3 out of 4 stars
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A review for this book I am tasked to create,
About the story I read that kept me up very late,
3 out of 4 stars is the rating I bestow,
The reasons for why I'll tell you below.
Okay, I'm not going to try and keep this up throughout the rest of this review. I figured that I would try my hand at writing in verse similar to that found in A Costly Legacy by Mary Ann Barter, but I definitely don't have the knack for it that she does. This short book is entirely written in rhyming couplets, mostly with a traditional "AABB" scheme. For those of you that don't usually pick up poetry, please don't run away just yet, I think you might still enjoy it. The book squarely falls within the fantasy genre, and despite the writing format, is very easy to follow and read. It is not an abstract work of poetry that you require a doctorate in English literature to digest.
This book tells a tale of magic, powers that are held at bay, and the dangers that lurk unseen. Eli and Beth had just given birth to twin daughters, when an evil witch appeared at their cabin to steal their children away. Eli, releasing forbidden magic on the witch, saved his family. Using this magic, however, came at a terrible cost. Eli has awoken the evil powers that dwell deep down in the Earth and now everyone is in danger. Will Snok, King of the Sliks, make it to the surface with his evil army? Will they get revenge on those beings from above that banished them to the depths? Pick up your copy of this story to find out.
I'm not a person that would usually gravitate towards a poetry-like novel, but I really enjoyed this one. As mentioned earlier, the style was easy to read and it gave the writing a magical feel to it that fit the story well. The tale itself was short, but it was still quite amusing to read. Bouncing perspectives back and forth between Eli, the evil creatures below, and the witch, the reader is treated to a variety of viewpoints. What I liked the most about this book was how, even though it was written in verse (and perhaps even enhanced by this fact), the descriptive writing was amazing. Bounding herself to the rhyming scheme didn't hold Barter back, and I found myself grinning at every detailed turn of phrase. This was particularly the case in the chapters devoted to the witch's antics.
There were only two minor issues that I have to bring up about this book. The first may come off as a bit of a compliment in disguise. I found the story a bit too short and would have loved for it to go on longer and in more detail. For example, Eli had to solve several riddles and challenges in his quest to save the land. These were resolved very quickly, and I would have preferred to savour the tasks and all of the nuances involved. With only 75 pages from cover to cover, the action came and went in a heartbeat. Finally, and what I disliked the most, was the editing. Although the writing was extremely well done, I found a few too many errors than should be expected from a professionally edited work. Most of these came in the form of missing possessive apostrophes, but I saw other mistakes as well.
Mostly for the editing issues, I'm forced to give A Costly Legacy 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the editing, I really enjoyed Barter's tale and the style of writing. I highly recommend this book to fantasy lovers, and in particular, those that enjoy one that is written poetically. If you just can't stand poetry, rhyming couplets, or stories that are written in verse, you should definitely stay away from this one.
A Costly Legacy
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