Here I am with yet another blog tour review! I re-jigged my reading list and fitted in a few extra reading pretties into my reading list, so check those out when they appear. NOW though we are all about Nathan Barham's book Fragments. Let's go;
Blurb: Alora’s Tear, Volume I: Fragments
There is no magic in Vladvir...
Tucked away in a quiet valley, the community of Tolarenz offers a refuge and safe haven for its people, keeping persecution at bay. One young citizen—Askon son of Teral—is destined to lead them, but first he must leave them behind: one final mission, in service of the king.
In the north, leering nightmare creatures known as the Norill gather. Their armor is bone and skin; their weapons are black and crude and cold. They strike in the night, allies to the darkness. It is to them Askon marches, his men a bulwark against the threat.
For there is no magic in Vladvir.
What Askon finds when he arrives seems impossible: smoke and fire, death and defeat, and all around a suffocating sense of dread. The Norill seek something they call ‘the Stone of Mountain,’ but in the half-remembered stories from Askon’s childhood, it was always ‘Alora’s Tear’: a gem with powers great and terrible. A gem that cannot exist.
Unless there is magic in Vladvir…
I have to admit, this cover would not be one to draw me in. Seeing it without having read the blurb/book would have done nothing for me to get me to grab a copy of this book. The beauty of book tours is that you don't have to see the cover, you get the blurb and choose if you want to read it. Seeing the cover after reading the book showed me exactly who was on the cover and how well it fitted with everything in the story. It's very cleverly done. The blurb was fantastic and hooked me from the very first word. Magic always gets me going and I cannot resist.
The story begins with a prologue which gives us an insight into our main character, Askon's, history. We learn about a particularly important moment in his younger years before being whisked back to present day. I like that it didn't stick with the "younger" protagonist as it made the story different from most books.
He is sent on an assignment which shows off Barham's strengths as a writer. The fight scenes and the world descriptions really made you feel like you could envision the very place in your minds eye. My only issue with this story is that there were no big wow moments. No plot twists that made it a page turner. That being said, the ending definitely makes me want to get my hands on the second book in the series. I do want to know where this story will take Askon and whether some of the other characters come back now that he is alone.
Overall, this book was an easy read with great action and epic scenery. It was a beautiful start to what I think will be a very promising trilogy. I'd definitely recommend it. I'm off to get book two!
Nathan spends most of his working days with the students of Genesee Junior-Senior High School in Genesee, Idaho. Whether it’s essay structure, a classic literary work, or the occasional impromptu dance routine, he strives to keep students interested in the fun and the fundamentals of the English language.
When he’s not teaching, he wears a number of hats, though the one that says “Dad” is the most careworn and cherished (it says “Husband” on the back). It hangs on a hook in a house where music is a constant and all the computers say “Apple” somewhere on their aluminium facades. From time to time it is said that he ventures into the mysterious realm called outside, though the occasion is rare and almost exclusively upon request by son or daughter.