Sorry, everyone for not being able to keep up with the posts or reading. I got hit with some midterms (even though I just had midterms in these classes). So, to apologize, I’m doing a review on a 7-book bundle I found a while back called Magic, Myth & Majesty. Titles included are Defender (Robert J. Crane), A Legacy of Light Daniel Arenson), The White Tree (Edward W. Robertson), The Dark Citadel (Michael Wallace), Sword of the Archon (D. P. Prior), The Weight of Blood (David Dalglish), and Ravenwood (Nathan Lowell).
I’m starting with Defender, by Robert J. Crane, because this book introduced me to the mythical world of Arkaria and its incredible….well…take on fantasy. I don’t mean to be vague or anything, it was just the first time I was thrust into a world that resounds with themes of Dungeons and Dragons, and other MMORPG game worlds. It was the first time where I encountered the epic scope of this style world on pages and a lot of it left my head hurting and also wanting the learn more. This isn’t going to be a list of all the questions I have for Dungeons and Dragons-type worlds, so lets dive into Defender.
Amazon: 4.3 (121 ratings)
Barnes and Noble: 4.4 (65 ratings)
Goodreads: 3.9 (388 ratings)
“The world of Arkaria is a dangerous place, filled with dragons, titans, goblins and other dangers. Those who live in this world are faced with two choices: live an ordinary life or become an adventurer and seek the extraordinary.
Cyrus Davidon leads a small guild in the human capital of Reikonos. Caught in an untenable situation, facing death in the den of a dragon, they are saved by the brave fighters of Sanctuary who offer an invitation filled with the promise of greater adventure. Soon Cyrus is embroiled in a mystery – someone is stealing weapons of nearly unlimited power for an unknown purpose, and Sanctuary may be the only thing that stands between the world of Arkaria and total destruction.”
I opened up the book and I’m immediately assaulted by the prologue. I always give them a chance. This prologue is not an info dump about the world so I read it. No characters were named and nothing resoundingly important seemed to happen, but it did leave me with the usual “I need to know what the heck’s going on” feeling to turn the page. That’s when I read “8 YEARS EALIER”. A did a little groan inside, knowing that what I read will not be addressed for a long time, and seeing as how the prologue was so packed with not much going on, I kept reading.
Meet Cyrus Davidon the human, our hero of the story and his two trusty friends Narstron the dwarf, and Andren the elf. They are the only members of their guild and are out adventuring to kick butt and take all the loot.
They are part of an expedition to kill a dragon, but surprise, everything goes wrong and they are attacked by spiders and other dungeon beasties. They meet other people of various generic classes: a ranger, a druid, a paladin, etcetera… and I thought I knew a thing or two about fantasy, but this book proved me wrong. I never played Dungeons and Dragons, or any fantasy RPG thing, but for a lot of the people that are met and given names and take their few seconds of glory, that “character class” and “species class” is about all the character development between many of these characters. And they didn’t go away after a few pages. These guys would keep popping up and I could not keep track of their names or species, or heck….where the people were or what they did for a living. I got lost a lot. (I blame it on the ADD because I want to).
Going on with the character building…it’s lacking. Cyrus really doesn’t show any internal struggles, in fact, nobody really shows much of an internal battle. There aren’t any surprises when people make decisions because they do exactly what the generic class character will do, and have the petty species fusses that they do. The book itself doesn’t have much of a solid plot line.
These characters get whisked from one end of the world to the other by magic portals and they are daily going to battle because potions and a good night’s party and sleep will rejuvenate these people. The book does NOT disappoint if you want a book of nonstop action, because these guys go looking for danger. Sounds like generic villainy, but these are the good guys. The generic bad guys in each battle scene are actually defending their home territory from all the freakin’ adventurers that raid their houses and kill their friends daily.
I finished the first book. Defender is there first in a series, and strangely there was an epilogue. Shouldn’t the epilogue be book 2 if the thing is the beginning of a series, you know: the characters dealing with the consequences of their actions. Anyway, the epilogue takes us back to where the prologue left us hanging and adds literally nothing to the story, just like the prologue ends up not having anything to do with the story. Yep, those two chapters are worth nothing.
To the credit of this book, I did like most of the action sequences and the places they go were really interesting- like the underworld! But they don’t stay in these areas for more than 2 chapters and then you go off to the next part of the world, so you never get to appreciate being anywhere.
Did you read Defender? How did you like it? Have you encountered Dungeons and Dragons worlds in your reading adventures?