January 24, 2012

Review: Time of the Awakening, by Kirk Yuras

Author: Kirk Yuras
Title: Time of the Awakening
Series: Generations of Legends (#1)
Publisher: Kirk Yuras (August 21st 2011)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review purposes.

Buy your copy: Kindle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Supernatural forces threaten the nation, Embrilliance. Men behave as if possessed – throwing themselves from towers, wading into raging currents, braving white-hot forges or burying themselves alive. Creatures long since forgotten stir in the Infested Bogs. The Walking Dead, once mindless automatons, now show signs of intelligence and organization. A demon rampages unchecked across the land. The military marches into a trap laid by a dark army amassed at the border.   

One man stands in the way of annihilation; Krylor Hendsdred.   




Though Krylor is gifted with prophetic insight, the villain Neiloph Ebonire holds him in check as he orchestrates the evils plaguing Embrilliance. Neiloph can read the King’s thoughts, can counter his every move and thwart any plan. Any plan except…   

[More background and A high quality Special Edition is available at GenerationsOfLegends.com” GoodReads’ blurb

If you’ve been following me, I know you’ve been expecting this review for the longest time. Finally, it’s here... And yes: this turned out to be a perfect fantasy, classic style!

Before I get into the book, though, I’d like to explain why it took me this long to finish this book. Simply put, I had the High Quality Special Edition. This was both a blessing and a curse. I loved it because it was obvious the care that had gone into the book. I caught a couple of typos and I had to cringe at the spoiled page instead of at the typo itself!

The bad news is that this edition is not fit for your average e-reader. Each page has been produced and then scanned, so essentially it’s an image, and it displayed too smallish on the screen of my Sony. If you’ve a Kindle Fire, though, this should read like a charm. If you have an iPad, this choice would be perfect.

I was stubborn enough to want to stick to the visuals of the Special Edition without those devices, so I had to read on my computer. Which put a good dent on my reading time. And a bad bend to my back.

Why am I telling you this?

Because if I stuck to reading the 600-something pages on my home office chair, that means that it was good.

Time of the Awakening takes a departure from worlds of grey and slips back to the roots, with big conflicts of good and evil. There are a number of books who stay in that area, though, so what makes this title special?

The language. I don’t know how familiar you all are with the classics, the real classics, but Time of the Awakening had that same flowing grace. This was specially apparent in all combat scenes, with heroes and villains cutting swathes through the battlefield and enduring (and hitting) more than we might expect them to while making the whole thing a tightly choreographed dance.

Same happened with the more mundane scenes. The author has been very mindful of the flow here, and it success in submerging the reader into a different world, a different time.

One of the greatest troubles of fantasy is the use of cliché in characterization. While we won’t find people as twisted as in some other titles, and while they are indeed archetypes of good and evil, I did like the work done on the good side. The evil villain was a bit, well, Evil Overlord, but the rest of the cast felt pretty solid. The secondary ones in particular, but also the hero. So, a point above average in the genre.

I can’t make many comments on the plot because of the spoilers, but it all fit well – even when it wasn’t fast. Because of that, it might give the impression of not very tight, but it’s actually all about the aforementioned flow and pace, I think.

The bad points for Time of the Awakening might very well be those I’ve pointed as good points. If you want a quick, easy read, or thrilling action, or moral shades of grey, then probably this book isn’t for you. I did say it was old school, and had a flow reminiscent of the classics.

If you are already into the genre, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re thinking about starting out, I’d recommend other titles first, perhaps – easier titles, if that makes sense. But this is a good novel in any case, so you might want to try it anyway. I guess that would make it a 3.5 stars: recommended for genre fans, recommended with a warning to everyone else.

The one really bad thing I can find with it is that it’s part of a series. In a huge series kind of way. Mr. Yuras has let me know, and wrote in his website, that we’d be looking forward to a ten-volume story.

Fans of Martin will be cringing with me at that.

But it still holds fairly well by itself, so don’t let that fact stop you.