Just finished reading Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland. A straight up fantasy novel, my favorite kind. No vampires or werewolves. Which, honestly? A relief. No angsty bloodsuckers and overly aggressive shifters? That’s awesome. I needed a break from those douche bags. Especially if I’m going to start working my way through AB:VH again.
The basic story goes as such: Dude (King of someplace with a funny name) is attacked by something and loses his ability to use magic and his magic sword (this is not a euphemism, it really is a magic sword). Dude has another magic sword (if it was a euphemism, I don’t know if I would be thrilled or appalled, but that’s beside the point) and he needs to find someone who can wield it. Dude’s brother, Chief Magic Man, sends Dude on a Quest to find the wielder. Enter Lady Mercenary who is sent on her own Quest to bring Dude a magic dagger (yes really, a magic dagger). And then: QUESTING. At some point, Dude (traveling incognito) and Lady Mercenary (with her gang of Mercenary Bro’s) meet up. Followed by: MORE QUESTING. Chief Magic Man (also incognito) eventually goes off to find his brother who has been gone for a couple of months. He finds the not-so-happy group, sees Lady Mercenary, is all OMG Yur beeyootiful, and joins the Quest. Now with MORE QUESTING. Plus, a LOVE STORY. Also: CLIFFHANGER. And a DRAGON.
If you like fantasy with some romance thrown in, give this a whirl. There is no naked business in the story and I doubt anybody’s nether regions will come into view, but hey, I’ve been surprised by that stuff before. The dialogue is pretty well written and the main characters are mostly interesting but there isn’t always a lot in the way of self-reflection, so sometimes they (and the secondary characters) come off a little flat. The fight scenes are extremely vague, but I’d rather vagueness than 6000 pages of battle scenes. There is some descriptive scenery but not really a lot of world building. Keeping the names of kingdoms and cities gets a little tough, but maybe that’s because there is no map. And maps of PLACES THAT DON’T EXIST are extremely helpful. What kind of fantasy doesn’t have a map? But there are a couple of anthologies with stories that are set in this world, so maybe I just need to read those first? Or maybe all the background info is going to be gradually introduced because it’s a series and it’s the first proper book. Whichever, I’m reading the next one once the Kindle price drops, because when I checked it was $11.99.
Series info: Star of the Morning, The Nine Kingdoms, Book 1