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Rise of the Raven: Steven R. Drennon

Friday, May 13, 2011
Good Reads Summary: Since before man had taken up quill and parchment to record the history of his struggles, the Laikens had practiced their black arts. With great skill, they summoned beings from the Spirit Stream that should never have darkened the canvas of this dimension. Breaching the natural barrier that divided the worlds with their magic, the Laikens conjured demons they were barely able to control.

The temple of Amendeth was carved into the holy mountain and the Laiken Empire thrived within the misty forests of the north. All about them, humans warred and found new ways to slay one another. Meanwhile, within the haze of the Norvrost and Rikon forests, the Laikens firmly held their ancient homes with the aid of the summoning lore, of which men knew nothing.

And then, a man sought contact with the angels of the void, seeking to bend their wills to his own, just as did the Laikens. Dorgaiin was powerful, and soon he bound the demons that the shamans of Amendeth could never hope to master. A price was paid, however, as the forces that he channeled affected his mind. Power lust overcame him, and his ambitions grew more wicked as the days progressed. Only his servant, Baldarin, endowed with power from his master for a dark purpose, saw through his lord’s designs. Betraying him at a crucial time, Baldarin banished Dorgaiin to the Spirit Stream with the very stone from Amendeth through which he had hoped to realize his perverse aims.

The stone was set in Evindale by Baldarin. Afterwards he created the Khand to keep vigil over it as it strengthened the barrier that barred Dorgaiin from the world he had hoped to conquer. Over the years the art of summoning began to die, for now even the Laikens could retrieve only the most insignificant of spirits through the fabric of the barrier. As long as the Watchstone, the Surun-Tai, remained in Evindale, things would remain thus.

Rise of the Raven chronicles the efforts of the Mage of NorAmen as he struggles to free Dorgaiin from the demon haunted plains of the nether dimension where he has been exiled for over fourteen hundred years. Striving to prevent him are the five wizards of the Khand. The keepers of the stone, they have sworn to uphold the integrity of the barrier that separates the two worlds.

And thus the story begins . . .

This book had lots of action and excitement contained within its pages.  The characters seemed to rarely speak to each other much, but that wasn't a huge negative of the book.  The characters themselves were fairly developed, not as much as the reader may have wanted, but that might have been the author's intention.  The first few chapters could have moved faster and had more action within them, but the next few chapters made up for the lack of excitement and intrigue in the first few.  There weren't any noticeable errors in the writing, grammar or otherwise, which is always a plus.  The battle scenes were graphic and dramatic, very enjoyable and realistic.  The plot was interesting and innovative, doubtful the reader will find a book the same or similar to this one.  Overall, this is a good book for young adults/adults who enjoy epic battles and fantasy.