Synopsis: Haunted by memories of a violent past, Alastair Coldhollow wagers his life on the hope that a sword will appear in the stars and the foretold Halfainin, the Pathwalker, would come. Meanwhile, tensions simmer between Anglinore and the murderous Gorrack Nation, threatening war on a cataclysmic scale. The fate of all could rest on an abandoned child and the decisions of those who desperately seek to identify him.
My thoughts: [a few spoilers present]
I read the synopsis shown above, and I was thoroughly overwhelmed with information. I could not get a grasp on where the plot would be going, there were just too many unfamiliar names. However, when I started reading, it didn’t overwhelm me at all. It introduced everything unfamiliar quite steadily and easily.
Alastair was quite a complex character. First, there was his assassin side during his service under Morlan, then there were his Caller days searching for the Halfainin, but fighting an addiction to Witchdrale, an evil drink. He has his victories, and he has his failures, and by means is no perfect man. Abbagael, however, did not seem to have many faults. There is one scene where she is skilled at sneaking like a thief, but that is no indication. She was a good mother, a forgiving and understanding wife, and she seems too perfect.
The story is like Batson’s others in quality, and did have a similarity with another book of his, The Curse of the Spider King, in which the protagonists find a secret race and rescue one of them, and thus are honored with friendship. The same happens in this book, when Alastair and Abbagael rescue a creature, which then leads them to a hidden society, where they are honored. There does not seem to be much else that is similar.
There are lots of unique terms to the book, like “month” names, but they can easily be ignored if confusing. In one part of the book, Batson used letters to explain the events over 9 years, and I found that to be a cool effect! However, in one of the letters, it is said that two (semi-unimportant) characters died, but they show up once after the letter alive. The biggest thing I felt that lacked in the book is intensity. Risk and suspense were there, but they didn’t seem to affect me that much. I was able to put the book down quite a few times without extreme regret. Maybe that was just my mood at the time.
My rating: 4 stars
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