Rise of Aredor
By Claire M. Banschbach
Available on Amazon
I read it in one night, staying up well past midnight to do so, but more because I was reading a PDF file and didn't want to loose my place, than because of the story itself. I was thoroughly intrigued by the premise, but it jerked awkwardly, especially at the beginning,
The basic plot? The book's description did a pretty good job of sharing it. I don't know if I could do any better without telling you the whole book. The first half was a lot of set up and battle scenes, and could probably have done without a few of the chapters. The second half was about how Corin frees his native country from the oppressive power of the country that enslaved him. So, in a way, it's kind of a Joseph story, but more fighting.
A lot of readers are comparing the second half to Robin Hood, and I can see that ... but it reminded me more of William Wallace, since they weren't fighting off an oppressive government, but rather oppressive invaders.
But as much as I love Henty and Narnia, they didn't mesh well in this book. The magic of Narnia is the delightful world, and the rich truths that Lewis conveyed. The magic of Henty is the in-depth history and all of the historical figures that the hero rubs shoulders with. Rise of Aredor had neither, as its world is quite fictional, though realistic. While God - called Lleu - did have a presence in the book, He was usually only mentioned when things were going terribly wrong and they could no longer do it on its own. I would have liked to have seen the characters ask His guidance when making their troubles, to have seen a bit stronger faith. It made sense in the first half, but in the second, I would have really liked to have seen the characters asking Lleu's guidance BEFORE they made all of their grand schemes.
I did like the book, not enough to put it on my list of favorites, but enough that I'm tempted to buy a copy for my cousins (three rowdy boys who would love this sort of story) for Christmas, and enough that I'm eager to read the sequel, which is waiting for me on my Android. The author has a lot of potential, and I can't wait to see where the series goes.
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language
Sexuality: NONE - not even hinted at. Not really any romance, either.
There was some drinking, including some drunken enemy soldiers, however it was no more prevalent than in a typical medieval historical fiction. QUITE a bit of fighting, and torture (including, but not limited to, whipping and a poisoned knife), and the main character spends most of the book injured. Nothing graphic, but there's a LOT of it.