April 26, 2011

RAST by Christopher Hoare

RAST magic is not a convenient parlour trick, it’s a deadly force that takes no prisoners. Those who must wield it are doomed, for it never ceases to work within the mind and nerves until it destroys its master.

And now, the time of the interregnum is here; the reigning sorcerer king, the Drogar of Rast, is struggling for a last grasp on magic power while his heir, Prince Egon, must take up the deadly mantle. Egon is fearful but courageous in his duty. Not one peril threatens Rast, but many.

While he struggles to tame the magic to his command the mechanistic Offrang adventurers arrive to seize the land for their empire. The Offrangs don’t just disbelieve in magic, they treat any attempt to discuss it with withering scorn. Then, when the Drogar falters, the North Folk sweep out in their multitudes to cover the land of Rast at the behest of their depraved Casket of Scrolls. Deepning too, a creature of earth magic in its mountain pools, stirs to gain power enough to conquer Rast.

The Prince’s sweetheart Jady does her best to support him, but she is not strong enough in the power of the lineage to bear him a magic wielding heir. She sets out to meet the caravansi of the cousin princess who is sent to be his consort with duty and anger both warring in her mind. The crisis will reveal surprising enemies, surprising friends, and as the Drogar tells Jady, “Even a Drogar may not see a future not yet determined.”

I did not enjoy this book at all, I found it stiff, wooden, dry and very confusing in detail, scope and breadth.  I felt like I needed a whole other book just to explain this book and even the compendium that did come with the book didn't help this reader one bit.  I have come to understand one of the most difficult things for a writer to accomplish is creating a whole new world to explore and adding in other influences such as the creature, inhabitants and/or terrains of these worlds can be a very daunting task.

I found that there was too much blather and emphasis on explaining situations occurring that could have better easily expressed in simple and more poetic forms of expression.   I could see where the author wanted to go with the story but I couldn't quite push myself there and after 182 pages of reading, I just had to give up and leave the story unfinished and unattended.  If you like detailed and formal prose while reading a comprehensive new world fantasy then this would be for you.

While Egon goes west to spy on the Offrangs and Jady makes her way east, the oracle provided by the Pythian that lives in a cavern beneath the palace reveals, “You have no high point to see the scattered threads but must trust to those who grasp them.”  Everyone, enemy and friend, has a part to play in the preservation of Rast.

**  Disclosure:  I did not accept any compensation from the publishers other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!!  **

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking the time to review Christopher's latest.