Prophecies Awakening by Peter Koevari
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
**Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the author to read and review.**
Prophecies Awakening is a great start to at least a duet of books. It had its ups and downs, but overall was an entertaining read.
There were some high points, such as the character of Tusdar. He provided the few moments of comic relief, which were welcome among such dark scenes and ideas. I also appreciated Vartan's character development, but wish there had been more to it. There is mention of him training with the dragons, but no expansion of it. In one chapter he is clueless to magic, in the next he knows how to do a ton of stuff. Magic is awesome, but how did he learn it?
Many such instances of skipping-over happened in the book, which I minded but not *too* much. A scene between the Elven Queen and one of her soldiers, in which she kisses him and then apologizes for it, struck me as odd considering she had just lost her husband, whom she had seemed to love so much. More interaction and development between the two characters would have been welcome there. Also, many things seemed to happen very quickly. I'm left wondering just how long it was between the night the prince killed the king, to the night of the climax battle. There was mention at one point that Kassina was days away from the elves' home, and yet it seems like only hours later her army is at their doorstep. Some time context would have been helpful. Dialogue was also a bit stilted and formal for some of the situations the characters were in. Just loosen up the tongues a little bit (use more contractions, add in some dialect) and it would have had a much better flow.
Sorry to start with the negatives - overall, I am left with a pretty positive feeling on the book. I enjoyed some of the character development but feel like I wasn't given enough time to "bond" with Aidan and Tusdar. The world building was pretty interesting and I'd like to see more of it in the next book. I wish I had a better picture of the cities in my head, though, because I'm left with images from Lord of the Rings movies to fill in the blanks, and they don't seem right. I also saw some parallels to Star Wars (at least with the market full of off-worlders - just rang bells in my head), and even to Katharine Kerr's Deverry series (considering how dragons can turn human and vice versa - in her books humans can turn into dragons through a very old and difficult spell). I could definitely tell that Mr. Koevari has thoroughly immersed himself into the fantasy genre in his reading, and that is appreciated.
This book was a quick read (I finished in one day) and, while it wasn't perfect (so little fantasy is these days), it was a good story, had a good amount of action, and kept me interested until the end. It also sets up very nicely for the sequel. Although I'm not usually interested in vampire fiction, this wasn't quite that. There was enough other fantasy that I could believe the vampires fit in it, and it was worked in in an interesting way. I would recommend this to other fantasy readers who aren't looking for high fantasy, but instead a good battle story with interesting characters and a complex world.
(On Goodreads I gave this 3 stars out of 5, because that is what "I liked it" represented. On Amazon, it gets 4 stars out of 5, because that is the equivalent of "I liked it.")
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