3 out of 4 stars
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A Grim Light Rising by Joseph Burgo is an epic fantasy novel set in a mysterious continent reminiscent of medieval Europe. It describes an era hundred of years after a mysterious deadly plague swept across the continent. Society had regressed, and many arts were lost. The story follows a handful of characters including the king of the land and his brothers, a wandering old bard, and other characters who are at a crossroads in their life. Our narrative starts with a young girl who is sensing unusual changes in her body and must leave her village lest the villagers kill her for being different.
Tragedy is something that is etched in the story and is repeated many times. Characters in this story are well written and are not afraid to make decisions that alter the course of the story. And there are many important characters in the story which makes it very rich in terms of character development, but a clear picture of the main tale takes very long to establish. It makes the story difficult to get into as many exciting things are happening but are not tied together. And even after the main agenda of the story is set, the individual characters seemed much more interesting than the main story, which is pretty basic.
However, the main highlight of this book is undoubtedly the individual characters and their own stories. Each character is masterfully written and well-developed. Each one is interesting enough to become the main character and feels relatable. The attention to detail the author has given in this book is fantastic. The continent has its rich history, customs, animals, local dialect and religion. Brilliant narration and inherent foreshadowing of events make this book a great read.
Since the characters have a local dialect, it is confusing to separate the dialect and typos. However, there are a few typos which are not related to the dialect but are genuine typos, but they are only a handful and can be corrected with another round of proofreading. It has negligible profanity but has a decent number of sex scenes.
Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The reason I deducted one star is that the story takes time to set itself up, and a reader can lose interest before reaching the good part. Also, the ending feels a bit rushed, and when a book is over five hundred pages long, a better conclusion is expected. Also, there were a few typos which were noticed while reading. Other than that, I think the story was good and the characters fantastic. I recommend this book to all readers who like rich fantasy world-building and memorable characters in their book.
A Grim Light Rising
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