I was pretty excited for this story. I love me some epic fantasy, and the cover is just beautiful.
The actual story however, was not as satisfying as I had hoped. Firstly, it was dedicated to the founder of Dungeons & Dragons, and as such, seems to have been written to mimic a tabletop campaign.
Normally such a premise that would make me clap my hands with joy. Give me experimentation with literature, please.
But, I didn’t enjoy this. It was a lot of action without a lot of set up. No matter how well written the action is (the story IS well written), I prefer emotional impact. The battle fell short for me there. I just had no emotional investment in the characters.
Good writing and a clever plot can sometimes overcome a lack of emotional connection with the characters. This wasn’t one of those times. And it wasn’t just the characters, I’m still not sure why we were after the sun sword. It wasn’t needed for the fight, or anything else that I could tell. It was pure MacGuffin. Or an inside D&D joke. Not that being an inside joke excuses the point. If you cannot make an inside joke accessible to outside audiences, cut it.
Still, the actual writing was good, and I’d pick up another of Mr. Crutchly’s stories. Probably.