Tuesday, 18 September 2012

War of the Witch (Legacies of Talimura Book 1) - Angel Haze



Title: War of the Witch
Author: Angel Haze
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2011
Formats: Ebook

Available at:
Amazon
Smashwords
Amazon UK

"War of the Witch" by Angel Haze is a standard fantasy novel that follows the adventures of a young common lad known as Astanyx. He returns home one day from a hunting expedition with his friends to find their village in ruins. When they find Astanyx's dying father, he provides some information on what happened and asks them to go and warn the king. So begins an adventure across the kingdoms of humans, dwarves and elves to try and build an army that could stand against the greatest threat in centuries.

The plot does make it sound like this book is an epic fantasy novel but I found that it was just a little bit too lacking in deeper substance to qualify it as such. Simply put it is fantasy light with limited political intrigue, character development and little sub-plotting. However, this simpler format has led to a fast paced novel that is full of action and gets straight to the point of a good versus evil battle.

One of the nice elements about the novel is that Angel Haze has created a varied and interesting world and back story. The history is revealed slowly as the novel progressed and I found it all to be quite enjoyable and would actually like to know more about it. In addition, the large and colourful mix of creatures that are used keeps the reader guessing about what Astanyx may encounter next during his adventures. There are the usual staples of fantasy literature such as orcs, dwarves and elves, yet we also get to encounter talking wolves, birdmen and the undead.

However, there are some issues beyond the rather barebones main plot line, the first of which is in regards to how people treat Astanyx. I found it completely ridiculous that a young commoner could just arrive at a castle, suddenly meet the King without any real checking and then be treated as a equal, or even a better to other more seasoned soldiers. I almost gave up altogether when Astanyx ends up going to a meeting between various heads of state where his opinions seemed to actually be listened to and given equal weight with others. I understand that the reader has to sometimes suspend disbelief, especially in regards to the fantasy genre but I think this novel pushes it a little bit too far.

The characters themselves were also severely under developed. Astanyx seems to act like a 16 year old common boy from start to finish which is why I find it even harder to understand why he gets VIP treatment as the story progresses. In addition, the other characters appear to be little more than cardboard cut outs. The young princess is stubborn and smart, the elven king is arrogant and the witch herself is just evil. That is the type of development we see in the novel and that is it.

Overall, I really wanted to like this story as it did have an interesting premise and I did find the back story to be quite enjoyable. However, when I read fantasy novels I prefer them to have a little bit more depth than what is on show here. Therefore, I was a little bit disappointed and suspect that the book is really only going to appeal to people who are after a quick light fantasy read to pass the time.

Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Free Reads Challenge
Speculative Fiction Challenge