Friday, September 18, 2015

Call of The Herald by Brian Rathbone

"If you wish to find yourself, you must first admit you are lost."

"Men are fickle creatures, capable of kindness and compassion yet fascinated by the basest of atrocities."

Call of the Hearld is a young adult epic fantasy that follows the life of a young farmgirl named Catrin who discovers she has magical powers.  Catrin must now learn to use her powers while trying to save the world.  It is the first book in Rathbone's Godsland series.

There is a prophecy of the coming of a herald, one who would save the world.  To some this is only legend while others take it to heart.  One day while coming home from school something mysterious happens to Catrin.  Soon she finds out she the prophesied herald and begins a quest to eliminate the evil and save the world.

Generally a good idea, and interesting story but unfortunately is not executed well.  There is so much potential in this novel, but it is clouded by excessive dialogue, cliché events, and generic characters.  Something refreshing about this novel is the female lead.  Too often the lead heroic character is male, not often do we see female assuming that role in many novels (I understand more often females are becoming stronger heroines.)  Having that in this novel was a great idea as she relies on her friends for support.  The other characters seemed to be lacking substance.

I liked the underlying plot of magic returning to the world and people being unsure of how to react to it, but as I stated it was not executed well.  The story was slow moving with a lot of background and descriptions that took away from the true beauty of the story.  Even after Catrin experiences slight magic in the beginning, it still takes awhile before she realizes she is the herald.  I understand some of the reasoning behind it, showing her torment from classmates and peers to struggling to work hard and learn new things, but it is excessive and not needed.

I would recommend this novel to those beginning the fantasy genre.  It gives all the elements that make a fantasy novel well fantasy.  It is a great book for young readers getting their feet wet in different genres and different novels. would I read another book by Mr. Rathbone? Probably, but maybe not a young adult novel.

I struggled with what kind of rating to give the story.  As I mentioned this is a great novel for those beginning in the genre and young readers, I read this as someone who has been reading fantasy for years, and probably has been spoiled with many different authors in the genre.  That being said I give this novel a 2.5 out of 5 because the story was slow to develop and felt too generic for the genre.  When I read a fantasy novel I want something that blows me away, I have been spoiled by the classics I have read in the past.

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