Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Heartstone Chronicles: Windchaser by Micheal Fraser review

The Allarei Heartstone has sustained the world of Lor for two thousand years. But now, as natural disasters ravage the lands and Hellsprings manifest with alarming frequency to spew murderous daemons into the Mortal Realm, one thing is becoming clear…

The Heartstone is dying.

And with it, the world will die, too.

As an ancient evil stirs in the bowels of Hell, hope is borne from the Heavens in the form of an angelic saviour whose very touch will heal the Heartstone. However, if she is to reach her destination before the world is swept away by the terrifying might of an army of Daemon-Gods, she will have to rely on a man whose soul teeters upon a blade’s edge between darkness and light.

And in doing so, she may be placing the world in even greater peril, for he is the Windchaser, Darkmalian – dispassionate, violent and unpredictable, his very soul may be the key to the destruction of the mortal races…

Windchaser is the stunning first volume of The Heartstone Chronicles, introducing the myriad races of Lor as they prepare to undergo a testing: a terrible, all-consuming conflict is coming to the Mortal Realms, and only a handful of reluctant heroes will stand fast to decide the fate of Heaven & Hell – and all that lies between…

The Heartstone Chronicles: Windchaser by Michael Fraser takes place in a large and complex world. The Windchasers are a group of specially trained elite combat specialists who chase down demons that are let into the world through temporary rifts. One of these men, Darkmalian, is a darkling. He does his job with ruthless efficiency regardless of the consequences. It is suspected that he is a renegade and does not follow the laws working more his own benefit than for the good of the realm. However when an ancient prophecy that can save or doom the world begins to come true Darkmalian is the one that will decide what happens.

In any book where a world that is filled with complex religions, political ideologies, intense characters, and a lot of geographical regions there is a struggle to provide the proper information without slowing the story down. In some places of Windchaser I think the story did get bogged down a bit by the amount of information given. The information was important to truly understanding the world and motivations of some of the characters, but there was a lot of it at times.

That being said there were some very good characters including Darkmalian. While it is hard to empathize with him because of the things that he does we are given enough information to understand a bit of why he is the way he is. The training that windchasers go through is intense and Darkmalian's made most others seem like a walk in a park. There are also scenes of epic warfare of the good and not so good allied against seemingly overwhelming odds. The story has some familiarity to it, with a prophecy that can save the world coming to a head. This familiarity is minimized by the unique circumstances in the world and some of the beasts and technology truly shine. I seriously loved the idea of the windcannons.

I recommend giving this book a shot and sticking with it through a rough beginning as it comes into it's own in the second half for sure. For .99 you have nothing to lose and a very impressive world to immerse yourself in.

Copy provided for review.

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