Number of Pages: 462
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
*This was part of the OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day Program and is reviewed for the Blogger Review Program*
Robby seems like an ordinary twenty-one-year-old young man. He has loving parents, great friends, and a girl he pines for. Until the day, he is told to deliver a letter to a particular man, Ashlord. On the way to delivering the important letter, Robby is thrown for a loop when ravenous wolves attack him and he stumbles upon a bell. A bell that hasn’t been rung for a very long time. When he accidentally rings the bell, a series of events begin to unfold.
Not only does his lost love returns, but he learns about his own family secrets. If Robby’s emotions aren’t thrown enough for a loop, this young man learns of an enemy. An enemy that he might have just announced his location to by ringing the bell, and one that will do anything to find the Bellringer.
The women here were developed fairly well. The reader sees Sheila, Robby’s love interest, grow from a young and feisty girl to a strong-willed young woman. She went through a lot in her life, and I must say it was fascinating to learn what happened to her and the changes she makes. Another female character I loved was Esildre. This woman, who is a secondary character, had a curse placed upon her and it left me wanting more. With both of these women, I wished there were more scenes involving them and that we dived deeper into their stories. Honestly, if the book just involved these two women, then I would be completely satisfied.
Another aspect that I enjoyed was the small involvement of two cute little magical pets. There was full-grown mini-owl, Certina, and flying squirrel, Flitter. Though they weren’t the main focus of the plot, whenever they were mentioned or featured in a scene, my heart warmed. I always love it when authors incorporate a pet or two.
However, there were some disappointing aspects of the novel. One of the most disappointing aspects is the small amount of fantasy. From the description given, I was expecting much more fantasy elements filling the book’s pages, but it seemed whenever something unnatural happened, it was taken away from the reader just as quickly. Either the scene would change rapidly or the person, who clearly contained some magical powers, would brush off any inquiries made toward his magical skills.
The pacing was also off throughout. There were scenes and dialogue that just lasted too long to keep my attention. For example, toward the beginning, when asked to deliver a letter, Robby goes through certain woods. There were so many details of what he did, saw, and/or thought that were so mundane, it really didn’t add to the plot. It actually brought the plot down. Other times I noticed the pacing slowed down when Robby was learning about certain parts of history or when stories were shared. First it was a challenge to keep track of what happened when and who were involved. Then, it was a challenge to have the stamina to read about an event that had already occurred in the viewpoint of someone who was present sharing it with someone who wasn’t.
Along with this, I found that there were scenes that could have been more developed. For instance, when Robby joins the new local militia, he repeatedly stated how their leader, Ullin, was tough and how hard they had to work, but we didn’t actually get to see much of this harsh training. By the end, it looked like the militia had improved, but the reader didn’t see any of the progress that was made.
Overall, this was an “okay” kind of read. It was a book that had its high points and one that had its low points. The series seems like it could be a good one, but it was a very slow beginning. In any case, I don’t think I’m invested enough to want to continue the series.
I could probably recommend this to those who enjoy low fantasy reads (with the potential of more fantasy to come) and to those who do not mind a decent amount of description and long scenes.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
2 out of 50 books for (Blogger Review Program) review for 2018!