Two Books for Lovers of Adventure Fantasy!
So I don’t enjoy writing critical reviews. Yet we’re presenting a book review blog designed to provide readers with a fair and unbiased assessment of books within particular genres. Once I’ve started reading a book, the time investment is worth something to me.
That being said, my perspectives are still subjective, and I’m reading a lot of books in genres I thought I might like yet I’m learning I may not be their target audience. For instance . . . I’m pretty sure I’m not the target of adventure fantasy—at least, not all adventure fantasy is for me.
Recently, I read two adventure fantasy novels, and neither hit home with me. However, my reviews should highlight which audiences will enjoy both books.
Ashkii Dighin: The Hunt for the Hypnotist
I was immediately drawn to Ashkii Dighin due to its cover, and the book definitely matches the artistic, epic scale of the artwork. However, the narrative (especially at the beginning) was bogged down by extensive worldbuilding that occurs outside the narrative itself. I want to experience the world and see it through the eyes of the characters, not read a rote description.
However, once you push past these passages, the story picks up and transforms into an interesting adventure fantasy starring two characters on a mission to save the realm. But . . . I just didn’t care about the characters. I didn’t like Ashkii (he was rude, arrogant, and annoying) and it made me not want to know what happens to him. All of this together combined into a reading experience I personally did not enjoy.
However, I will emphasize that Ashkii Dighin will attract itself to lovers of adventure fantasy, especially those who are seeking something very different and in a world unlike any they’ve ever explored. I saw the potential for something good, but my experience of the beginning portions of the book colored the rest of the experience
I will not be providing a full score breakdown. Rather, I will give it a simple rating of 2 stars.
The Seekers of Fortune: The Saga of Aelorad
My experience reading The Seekers of Fortune is a bit different when compared to reading Ashkii Dighin, though it has some striking similarities.
The Seekers of Fortune starts with an incredibly fun premise, reminiscent of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. The main character is a prisoner on a boat! And then, immediately after the first pages, the main character engages in a crazy gladiator battle with a Troll! It’s great. Reminded me of the fantastic scene in Gladiator where all the gladiators rally together to win the battle of Carthage for the Carthaginians.
Yet, after those first few moments, the narrative gets bogged down by worldbuilding exposition that mars an otherwise fun, RPG-like adventure. The story continues to build its world (and I really didn’t mind its similarities to The Elder Scrolls), but I never felt fully invested in the tale. And once again, this may be a personal preference of mine, but the writing style (it used a bit of third person omniscient, where one character’s POV was in one paragraph and then another character’s in the very next paragraph) just didn’t hit home with me. I didn’t hate the book, but I probably won’t be looking for the sequel, either.
Yet, like I’ve recommended for other books, I’m just one reader. I’m starting to learn that I’m not the biggest fan of every adventure fantasy that lands on my lap, so readers who frequent this genre more regularly will probably see the story through different eyes.
I will not be providing score breakdowns for the Seekers of Fortune; rather, I will be scoring it a base three stars.