Friday, January 17, 2014

The Color of Fate - Leilani Dawn

    2013; 268 pages.  New Author? : Yes.  Genre : Fantasy; Quest.  Overall Rating : 7*/10.

    Shamar is the Chosen One.  The gnome/magician Gueren told him so.  Then he told Shamar to grab a trusted companion and get on with his quest.  Like, now.  Ah, but Gueren never got around to saying exactly what the quest was, and where it is to take place.

    She wasn’t Shamar’s first choice, but somehow young (20 years old) next-door-neighbor, about-to-be-forcibly-betrothed Ana ends up being the “trusted companion”.  Could she be a “Chosen” as well?

    Perhaps they are a Chosen Two. 

What’s To Like...
    There are magicians and Ancients, at least one gnome, and some kewl AD&D-ish spell-casting.  There’s a bunch of dragons; you really don’t want to get into a spell-casting contest with them.  There are a couple of rings (one busted, one not) that will make you think of LOTR, but these serve a very different purpose.  The basic plotline – fulfill your destiny and save the world – is standard fantasy stuff, but the way the story plays out is original.

    There is some chrono-hopping and multiple personalities, which are always plusses for me.  Both the non-linear storyline, and the “I am you and you are me” passages were confusing at first, but I got used to them quickly.

    The three main characters are all developed nicely.  I kept waiting for some more fantasy-type creatures to show up, but if you’re a fan of dragons, you’ll be in Wyvern Heaven.  There are some neat plot twists along the way, and everything builds to an ending that is both surprising and satisfying.  This is a standalone story. 

    There is a fair amount of R-rated language and one sex scene.  I don’t find such things offensive, but they felt clunky here, and I think the book would’ve been stronger without them.

    “I see.  Manlings have no sense of humor.”  Abacus straightened in midair, flicking away a small bush that clung to him like lint.
     “Well, you can’t blame a dragon for trying,” he humphed.  He twirled long green whiskers, musing, “I suppose should really behave, since justice is a serious matter.”  His animation returned instantly as he quipped, “Wonder if that means injustice is a serious antimatter?”  (loc. 1333)

    He would become known as the scribe of the Great Journey and in the end, the savior of the world.  He’d already decided that’s what he would call the children’s fateful expedition: the Great Journey.
    Of course he wouldn’t mention that he was responsible for the journey’s rather gruesome end, but he’d find a way to explain their deaths as inevitable and in the best interests of everyone concerned.  (loc. 1445)

Kindle Details...
    The Color of Fate sells for $4.99 at Amazon.  ATM this is Leilani Dawn’s only book available for the Kindle.

She’d kill him tomorrow when he was awake enough to remember it.  (loc. 2381)
    The writing is good, but it seemed like the storytelling could’ve used some beta-readers.  I was left with a number of plotline questions, which are given in the Comments section, due to spoiler concerns.  There are also a couple show-don’t-tell spots that could do with some polishing.  More importantly, there just isn’t much action in the first half of the book.  Shamar and Ana get picked, grab their horses, and then we basically plod along with them as they try to figure out where they’re supposed to go.

    Figuring out their quest/destination and the way they find the dragons seemed to be too easy for our heroes.  The Ultimate Bad Guy is kind of a wimp, his weapons not overly frightening, and the Powers That Be seem to have the situation under control from beginning to end.

    As I was reading this, I couldn’t help thinking – this would make a fantastic YA Fantasy novel.  It reminded me of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time, and that’s a high measuring standard.  Even the book’s cover oozes “YA”.  Unfortunately, the sex and cussing relegate The Color of Fate to the ‘Adult’ reading category.

    7 Stars.  This was an enjoyable read, with the plot twists keeping me turning the pages.  Full Disclosure : I was given a “first draft” of TCoF, and asked for my “brutally honest” opinions.  If you downloaded this from Amazon, your rating may turn out to be higher than mine.

1 comment:

Hamilcar Barca said...

Unanswered questions that came up while reading TCoF :

01) Why destroy Ana's home village? How does that impact the story?

02) What was Abacus' message to Shamar and Ana? He mentions it's important, but I don't recall ever reading what is was.

03) How does the cussing and sex further the story?