Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Legend

Legend by Jolea M. Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Science Fantasy Reading Level: Young Adult

Disclosure: I received a free ebook edition of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Dynan Telaerin lives within a shell of his own making, a place devoid of light. Every moment is a struggle to rediscover who he is. After barely surviving the loss of his twin brother, Dynan is forced to run farther and submerge his identity deeper than ever before. Legend is the story of his survival, how he discovers a reason to want to live and where he learns that dreams can be real. But there are no guarantees, for with each action an equal and opposite reaction occurs. There are nightmares to consider and souls to be lost.

To protect him, and give him time to heal, Dynan is sent to a place that is forbidden by the laws he’s supposed to uphold. It’s a calculated risk that he needs the anonymity Cadal can provide. The danger is weighed against the odds he’ll be discovered - by the people of this backward planet, by allies who would use this infraction against him, or by an enemy who would see him dead.

The plans so carefully arranged soon start to unravel when Dynan meets the girl of his dreams – dreams that he doesn’t remember until they walk up to him, living, breathing and beautiful. Preordained by the Gods, their attraction to each other is unstoppable. From the moment of acceptance, the difficulties set before them stand in the way of their desire to be together. There are enemies, known and unknown, lurking in the outer reaches, and one, who as promised, intends to destroy everyone Dynan cares about.

Maralt Adaeryn has plans of his own and none of them end with happily ever after.

My Thoughts: This is the fourth book in the Guardians of the Word series. The author has said: “This was the first book that was written of this series, where the whole idea started, going forward and backward from here. And it ended up being the 4th released. Just a little tidbit.” I’d like to point out that a major plot element of the third book is revealed in this synopsis, so if you haven’t read the previous books yet, you might want to wait until you have to read this review carefully. I will try to avoid retro-spoilers, but it’s hard to give the idea of the book without slipping up and maybe revealing past events.

This book is twice as long as the previous book, as well as being longer than the first two books put together! A lot happens, with both character development and action, and there are a large number of surprises in store in this book. I really like Cadal – not only does it seem like a lovely place, but the people are interesting, too.

One thing that has been bothering me is Maralt. Usually when there is a powerful character, there is someone who can pretty much match him or her, but it seems that there is no one who can even touch Maralt. This seems particularly strange to me when someone is repeatedly shown to be a superior fighter, yet as soon as he or she goes up against Maralt he can’t even seem to hold on to his sword. People who ordinarily can hold their own over multiple attackers are suddenly falling over their own feet, things like that. I don’t quite get why this is so.

I think this is the most satisfying piece of the story so far, probably because things move along smoothly and we see so much character development. There are still some editing errors – mostly along the lines of the wrong homonym – but overall the book is better edited than previous books in the series as well. A strong blend of action and character, in a very nicely done blend of science fiction and fantasy. Recommended.

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