2 out of 4 stars
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End of the Last Great Kingdom by Victor Rose is the first book in The Brimstone Chronicles. It is a fantasy story that has a lot of interesting story elements. While reading it I was reminded of other fantasy series, like Lord of the Rings and the Wheel of Time series. Like the mentioned series, the plot and history are very intricate and entertaining, but in this case the book is too bloated with story content to be written well.
In a world full of magic and fantastical races, Leaf is an Enlighten (half elf, half human) orphan who seemingly has no magical powers and is about to fail out of school. The secondary characters we spend the most time with are Heat and Neutron, two other Enlighten children. There are many other recurring characters, but because of the speed of the plot, it’s very easy to forget about them after they pop up in the book.
As for the speedy plot, all I can say without giving away spoilers is that magic is used and characters do things. The story appears to be a kind of hero’s journey that includes a lot of trials and tribulations. It’s very reminiscent of a role playing game (RPG). Outside of this hero’s journey, there is a lot of change happening in the world, including a lot of death, slavery, torture, racism, and politics. There is so much going on in the story, I believe this one book could have easily been expanded into at least 6 different books. The reason for this is that there is very little dialogue or true narration. Most of the book is exposition and what dialogue there is sounds very unnatural and choppy.
One last important thing to mention that is not a direct result of the heavy exposition is the odd order of the plot. The book begins with a history of the world and its races. It’s long and only loosely related to main plot. It would have been better if the history was tied in throughout the book periodically. There are a few other places in the story where the plot could have been placed better, but they’re not as bad as the start of the book.
I rate End of the Last Great Kingdom 2 out of 4. The story is highly entertaining, but the dense exposition leads to a hyper speed plot. It’s difficult to remember where locations are at or who the tertiary characters are, amongst many other resulting issues. I recommend it to readers that enjoy an extremely fast-paced fantasy and don’t mind extreme violence, slavery, and death.
End of the Last Great Kingdom
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