I’m not the kind of reader who will immediately put a book down when I see a typo.
I believe that the experience as a whole supersedes a few small mistakes and I also can’t claim to be a perfect writer. I’m sure somehow an grammatical error, a spelling mstake; or a punctuation problem will slip through the cracks in this review in progress of Nikolas Rex’s Wielder of the Flame (Legacy of the Flame Book 1).
The book starts out strong giving readers a little glimpse into the high stakes magical world of Lyrridia. A group of wizards are trying to protect six magical orbs from an evil force only to have their protective cabal crumble before a dark knight.
It’s an exciting opening and leads the reader into our world where we find the book’s protagonist being chased by a group of high school bullies.
Then you start to notice the little mistakes in the book: a misplaced comma, a strangely used word, and weird spacing within the sentence structure. And then the mistakes stop being so small and start to take over the experience.
Quotes and dialogue are a highly specific in how they should be formatted. Typically as a journalist, you format them like this:
“My name is Matthew,” Matthew O’Mara said. “I am reading a book.”
“My name is Marcus,” said Marcus, “and I am reading a book.”
Quote formatting is somewhat immutable and there are certain times in the book where the quotes can be exceptionally distracting. In one instance it looks something like this:
“My name is Matthew,” said Matthew while he wrote a review, “Books are cool.”
“My name is Matthew.” said Matthew while he edited a review, “books are cool.”
There’s no instance in the world where formatting the quote above would get a pass from an editor. The problem too is that the way the formatting is done isn’t just in one or two instances. It is done like this throughout the book with varying degrees of severity.
“Marc, Marc, Marc,” Victor said, shaking his head and pounding his fist into his palm with each syllable, to emphasize his point, “You made a big mistake.”
“It will be dark soon, try and get some sleep,” He said.
“The Fae ones?” Soren asked, “They disappeared at the start of the War of Power, everyone knows that.”
Another quibble from me, what do you call a pen that has a feather on its end and uses an ink well?
The author seems to believe they’re called feathered pens. While technically correct, when I think of pens I usually think of ballpoint kind. Are you telling me that in this fantasy world, they have somehow created ballpoint pens and then stuck feathers onto them?
Later on the book, references to feathered pens change over to quills. It seems like the author or the book’s editor, Mac Bundy, noticed the consistency error but didn’t manage to catch all of them.
I’m not really one to make a big deal over typos and mistakes. Being a publisher of a newspaper, I know how tough it can be when your eyes don’t feel fresh. You’ve been working on this story for a long time and it can be difficult to take a step back to fix things.
While I’m still reading the book, I can’t also help but mention that Marcus, the book’s protagonist, is also pretty bland.
At the beginning of the book, Marc is being beaten up by a guy named Victor and his gang of letterman jacket wearing thugs. According to Victor’s friends, Marc was seen talking to Victor’s girlfriend after they had a fight.
Marc does what any white knight would do in this circumstance and tells her that he didn’t deserve her. He also probably went in for an awkward and unwanted hug too.
He even tells Victor that he shouldn’t be with his girlfriend as if he knows what she wants better than she does. It’s an attitude that makes her an object rather than an actual person.
I don’t think being a fedora guy really qualifies you to be the Wielder of the Flame and/or the saviour of a fantasy world.
This attitude also leaks into his first meeting with Laura in a dream. He seems almost obsessed with her looks rather than actually trying to find out who she is. She’s got full lips, long hair, and some kind of aura; however, he’s not really impressed that she can manipulate grass into becoming interesting shapes.
Also the tribe of women she belongs to are magical healers… not a more stereotypical role to give them.
There’s also the matter of how quickly Marc seems to accept his new life in Lyriddia. He never seems to ask what he’s doing there or how he got there.
Rather, he just seems to be happy living in a fantasy world. I’m waiting for the moment in the book when it’s discovered that he’s actually in a coma after falling into the gorge when chased by Victor and this is all a hallucination.
As this is book 1 of 3, I don’t think this will happen.
Readers also have to wonder, what’s inside your pockets Marc? Do you still have your cellphone? You’d think that being a youth living in the world of today, Marc would be able to have some fun messing with the people of this fantasy world using whatever technology he has about his person.
He simply goes about doing manual labour and learning how to fight with a sword rather than taking photos of people, showing them their faces, and convincing them that he’s trapped their soul.
I think the book needs a bit of a sense of humour about the high-fantasy world Marcus has invaded. It takes itself very seriously and is seemingly unaware of the fertile comedic ground it sits upon.
What I do appreciate about the book is how much detail it goes into describing the scenes around the characters. We’re given a lot of intricate details of the towns, the shops, and the people. Again, it can get a bit gratuitous with a whole paragraph being dedicated to describing Marcus putting on his clothes.
This is a book review in progress and I’ll be reading through the rest of Nicolax Rex’s Wielder of the Flame (Book 1) soon. I think there’s a lot of interesting detail Rex brings into his world.
That being said, there are issue with the storytelling with the little mistakes becoming a semi-large problem as the book progresses.