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Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Franklyn

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Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Franklyn

Post Number:#1 by kislany
» 09 Nov 2017, 03:29

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Carbynarah Chronicles" by Jon Franklyn.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by kislany
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In the first book of the Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Franklyn, humanity is on the brink of war. The powerful armies of two neighboring kingdoms, the Shakarine and Warteen, are threatening the Yemenee kingdom, so everyone is on high alert and preparing for battle.

The first chapter starts with a bang. Raaj, a powerful wizard, and Yron, his apprentice (also called a Maiggii), are desperately trying to save an injured messenger from the hunting Hawkriders. The messenger arrived at their doorsteps with arrows in his back and is hardly alive. He has important news from the Yemenite king Timon. I admit I was at the edge of my seat during the entire first episode. Once this threat is over, however, things calm down for the next several chapters as we follow Raaj and Yron traveling towards king Timon’s camp.

Along the way, other characters are also introduced to the story with the scene shifting every few pages to different points of views. We first follow Yron and Raaj, who are trying to reach the king and his ailing son. Then we jump to Darmuth, the king’s second son. He is first presented as a spoiled brat who later learns to become independent and strong. Then we meet Havendar, a Ranger who was captured by the Shakarine spies and forced to fight in gladiator games. We also get to knows Sartura, king Timon’s daughter, who, as the story progresses, grows into a powerful warrior that instills courage in the Yemenite soldiers. Next, we jump to Lord Myningar and Lord Og, two Yemenite high-ranking officers, and their armies preparing for war. Before long, we meet the king himself overseeing the war preparations. This constant switching between characters allowed me to get a comprehensive view of what was happening on all fronts while the battle plans were underway.

From all the characters I met in the book, Yron was my favorite. I was always excited when the story would focus on him again as I found his storyline to be the best in the entire book. Yron is an impressive young man with a deep curiosity about magic who cannot leave things alone and has to learn the inner workings of every spell he comes across. I was enthralled by the author’s descriptions of the magic spells Yron would cast, including the famous inset spell, which he would have to use on the king’s ailing son if he reached the camp on time.

While the book is mostly somber, I did chuckle a few times throughout the story. When Brelyah, Yron’s travel companion, befriended Sartura, they began bickering over who would win Yron’s heart. Yron was painfully unaware of their scheming, as his mind was on everything else but romancing the ladies.

At over 600 pages, The Carbynarah Chronicles is quite a long read. The writing itself is easy to follow; however, I found several spelling and grammatical mistakes that gave me pause. For example, the author writes “only to be release when the item was destroyed,” “attackers belongings,” “after his brother death,” and “he crumbled some dirt on top of his belongs.” Also, he uses the word “lie” in the wrong tense. “From where Havendar lie, he could see his horse,” “Darmuth lie down and watched Raaj,” and “as he lie down beside him to sleep” are just a few such examples. The book could benefit from the keen eyes of a professional proofreader.

While I did appreciate the alphabetical Index at the beginning of the book to help the reader learn more about the land of Carbynarah and its people, I really missed a map of the entire area, which is usually present in most epic fantasy novels. When the Yemenite army and the fleeing population were marching across the lands to reach the plateau of Benflyn Dor, I would have liked to follow their route along on the map.

I liked that the author added the first chapter of the second book at the end as a teaser of things to come. Since the story ended on a cliffhanger, it was nice to see what would become of my favorite characters. As for the ending of the first book, I think the biggest surprise for me was Brelyah, Yron’s travel companion. The final reveal about her character left me speechless.

Overall, The Carbynarah Chronicles was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Slow at times, the action would pick up just when it needed that faster pace. Due to the many spelling and grammar errors, however, I give it 3 out of 4 stars. Fixing them would easily bump the rating to full marks. I recommend the book to readers who enjoy character-driven epic fantasy novels that involve the use of magic and feature large-scale battles and dragons. I hope the next book will emphasize the dragons more because I found them fascinating in this first story.

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The Carbynarah Chronicles
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#2 by Miriam Molina
» 09 Nov 2017, 20:15

You seem to be interested in dragons these days, Kislany. I am not too fond of them myself, though.

