Official Review: The Three Witches and the Three Headed D...

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Nisha Ward
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Official Review: The Three Witches and the Three Headed D...

Post by Nisha Ward » 26 Apr 2019, 21:01

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Three Witches and the Three Headed Dagger" by Henry Regnault.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Welcome to “The Store”, where, today, we’re going to witness the adventures of Cadence Mage in The Three Witches and the Three Headed Dagger by Henry Regnault. If you look to your left, you can watch Cadence, an immortal with mysterious powers that even he doesn’t know about, fight against the forces of evil to save his family. What follows is a tale of mystery, suspense and magic as Cadence finds himself facing old enemies thirsting for revenge after the deaths of three of the people he loved most. Take a closer look and you’ll see him defend new friends and the only family he has left amidst betrayal after betrayal and the discovery that all is not as he believed it to be.

As you can see, dear reader, I really liked this book. Regnault constructs an interesting mystery with the murder of one girl that spirals into a deep dive into Cadence’s past that’s as filled with intrigue as his present is filled with blood, and boy howdy, is it filled with blood. This is not a book for the faint of heart, as there are very graphic descriptions of violence and gore that wouldn’t get past censors in a more visual medium. As it is, the author does not take any shortcuts when it comes to the fight scenes in the book, lingering over details like (and a warning for those who get triggered by blood) a hand being pushed through a chest, telling us exactly what kind of viscera comes out of the other end.

To preserve what equilibrium there is in the book, however, the characters are funny and even, at times, grotesque to the point of caricature. In another book, that might be a fatal flaw but in this one it seems to have been done potentially. Two of the three witches, Heather and Kaliea, are thoroughly corrupted, with Kaliea, the sole survivor of the two, degenerating into something less than human as the novel progresses. As such, so must her appearance and the way she carries herself, contrasting with the main villain and her father, Sam, who retains much of his human appearance as he maintains more control of his powers.

That’s not to say that this book is without flaws. As interesting as the story is, and it is interesting, the editing is truly atrocious. It’s riddled with errors throughout the book and the development of both plot and characters is done via a narrative shorthand more suited to comics that undercuts the story itself. Rather than letting the characters speak for themselves, Regnault relies on quips and quick mental asides to shape them, sometimes neglecting characters like Cadence’s niece, Jenny, or dropping seemingly important plot points altogether.

As such, it makes for a rough, rather scattered read that does the book very little justice for all the world-building that occurs, and there is a lot of it for such a short novel. Not only do we get Cadence’s history with Sam and his daughters, but also the context for his powers and the conflict with the blue-purple flame that dogs his steps. It’s not much when compared to other books, but, considering the rather short length of this one, it’s enough to take up at least a third of the book, spread out as it is already.

I love this book. Truly, I do. However, I have to give it 2 out of 4 stars because of its flaws. While it is an absolutely fascinating read for the start of a series I’m going to continue, I think it would have been much better off as a graphic novel. The prose needs a lot of editing and reworking for this to function as a novel, but it’s brilliant all the same. Fans of fantasy and series like Supernatural should check this one out, but be warned. There is, and I can’t stress this enough, a lot of gore and a brief sex scene or two.

******
The Three Witches and the Three Headed Dagger
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Post by Dentarthurdent » 29 Apr 2019, 02:43

Your review was very entertaining to read. The book sounds great, but maybe it could've been better had it been longer; to better accommodate its many concepts.
Great work.
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Post by Nisha Ward » 29 Apr 2019, 05:50

Dentarthurdent wrote:
29 Apr 2019, 02:43
Your review was very entertaining to read. The book sounds great, but maybe it could've been better had it been longer; to better accommodate its many concepts.
Great work.
Yeah. I think making it longer would actually give the author more room to play. It's clear that he loves this idea and I really want to know more about this world.
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Post by kandscreeley » 29 Apr 2019, 07:40

I dislike when such a good book is spoiled by horrible editing. At least that's fairly easy to fix with a good proofreader. I hope the author takes some of your criticism to heart. In the meantime, I'll pass on this until some further revisions are done. Thanks.
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Post by Ellylion » 29 Apr 2019, 13:18

I love Supernatural TV series and similar stories, but too pity the book is poorly edited. The cover of the book is really eye-catching, though. Thank you for the review! :)

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Post by Nisha Ward » 29 Apr 2019, 13:49

kandscreeley wrote:
29 Apr 2019, 07:40
I dislike when such a good book is spoiled by horrible editing. At least that's fairly easy to fix with a good proofreader. I hope the author takes some of your criticism to heart. In the meantime, I'll pass on this until some further revisions are done. Thanks.
Yeah, me too. Waiting might be best because while I wasn't distracted, that's just me.
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Post by Nisha Ward » 29 Apr 2019, 13:50

Ellylion wrote:
29 Apr 2019, 13:18
I love Supernatural TV series and similar stories, but too pity the book is poorly edited. The cover of the book is really eye-catching, though. Thank you for the review! :)
They're really fun to play with and I could see this one being pretty cool. Also, yes!
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Post by Charlyt » 01 May 2019, 00:27

The plot seems like a book that I'd like to read. Too bad about the bad editing, though. Great review!
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Post by Nisha Ward » 01 May 2019, 01:36

Charlyt wrote:
01 May 2019, 00:27
The plot seems like a book that I'd like to read. Too bad about the bad editing, though. Great review!
Yeah. It sucks about the editing but hopefully the author will improve.
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Post by unamilagra » 01 May 2019, 16:18

It sounds like this book would be a great read for the right reader if more attention was paid to editing. Personally, I will skip it due to the gore, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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Post by Letora » 01 May 2019, 19:48

This sounded like a good read, until I saw the amount t of typos and the short hand. I would be pulled out of the narrative too much by it all :/
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Post by Nisha Ward » 01 May 2019, 20:43

unamilagra wrote:
01 May 2019, 16:18
It sounds like this book would be a great read for the right reader if more attention was paid to editing. Personally, I will skip it due to the gore, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Understandable. The gore is...yeesh if you're not into that kind of thing.
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Post by Nisha Ward » 01 May 2019, 20:43

Letora wrote:
01 May 2019, 19:48
This sounded like a good read, until I saw the amount t of typos and the short hand. I would be pulled out of the narrative too much by it all :/
They're very distracting but the basic concept is pretty interesting.
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Post by brown09 » 03 May 2019, 11:29

Thanks for being honest about the flaws you found in the book. Editing is not easy, but tackling it now, before more people see it, would at least be a start for the author and the editor.

On another note, the plot and world-building that you mention in your review sounds enlightening to my writing process. I'll consider reading this in the future, after it has been edited. :techie-studyinggray:

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Post by Nisha Ward » 03 May 2019, 11:34

brown09 wrote:
03 May 2019, 11:29
Thanks for being honest about the flaws you found in the book. Editing is not easy, but tackling it now, before more people see it, would at least be a start for the author and the editor.

On another note, the plot and world-building that you mention in your review sounds enlightening to my writing process. I'll consider reading this in the future, after it has been edited. :techie-studyinggray:
Oh yes. If anything, while I would normally recommend this book right now waiting is the best course of action. It's a shame too because the immortality aspect is pretty interesting.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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