The halflings live a life of peace until their lives are endangered by cruel invaders. What starts off as a quest to warn the protectors, becomes a quest to rescue the Elven Jewel and save Reloria.
I put off reading this novel because the cover didn’t fill me with confidence (I have included the updated image here). Lo and behold, setting off into it I remained nervous. By about half-way through, I was already committed, even if I didn’t feel particularly pushed to finish it.
You know, despite pretty much knowing what was going to happen, and the rather stilted storytelling, I enjoyed it. This is basically a remake of Lord of the Rings, for a younger set of readers. To an extent, I was confused as to why there was a lot made of the growing romance between two of the characters when the rest of the novel felt quite childish. But combine that with some of the somewhat graphic violence, and it became an early teenage novel where I would expect more character depth.
While Fendi (who I considered the main character) apparently is developing a silver tongue, I really didn’t see that role of him developing, despite the other characters commenting on it. I wanted to see more! Saying ‘no’ to killing someone does not make you a negotiator. Equally, you’ve got to do a bit more explaining to the new allies about the dangers.
Some of the names of things, I wasn’t sure that although they were deliberate choices, they could have been less, obvious? The author went to the trouble of renaming his characters depending on what their race was, I felt like it would have been better to also rename all the animals rather than leaving some as recognisable.
This novel has now gone through a complete renovation (sorry, it’s called editing when you aren’t updating a house!), which I haven’t actually read. I would expect that with that editing, it could be a candidate for 4 stars for the right audience. As it stands, 3 stars.