But as I am intrigued by the ending that rendered you speechless, I will keep this book on my to-read list (that's getting too long).
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#3 by Kat Berg
» 09 Nov 2017, 22:57

I am beginning to think that our reading preferences in the epic Fantasy genre are similar :) It is one of my very favorite comfort reads. I just want the author to fix the mistakes first, before I read! Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#4 by kwahu
» 10 Nov 2017, 06:25

I am intrigued by the brilliant switching between characters, which keeps the reader engrossed waiting for the favorite character to pop up. I love war stories and would love to read this piece. You can also check out my latest review on historical war injustices.
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#5 by kandscreeley
» 10 Nov 2017, 09:58

Definitely sounds like this one needs an editor. It sounds interesting, but I'm just not sure about the pacing. Slow but picking up when needed? I'll have to think about it. Thanks.
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#6 by kislany
» 10 Nov 2017, 10:16

@Miriam Molina you are right, I never thought about it, but yes, dragons seems to be a guilty pleasure of mine :) The ending definitely threw me for a loop!

@Kat Berg haha, yes we do seem to have the same tastes in books!

@kwahu yes, it was interesting how the points of view switched so often. Initially, I was a bit confused by it, but once I got used to the switch, I was looking forward to meeting some of my favorite characters again.

@kandscreeley yep, this one is definitely not one of those fast-paced books. There are chapters where people are just riding their horses to get closer to the king's camp. But there is always something happening around the riders, so the book is not boring by any means.
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#7 by Cotwani
» 10 Nov 2017, 11:11

Sounds like a long interesting read. I like that the book starts with a bang and the ending leaves you speechless. Will definitely add it on my to read list!
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#8 by Mercy Bolo
» 11 Nov 2017, 04:26

Wizards in the middle east... Now that's an interesting angle. Thank you for the detailed review.
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#9 by bookowlie
» 12 Nov 2017, 09:08

Thanks for the thorough review. You made the story sounds interesting! I agree that it helps to have a map of the area in this type of book. I cringed when I read the examples of the errors. Hopefully, the author will use an editor next time.
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#10 by Ochieng Ariba
» 15 Nov 2017, 08:42

Good review. All errors clearly visible as the reviewer has pointed out apart from "he crumbled some dirt on top of his belongings." Could you kindly correct it to help others who can't trace the error like me.
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#11 by kislany
» 15 Nov 2017, 08:44

Ochieng Ariba wrote:Good review. All errors clearly visible as the reviewer has pointed out apart from "he crumbled some dirt on top of his belongings." Could you kindly correct it to help others who can't trace the error like me.


I am not sure what you mean. The error was "he crumbled some dirt on top of his belongs", which should have been "he crumbled some dirt on top of his belonging."
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#12 by Mallory Whitaker
» 15 Nov 2017, 23:27

Great review! This sounds like an epic story. That's a shame about the grammatical errors and lack of a map - usually that's key for these kinds of books. Was it difficult to keep up with the shifting viewpoints?
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#13 by kislany
» 16 Nov 2017, 00:56

@Cotwani yes, it was definitely an interesting read.

@Mercy Bolo well, it was an imagined place, the book is a high-fantasy novel, not focusing on a real place

@bookowlie sadly yes, there are plenty of errors. Without a good proofreader or copyeditor, a book at this size is bound to have several such issues.

@Mallory Whitaker only at the beginning. Once I got used to the different points of view (sometimes they would even switch after a single page), it was smooth sailing.
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#14 by The Researcher
» 16 Nov 2017, 02:00

This book has all the ingredients of a great novel, dragons, wizards, magic. Surely going to read this.
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Re: Official Review: The Carbynarah Chronicles by Jon Frankl

Post Number:#15 by Gunnar Ohberg
» 16 Nov 2017, 20:22

The lore sounds interesting, and high marks for the pacing and levity if it's as good as you say it is: those are tough tasks to accomplish. However, a lot of the names are a real turn-off for me ("maiggii" just looks silly) and the spelling errors you mention would drive me crazy. Might pass on this one.
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