I would definitely recommend this book series to any fantasy lover. Poison gives you an opening into the Fates Forsaken series, and if you are alread..Show More »y a FF reader then it answers some interesting questions.
Solid gold performance by narrator Derik Perkins. I enjoyed the entire series, both reading and listening to it. As for the quality of the storytellin..Show More »g, I'd give the stories in this omnibus an average of 3.5, but I'd give books 3 and 4 (not included) a slightly higher score. I'd give the series 3.9 stars max, as a whole.
Told in 3rd person, this series seems to be aimed at YA - adult. PG-13. No sex or cussing, but there is bloody violence.
HARBINGER is the first full-length novel in the Fate's Forsaken fantasy series, involving humans, dragons, mages, giants, mots (midget humans), pirates, whisperers, and shape-changer animals. I liked it more than SLIGHT AND SHADOW, but both books are fairly good (see quibbles below).
As for plot, the premise is logical, and even though it's nothing new, it's got the makings of a good fantasy. The plot is simple. This is not the kind of brain-taxing fantasy that has a complex magical system or convoluted socio-political arrangement. Some of the action scenes are excellent (especially the chapter called "The Tempest" in HARBINGER, and the final battle against Lord Gilderick and his fallows in Book 2, SLIGHT AND SHADOW.)
The genre is fantasy-with-light-romance, I'd say. By the fourth and final book, there's a bit too much romance for my taste, but I'd be happy with none at all. This series is fairly light in tone, with feel-good scenes of camaraderie and conviviality, interspersed with a few heartbreaking grim-dark scenes (murder, butchery, slavery, starvation). The writing style flows, making it easy to follow. There's a sprinkling of light humor throughout. I smiled and chuckled a few times.
Themes: Coming of age. Friendship, loyalty, faith. Abomination versus acceptance. Interspecies relations. A kingdom in peril. Destiny, Fate, and Death. A prophecy. An orphan child with no clue about his true nature. Shades of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
CHARACTERS: Protagonists are plentiful: Kael, Amos, Roland, Kyleigh the dragon girl, Aerilyn, Captain Lysander the pirate, Jonathan, Jake the Mage, Elena, Nadine the mot, Blood Fang, Eveningwing, etc.
Villians: Bullies Marc and Laomoth. The treacherous King Craven is suitably evil, but he's not a one-dimensional prop. His warlord Titus is canny, ambitious, and vicious. His head magician Ulric delights in torture but is not as shrewd as he believes. His seer Argon is an enigma we don't resolve till book 4. Same with his Beastmaster.
Craven's cabal, The Sovereign Five, oversee the five regions of his kingdom: Drunken Earl Hubert rules the Unforgivable Mountains, their Valley, and their foothills. Countess D'Mere rules the Grand Forest. She's a villain, but with texture, an enigma unresolved till later in the series. Duke Reginald of the High Seas is a fairly flat villain. Lord Gilderick rules the fertile plains. He's vile and emaciated, but shrewd, with some nasty tricks up his sleeve. Baron Suhar controls the desert, but he plays a very minor role.
Quibbles: Both novels in this package went on a bit too long, without enough momentum through the slow parts. The author needed to either shorten the story or insert some suspenseful scenes into the slow parts. And find a synonym for "rump" (overused, with connotations of rump roast and obesity).
I read the entire series. Books 3 and 4 are the best of the lot. Dragonsbane is available on Audible but Daybreak is not. It may be in production. Early days yet.
It is not necessary to read the prequel novella Poison to understand the series, but it's a decent tale. It is set before the Whispering War, beginning when Countess D'Mere was a child. It is her story. We also meet her lover, Garron, Aerillyn's father.