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Thinblade (Sovereign of the Seven Isles, #1)

Thinblade (Sovereign of the Seven Isles, #1) - David A. Wells

This is simple fantasy novel with an exceptionally strong good versus evil theme. The premise of the novel is the rise of a great evil (Prince Phane Reishi) and a quest our hero/the Chosen One (aka Alexander Valentine) must embark on in search of a mythical sword, which will help him scare off the baddy.

Despite the predictability of the plot, I actually quite enjoyed it - it's fast paced, full of action and, surprisingly for a free book, has a rich magical system. Plus, it was a nice break away from really dense novels. However, the book is very far from perfect.

The main problems lies with the writing and the characters. At times the writing is repetitive - there are only so many times I can stand being told that a particular character has a prodigious appetite! At one point the author chooses to recount the first half of the story. This was completely unnecessary as the reader was THERE for that part. Not to mention that if a story can be condensed in ten pages then why bother writing an entire book?

Secondly, the two main female characters were virtually indistinguishable from one another. Perhaps if they were likeable this would have been ok, but as it was, they were about as interesting as the back of my hand (probably less as the back of my hand has some very interesting biological, chemical and physical mechanisms behind it). Plus, they seemed to have no place in the novel, but as serving as love interests for two of the characters.

I had some trouble dealing with the "black and white" nature of the story too. I really enjoyed the scenes with Prince Phane, the resident evil of the story - he's a total (psychotic) badass and I only wish the author had a few more words for him. It was the "white" part of the story that particularly irritated me. I'm not exaggerating here but, ALL the characters were either morally perfect individuals or they were vicious conniving bastards - there was no middle ground. The moral grey area of humanity is the best quality we have, but it doesn't seem to exist in this world.

Despite its flaws, Thinblade is an easy read with a captivating world to escape to. This is the first book in the series and not a standalone, so be warned. I'm pretty sure what the outcome of the series will be and I can't be bothered to read a series where I found so many faults, so I won't be returning to this world to see how our morally righteous hero will defeat his charming, omnipotent nemesis.