5 out of 5 stars
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A New War by Alexander Farah is a novel that tells about the fictional kingdom of Naataros, which is plagued by instability and political chaos. The novel begins with two soldiers, Salal and Ahmid, who are on their way to Sidos, where a woman living with her little daughter has called for help. The woman named Malia tells them about the powerful light she saw and her fears about the army of the dead. As they move to the dreaded Alhayit, Ahmid taunts the army of the dead, and immediately, a silhouette appears and beheads him.
In the Kingdom of Naataros, after so many years of civil war, which was started by the Scandosians, another war is about to start again, spearheaded by the same Scandosians. The Scandosians are relentless in their search for freedom and autonomy, and the fact that they are one of the most productive people in the Kingdom drives them all the more. King Michel sends for Barak Fares, a fierce soldier who played an important role in the crushing of the elves during the first war. Fares, a renowned soldier, had decided to retire to a quiet life of blacksmithing, away from the ghosts of blood and war that haunt him as a soldier. Alongside Fares is his young nephew, Melhel, an orphan who he has been training. Will Fares agree to fight for the King again, and will the Scandosians get their freedom, or will King Michel keep the Kingdom together?
There are many positive aspects to this work, and I salute the imaginative process of the author in coming out with such a beautiful setting. Usually, the role of the author in books of this nature is to clip the reader on his shoulder like an eagle and take him or her to places where he'll never be in life. The author did that very well, crafting the fictional kingdom of Naataros where God becomes Lah and elves coexist with humans. The novel is also in simple English, which will make it very easy for readers to understand without having to stop and check the dictionary for the meanings of unknown words. The book was also exceptionally well edited.
There are so many themes that can be spotted in this book, from freedom to love and even persistence. The theme of freedom is espoused in the elves and in their relentless fight for freedom even after the previous war had cost them almost everything they had, even their lives. The theme of love is projected in the genuine love Fares had for his nephew, who had lost his parents. It is not anyone that can boast of a caring uncle like that. Fares brings up Melhel as a strong soldier and blacksmith, a young man that can take care of himself.
Another beautiful theme we will find in the novel is the theme of the unpredictable nature of humans, which you will have to find out by reading this because I won't spoil it for you. The theme of persistence is still rooted in the way the elves persisted in their quest for freedom even after the first civil war almost wiped out their entire people with the aid of Al Eelam's magic. Al Eelam's decision to switch sides even brings up the theme of trust, teaching a valuable lesson that we should never rely on others.
The book had no negative aspects at all. I enjoyed reading it. I rate this beautiful work five out of five stars, and I'll recommend it to lovers of war literature and literature in general, especially lovers of action and adventure.
A New War
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