3 out of 4 stars
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The last time I found myself quoting a book for a review, I had just finished reading The Undying Queen of Ur. I don’t often do this, what with my reading usually being for pleasure, but there’s something about JDeVereS’ The Elfkin Journals: Blending Of The Races that calls for it.“Life is a moment in eternity… Love is eternity born in this moment in Life.”
Kindle Location 2021, The Elfkin Journals: Blending Of The Races
Half philosophical treaty, half narrative, the novel is the story of Garith de’Graoin and his team of Elfkin as they struggle against the Supreme Leader and Prime Acolyte, Adad. Spanning several lightyears and beliefs, this story is one of bravery, perseverance and rebellion. Garith’s team have it easy due to their ability to interface with their mind stones, but their ease is juxtaposed against glimpses of the people they seek to free that highlight what exactly is at stake in this war for the ages.
Before I get into the book’s good points, I just want to note that there were a lot of errors, most of them related to punctuation, and a questionable stylistic approach to the use of quotation marks. Words used within their proper context were often enclosed in these marks, leading to a bit of confusion on my part as to why that was. However, continued reading showed that there was no real reason for this, so I chalked it up to a slightly distracting quirk of the author’s style and moved on.
With that being said, I highly enjoyed the book. While it could be meandering at times, engaging in quite a bit of navel-gazing by both Garith and his mentor, Ramas, there was enough action and communication between the characters throughout the book to satisfy me. The characters were kind of flat, I’ll give you that, dear readers, but I think it was to the benefit of the book, which focused more on the plot than on anything else.
After all, The Elfkin Journals is about the journey to end an empire and build a new home after tragedy, not the actual characters. I won’t say the world-building is meticulous, but the attention to detail that JDeVereS puts into his work in this regard, albeit in a slightly disorganized manner, was a joy for those who, like me, revel in a world’s lore.
The philosophy of the book wasn’t lost on me either. The author proposes something along the lines of all life being interconnected, with space and time a matter of one’s connection to the universe rather than something concrete. All are one and one is all, with love being a connecting force while prejudice and greed are sources of destruction.
It’s all very simple, yet complex, within the world of The Elfkin Journals, and the author doesn’t mince words. The language is familiar and understandable, with only a bit of quantum physics thrown in at times to back up the science behind the Elfkin’s magic. Rather, the JDeVereS chooses to focus on the mind stones in the book and how they fit into the world at large.
To say that I was impressed by all of this is an understatement. While it’s not as thorough as Tolkien’s work, or as bogged down in detail as George R. R. Martin’s, there’s enough background information for the reader to always know where they stand within the story. Sometimes it can be too much, as with the epilogue’s long description of the modern Elfkin compound, but overall it works for the book’s framing as a historical record within a commander’s report.
As noted, I enjoyed the book immensely, my friends. There was so much to it, too much to describe in this review, but I never felt like I was weighed down by the narrative. It was, instead, uplifting. It’s a beautifully flawed book that I think deserves 3 out of 4 stars. Fantasy readers who like a bit of science and interdimensional travel will love it, but I should warn you. It’s not for those with a low tolerance for long, rambling descriptions.
Happy reading, everyone!
The Elfkin Journals: Blending of the Races
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