Title THE ANCIENTS
Author NICK MARSH
Publisher AMAZON KINDLE
Release date 23.12.11
‘The Ancients’ is a traditional fantasy that avoids the excesses of many works of the genre in that it does not over indulge in descriptions or give us convoluted plots and endless battles. It is instead, a tightly written, clear plot with a delightful twist on the fantasy world. What I loved about this book is that it sets us wondering what is real and what is not, and if things are not as they seem, is there any point to life? A fascinating and highly thought provoking theme. The statement here seems to be that regardless of the nature of our reality, it is how we live our life, the relationships we form, and the love and pain that we experience and share that make life worth living.
The story begins after a bloody civil war in which the King is ousted and sent to the gallows. Dazlar, the last of the Royal Guards, returns weary and alone to the village of his birth, hoping for peace at last, but his discovery of a girl collapsed on the side of the road sets him on a new course that brings him to the very centre of the new ruler, Cranmer’s plans to reinvent the world for his own dark purposes, a purpose that unless stopped, will wipe out existence as Dazlar knows it.
Like a lot of traditional fantasy, this is dark stuff set in a world that although it has magic, knows misery intimately. Cranmer’s henchman, Ellis is a heartless beast who seems to gain pleasure from killing and causing pain to others, and we see him at work early on in chilling scenes that, personally, I would rather not witness. However, it does make it quite clear what Dazlar is up against.
The mysterious truth that Cranmer has discovered, and the background between Dazlar and Ellis is revealed as the story unfolds and the tension builds skilfully to the climax.
The characters are solid, the plot moves along at a good pace, and is interesting and unpredictable, but there is little light in the story and though the end is appropriate to the book, it left me with a heavy heart. I give it 4 stars .
There is a need for the book to be proof read again, because I caught a few too many missed words and incorrect spellings. Not enough to be a serious problem, but enough that I feel the need to mention it. These things can be fixed quite easily, however & probably will be.
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