun Wolf and Heyden Redding was published on November 11, 2011 by Scott Dean Publishing Ltd. A free copy of this book was received by Ink and Page in return for an honest review.