Saturday 15 October 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Stormwielder by Aaron D. Hodges

Aaron D. Hodges
Release Date: December 1st, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:
For five hundred years the Gods have united the Three Lands in harmony.

Now that balance has been shattered, and chaos threatens.

A town burns and flames light the night sky. Hunted and alone, seventeen year old Eric flees through the wreckage. The mob grows closer, baying for the blood of their tormentor. Guilt weighs on his soul, but he cannot stop, cannot turn back.

If he stops, they die.

For two years he has carried this curse, bringing death and destruction wherever he goes. But now there is another searching for him – one who offers salvation. His name is Alastair and he knows the true nature of the curse. Magic.

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Stormwielder was a nice surprise. I wasn't expecting to like the story as much as I did, but it turned out to be quite a thrilling adventure, albeit it did come across as more middle grade fiction than young adult fiction. Eric is a young man who, having caused the death of his family and having been banished from his village, lives a lonely and guilt-ridden life. He's a magicker who has no control of his abilities and because of his lack of restraint, he causes catastophic disasters everywhere he goes. Having recently destroyed an entire village, he goes on the run and it's only with the help of a mysterious stranger, who knows a lot more about Eric that he lets on, does he manage to press on and survive night after night.

The story was certainly an action-packed epic adventure with a Lord of the Rings ring to it. The story was very fast paced, which is good for those with short attention span, but I found the constant struggle for survival a little overwhelming to embrace. Eric and Alastair (his noble sidekick) came under attack almost at every turn. They had no time to reflect on their situation or each other. It also made the story feel repetitive. It lost its element of surprise for me and became predictable. I felt I had to push myself to read the last third of the book, which I didn't want to be the case as there was a lot that happened with the characters in the ending chapters that should have kept me glued to the pages, but that wasn't the case. I found myself rushing to get to the end. I lost interest in the story, and as much as I tried to re-establish connection, it never happened.

Overall, Stormwielder was a story with all the elements you would expect of fantasy. I liked most of the characters, I enjoyed the concept of the story, but I wasn't all too fond of how the story unfolded. Having said that, I think it has great potential and fantasy lovers would enjoy it.



Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Source: Review Copy

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