2 out of 4 stars
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The Rùnesàrc – Book I: The Path from Childhood Dreams is the first book in The Chronicles of the Rùnesàrc series written by Phil Say. A fantasy fiction book, it tells the story of a fight against darkness, filled with love, betrayal, war, and destiny.
MidRealm faces a grave threat. Gmelin, a Dark Elder banished to the Low Realm, has sent his Lords of Fear to join the Sàrcman and Throngvarian armies and wage war against Ehrédor, the MidRealm. The kingdom of Galadréa falls prey to a surprise attack from this dark force, leaving just a handful of survivors spread out through the kingdom. It is left to these few to warn the other MidRealmers of this nightmarish danger. They venture to neighbouring kingdoms to round up an army strong enough to defeat the demons. Their only hope is the chosen Knight Champion, Ronas, a young farmhand and son of the previous Knight Champion. Ronas, with help from Sodór, the High Realm, and Princess Odora, embarks on several quests to find the Rùnesàrc, a type of legendary armour worn by Knight Champions.
I disliked several things about this book. Firstly, chapters are named, but the naming didn’t always align with the perspective chosen. Added to this, some names of characters themselves and names of other places were switched up during the story, mostly with respect to their spelling. I also disliked how much of the same tactics and techniques were reused to the point that it became predictable. One such instance has to do with the Galadréans constantly finding some unsuspecting Sàrcmans or Throngvarians to steal their clothes and infiltrate their ranks. It seemed that this was the only military strategy employed to get around the enemy forces.
The most disappointing feature of this novel was the writing. Errors were littered throughout the story in wide and varied shapes and forms, all leading to the downgrading of the book quality itself. As a result of this, I assume that this book had not been professionally edited. I found nothing that warrants a content warning, except maybe vague references to rape and a notable degree of violence. Profane content was scarce and on the lighter end.
I knew from the moment I encountered three prologues that I would be in for a ride. The prologue and first few chapters already had what felt like a full stadium of characters introduced. The information dump eventually settles once the story gets going, with characters not deviating overly much from the select group introduced, though one or two came in later. The worldbuilding is around the median stage, although I suspect there is more to look forward to with the continuation of the series.
I’m one of the odd ducks that don’t mind a cliché. The Rùnesàrc – Book I: The Path from Childhood Dreams grouped some of my favourite tropes in a neat and tidy bundle. There were those like the destined one, reuniting against a common, dark enemy, rising through the ranks of knighthood, and a lot more. I liked that, despite Ronas being the central character, there was a healthy inclusion of other perspectives that helped to round up different scenes of the story.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. The error count, reused plot devices, and inconsistent naming all contribute to a deduction of two stars. Despite these factors, this novel has decent potential and can hold its own in the fantasy world. I would recommend this book to lovers of fantasy fiction with adventure and military elements, especially those who lean toward books like The Lord of the Rings or others of its ilk. I do not think that people who prefer well-edited, relatively original reads would find this a suitable fit.
The Runesarc - Book I The Path from Childhood Dreams
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