Hey Beautiful Booklovers! I know, I know I’m the worst person on social media these days! I have been absent so much lately, but I’m back with a review for you all!
Anyway lets get started…
- Title: Into the Wildbarrens (The Gems of Elsana Book 1)
- Author: Christian Sterling
- Hardcover: 354 pages
- Publisher: Indie published
- Genre: Fantasy Adventure
- My Rating: 3*
Synopsis – From Amazon
EVERYONE’S FAVORITE WIZARD, BEFORE THE BEARD.
We know him well. Ever-flowing wisdom. Concealed power. A white beard and a proclivity for mentoring chosen ones.
In so many tales, we find ourselves enamored with a kindly wizard guiding our protagonist, curious to his roots, source of power, and hidden knowledge. This is that wizard’s story.
Falin is only twenty years of age, and with nine-hundred eighty years left to explore the world, he is eager to begin his quest for the Gems of Elsana, four jewels that provide wizards with their full power. Accompanied by four Champions, Falin considers himself lucky, joined by a sage healer, elven assassin, drakkish warrior, and madorian prince.
All seems well until the elder wizards reveal they expect Falin’s quest will take them into the Wildbarrens, a desolate and horrid land teeming with creatures of the Dark. Given the circumstances—and to the chagrin of Falin’s honorable Champions—the group is accompanied by an unscrupulous pair of outlaws claimed to have traveled through the Wildbarrens.
In this feel-good fiction, we are cast into a world brimming with our favorite elements of fantasy with new twists unlike anything we’ve read before. Christian Sterling has cultivated the start of a series with unparalleled charm, action, humor, romance, and thrills. All ages will be sure to enjoy this story from its first magical pages, to its last.
I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest review here, and so I’m just gonna be 100% transparent and let you all know that before I get into things. This absolutely has no bearing on my review…all opinions are my own.
So, when I was first approached about this book it sounded like something new, fun and such a different take on the old wise one trope, which I love. I loved the different races and the takes on them. I especially loved the Draks – they were such a cool take on something we see saturating the market in the last decade or so!
I really like the idea of the world, and the way it was so divided into different segments and different people. And I also found that the plot line often gave me ‘classic fantasy’ vibes. It was clear to me whilst reading that the author himself is a fan of classic fantasy, and that by writing this he wanted to take classic fantasy and spin it on its’ head.
However, and there is unfortunately a however, I also found that the writing itself seemed a little less than natural at times. The dialogue for one didn’t seem to flow at times, and I often found myself transported back to the type classic fantasy that showcased characters who didn’t quite feel real or believable for that matter.
Sadly I also have to say that I found things to be a little too predictable, a little too convenient, and sometimes I felt there were character inconsistencies.
I really don’t have an awful lot to say on this book if I’m honest. I feel the premise had great potential but the execution let it down a little.