Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Awakening

The Awakening by Joe     Jackson

Author Joe Jackson opens the eighth and thus-far-latest entry of his Eve of Redemption series with a warning that it doesn’t follow Karian Vanador and the Silver Blades until the very end. The first two chapters revolve around zombies rising from the graves due to necromancers, although revenants don’t seem to play much of a major role within the story. A few of the protagonists are ultimately introduced, among them being a wolf prince named Auremax, Max for short, married to fellow lupine Audrei. There is a bit of confusion throughout the text with one character who isn’t Aeligos referred to as “the rogue” and another as “the ranger” without clear indicators of whom they refer to.

Swords based on compass directionality play some role within the narrative, as does a blind medusa named Alissiri that the dragon Fireblade wants the characters to slay. A set of jade seal MacGuffins serve as driving factors later on in the plotline as well, with several desert treks and Audrei yearning for offspring with Max. A boy named David whose true identity the book quickly reveals serves as a squire to the group as well, and at one instance Max has a battle with a knight named Dame Taeranna Sakiveldi, who holds several titles including Desert Eagle, First Huntress of the Crown, and Knight-General of the Order of the Western Star.

The group does cross paths with Kari and her friends at the end of the book, and while this entry’s emphasis on a new group of characters somewhat disappointed this reader, he would very much rate it on par with its predecessors, since the change of perspective added a degree of freshness to the literary franchise. This reviewer definitely did get a sense of confusion regarding some of the aforementioned kennings for some of the characters, and consequentially had a difficult time remembering who was of what race, and the author could have chosen a name for a settlement other than “Emerald City,” but he would definitely recommend this book to fans of prior entries, although with the warning of the new cast of characters.

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