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Legend and Myth*

Almost a Parody of the Genre

After a prologue that is meant to tease, we meet Ava, who is the heroine of the story. She is awakening after a nightmare. Ava is supposedly a simple village girl, but she is soon discovered to be Enarie’s light, a chosen person who will help chase away the darkness. The story soon becomes one where protectors try to bring this girl to a place where she will be safe from the bad guys, who are pursuing them.

Why was this girl chosen, and what darkness will she have to face?

At times, the author writes with a lyrical fluidity that is evocative of fantastical time and place. At other times, however, the word choice seems overblown, almost like a parody of the genre. Do people really “beseech” and give “mighty tugs”? As is often the case in the fight between good versus evil in stories like this, the good are too pure and the evil too abhorrent. A little light in shadow and vice versa makes for a more realistic contrast between the two.

I had other issues with language in this book. The author uses far too many exclamation points both in dialogue and in the narrative sections. As a beta reader friend of mine once said, are your characters really that excited? The author also used a Lot of Capitalization for what could be Normal Words, and that is distracting. Many of the made-up words in this world are single words that have an apostrophe within them. This is one of my absolute pet peeves about fantasy writing. Yes, worldbuilding requires new words, but that’s not how you use an apostrophe–says this sometimes cranky freelance copyeditor. It would be one thing if they always fell, say, between parts of the word where the combinations of vowels would make pronunciation difficult for you to understand, but that is not the case here. Let me give you a few examples: Ar’kath, Tri’Gores, Lae’lora, Ellie’dew, Thy’acarr, and Ra’dinyus.

There are a couple of other oddities in this text. One that happened within the first few pages that made me go, huh? Ava is describing getting up after the nightmare, and she is feeling hot, sweaty, and parched after thrashing about in the bed. Here is the actual line that gave me pause: “As she drank, steam lifted from her skin with a hiss.” Oh, my! Is the poor girl about to burst into flames? As a woman of a certain age, I appreciate that sweat happens, but merciful heavens, I don’t think that skin can steam and actually hiss because a person is overheated. Another issue is that, even though this book was supposedly professionally edited, there are fourteen occurrences of a misspelling of haste as hastee. There were also a few missing spaces.

I felt that there needed to be more conflict besides what was going on with the bad guys, some internal group conflict that would keep the journey more interesting. There were minor conflicts, but they were quickly resolved. The book is very long, and as it is repetitive in parts, I believe that the entire text could have been tightened to make the story more impactful.