Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: Legends Reborn: The Light of Epertase - Book One

Legends Reborn: The Light of Epertase - Book One
Legends Reborn: The Light of Epertase - Book One by Douglas R. Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please note: I first read this book in June 2011. I re-read it in January 2012. I received a free e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Info: Genre: Military science fantasy
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of action-oriented fantasy, military science fiction
Trigger Warnings: rape, war, murder

My First Thoughts: “The year was Matthew 1012.”

With these simple words, the author, Douglas R. Brown, draws us into the story, shows us this is a world we’ve never seen before and immerses us in it.

My Synopsis: Rasi, a warrior of Epertase, is filled with remorse for the killing he did during the recent war. He tries to hide this from his pregnant wife, but she can tell something is bothering him. While celebrating the promotion of Prince Elijah, who has commanded Rasi’s group during the wars, Rasi is snubbed by the prince repeatedly. When Rasi can finally get away, he takes a shortcut that ends up causing him to intercept the rape and beating of a young woman – he is, however, outnumbered and unable to prevent her murder.

Rasi is blamed for this atrocity – his tongue cut out so he can’t defend himself or tell the truth – and put into a pit with a rashta, a fierce beast. Using his indomitable will, however, Rasi just manages to kill the rashta, although he fears he is dying himself. As he passes out, he sees the tentacles from the rashta’s back disengage themselves … and come for him. When he awakens, they have fully attached themselves to his back. And with his new tentacles (or straps, as he calls them), the new phase of his life of banishment begins.

After 12 years in hiding, the last five lightened by the occasional presence of a young woman (whose name I won’t mention to avoid additional spoilers!) with whom Rasi has fallen in love (and she with him), the Teks come. A race that uses machines, they take over other lands in order to drain the oil from the ground and the resources from the land to fuel their own empire. Despite overtures of peace from both Epertase and it’s neighboring country Lithia, the Teks slaughter their way across the country in a seemingly unbeatable wave of death, their machines, firearms and cannons granting them an incredible advantage that no amount of courage seems able to overcome.

Will Epertase be able to stand against the might of the Teks? Will Rasi be able to re-integrate into society? Or will Epertase fall and Rasi with it? Read the book to find out!

My thoughts: Overall this was a really terrific book – although the initial chapters might be considered a bit slow by some readers, I felt they were appropriate to provide the information and background on the characters needed to set up for a trilogy. By the time the Teks reach Epertase, the action is all anyone could possibly want. Fans of fantasy, military fantasy/science fiction and action/adventure stories should all enjoy this book. The next book in this series – “A Kingdom’s Fall” – is due on shelves fall 2012. The final book in the trilogy, “The Rise of Cridon,” is scheduled to be released in fall 2013. I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing where this story goes.

Additional thoughts upon a 2nd reading: While it didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book, I did notice a few questionable things during my re-reading of it. These are spoilers and will be marked such on Goodreads, but elsewhere you will be able to see them if you chose to continue reading. You have been warned.

When Rasi kills the rashta, he passes out. When he wakes, he finds it swarming with maggots, but the flesh is still warm. How can this be? Maggots don't just appear when something dies; they hatch from eggs laid by flies. It takes a few hours.

Also, when Rasi pulls Lorca into the belke slug's ravine, why do the Elite Guard just leave? I would think they would have stuck around, not just wandered off and left Lorca's horse behind. Sure, it's convenient that Rasi has a horse and no one left to fight, but is it realistic?

Then, when the Teks invade. They call themselves Teks, but why would the Epertasans call them that? It is said they do because of their technology, but Epertase is a non-technological society; how would they even know the word technology?
It doesn't make sense. Also, I really did not like Tevin or Elijah, although Elijah did redeem himself a little. I could understand Tevin's devotion to Elijah, what with Elijah saving him from bullies and such, but to follow the man to the point of plotting to kill the princess? I was not impressed.

So, there you have my new and updated review. There is no change in rating, as I enjoyed the book enough that I didn't even notice some of these issues in the first reading. Recommended for fans of military science fiction, action-oriented fantasy, and terrific storytelling.

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