Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review of The Song of Unmaking

The Song of Unmaking by D. Barkley Briggs is the third book in the Legends of Karac Tor series. Four brothers, the Barlows, have been brought from our world to a strange new world that gives them mysterious powers and dangers abounding. In this book, the Goths, a terrible force, have come to invade Rockval. The Vanir, the beautiful widowed ruler must take command of the situation and fight for her people. However, darker powers approach to test the Vanir and her people. A terrible machine for dark intentions is being built to release a terrible thing of legend- the Song of Unmaking. Now that Ewan, one of the Barlow brothers, has lost his power of song; the chances of victory seem dim. As the Barlow brothers continue to develop their powers and Arthur is challenged to become a leader, the good are challenged to face the evil. But who will succeed? And is there grace in deserved justice?

This book was excellent! I enjoy a good fantasy book every now and then, but to be honest, I haven't been dabbling much in the genre lately. This book reminded me why I love it so much. Fantasy has the power of subterfuge, which can be good or bad. It has much capability for symbolism and for influencing readers often without them noticing. The symbolism is present but not overwhelming. The writing style is fresh yet familiar, echoing the works of C.S. Lewis or Tolkien in a new light. I love the idea of a family trying to survive and thrive in a world so foreign to them to the point that they would fight for this world they were never even aware of. The affection between the father and brothers is clear, and I really appreciate that. I also found it interesting that the author wrote this book for his own sons when his family was going through a very similar ordeal as the Barlow family in the books. In all fantasy books, details are essential but have the capability to overwhelm the reader. believe this book was a nice blend of detail and action. I also found the incorporation of historical elements and classical lore very interesting and, again, echoing the voices of the great writers of the past. Overall, very well-written and stylistically excellent.

I would strongly suggest that the reader starts from the first book onwards. I am at a bit of a disadvantage because I was not able to read the first two and this book jumps right into the story. As I haven't read the previous books, I was confused at times and I had no idea if the author recapped the previous books or not. This is not a surprise; I have found it very common in books of this genre. However, it's very hard to not get lost in a fantasy book, and for about half of the book, I was lost. I was surprised that there wasn't some sort of summary of the past two books, a character description, or anything for a reader to understand without reading the previous books. That said, I plan to go back and read the first to in order to catch up.

All in all, I rate this book four out of five stars.

Specifics (from amazon.com):
~ Paperback: 336 pages
~ Publisher: Living Ink Books (October 14, 2011)

Note: Thanks to Glass Road PR and the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes.


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