Today’s book is Draguntome: Heir of the Forsaken, by KM Plum.
Length: 235 pages
Released: April 10, 2017
Where knights and dragons once marched for honor at the behest of the Good King, nothing remains but sad and broken lore about the glory of the old rule. Now, titles of nobility are only christened by the spilling of blood and the destruction of everything linked to the old ways under the Order of the Black King. Even so, some still stand who are not easily dissuaded…
In the small forest village of Ark, Kalos has lived alone with his father for as long as he can remember. After a strange encounter at the exotic Mercari Fair, which arrives only once a year, the two of them must immediately depart for the port city of Blefcynn. A mysterious collection of items is urgently required by his Father, but even Kalos may be unable to learn why.
Kalos must conquer overwhelming obstacles while rapidly evolving from the boy he thought he was to a man he never expected to become throughout his journey. War, pirates and unyielding odds threaten to crush him around every corner in “Heir Of The Forsaken,” the first installment of the Draguntome saga.
The plot burned a bit too slow and the writing could use a little tightening up – another casualty to the Not For Me pile.
I have a rule – if the central conflict hasn’t appeared by the 30% mark, I’m putting the book down.
The first third of Heir of the Forsaken hinted at a vibrant fantasy world and the beginnings of a daring quest… but hints were all I got. I had no reason to care about the main character because nothing was ever at stake – a few foreshadow-y things happened around him, but there was no context and no overarching plotline to keep me hooked.
The writing itself would also benefit from another round of edits. It wasn’t bad by any means, just bogged down by occasional awkward phrasing – most notably when a character’s goosebumps were described as her skin having “exploded from the neck down with prickled flesh.” Definitely made me double-take, along with another confusing scene where a minor character’s name changes several times in as many paragraphs.
Overall, it’s not a bad story. With a little cleanup and with the plot restructured to really get into gear within the first couple of chapters, Draguntome would be a great addition to any YA fantasy shelf.