Book Review: Age of Legend by M.J. Sullivan

 

Publishing Date: July 2019

Publisher: Grim Oak

ISBN:9781943363209

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.4/5

Publisher’s Description: Each culture has its own myths and legends, but only one is shared, and it is feared by all. With Age of MythAge of Swords, and Age of War, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan riveted readers with a tale of unlikely heroes locked in a desperate battle to save mankind. After years of warfare, humanity has gained the upper hand and has pushed the Fhrey to the edge of their homeland, but no farther.

Review: It is interesting, at least to me, how all of the reviews that are 3 stars or less have no written content. Takes me back to the time I was a Beta reader for team Sullivan; when if you are more than honest about the content, you are summarily dismissed. As a lot of effort and time goes into Beta reading any expectations about receiving summary novels in the series are quickly quashed by the lack. Self-centered doesn’t quite describe that behavior but I suck too with having any expectations.

The first in this series was a dismal failure what with Persephone, well, being Persephone and the publisher did not approve any subsequent novels up until this one. Too bad, as this was very good. Not Riryria good but still compelling.  What this author excels at is developing characters over the course of a fast paced story line and even the newly introduced are woven into the mix and imbued with deep character. Very deft writing for sure.

I had a good time reading this despite my personal failures at forgiveness, and this might have received the full 5-star accolade, but there are gaps from the previous novels that needs filling. Perhaps once satisfied, then I can revisit this review with the alacrity it deserves.

Book Review: The Return of King Lillian by Suzie Plakson

 

Publishing Date: July 2019

Publisher: Pilmsthistle

ISBN: 9780988499317

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.5/5

Publisher’s Description: When Lillian, the one and only heir to the throne, is cast out of her kingdom by malevolent forces, she accidentally wanders into the Forest of Forgetfulness, where she is rescued by wolves and raised by an eccentric old wise woman. When she comes of age, she is called by Destiny to return Home. The trouble is, when she steps out of the Forest, she has no memory of who she is or from whence she hails. Undaunted, Lillian sets off into the unknown, determined to discover her long lost self and to reclaim her stolen birthright.

Review:

Me: “This really was written for adults and not 5-8 year old children?”.

Publisher: “Yep”.

Me: “Really? No way”.

Publisher: “Yah, way. Here take a gander at more of our insights into this novel. This allegorical saga celebrates the healing power of art and music, the wisdom of animals, and the majesty of nature. It’s a tale for people who take the road less traveled. People who love fantasy, mythology, metaphysics, and comedy in unexpected places. People who are artists, humanists, feminists, seekers, wanderers, wonderers, misfits and bibliophiles. “.

Yeaaah……I did not get that memo where this fairy tale had any allegorical legs. If you use a story line or character to deliver a broader message about real world issues but your core logic is flawed/mired in an incoherent melange of babbling rhetoric that flits from topic to topic like a bee on acid, then ‘address unknown’ or ‘message undelivered’.

This was like being read a Disney tale by Shirley Temple (pouty baby voice) at a novels length. Try listening to say, someone speaking to you in a pirate accent for a while.   It is at once tedious, irritating and insulting. What was somewhat confusing was Lillian’s constant shifting from cogent English (internal dialogue) to cockney (external). This back and forth-ing of accents compounded the issues along with the lengthy contrived vacuousness.

This novel was not without it’s funny moments (The Judge, Poppy peeing in the well) but they were few. Some stories along her journey were really inventive and quite creative but are minimal in presentation and brief in instance. None of the characters ever develop as they are not supposed to in a fairy tale, especially Lillian whom grows into a woman overnight but retains the perspective of Princess Giselle from Enchanted.

At about the 70% Kindle mark, the novel picks up and resides comfortably in the adult consciousness then dips back into Dumbville towards the end. If you like Disney archetypes, are prone to talking with your mouth full and fart in mixed company, then this is for you.