The Immortal Crown: Saga of Kings, Book 1

Kieth Merrill. Shadow Mountain, $26.99 (560p) ISBN 978-1-62972-025-8
Merrill's disappointing epic fantasy series launch leads readers down familiar paths. It's been almost 60 years since Orsis-Kublan claimed the Peacock Throne after slaying his predecessor, King Omnnús-Kahn the Unconquered of House Cargenian. Orsis-Kublan's body and mind are both failing, and his kingdom is under assault from vicious bandits. The outlaws' leader, Drakkor, had been told when he was just a boy that he was actually "the child of no man," prophesied to "gather the eggs of stone forged in the breath of fire." The account of Drakkor's rise to power is intertwined with the story of Ashar, a postulant to the Holy Order of Oum'ilah, God of Gods and Creator of All Things. Ashar is faced with predictable tests of faith, and there's the requisite revelation that he has a noteworthy ancestor. The paint-by-numbers plot isn't helped by thinly drawn characters and unmemorable prose ("In the black of night and pelting rain, the Raven stood at a fork in the rocky road of destiny"). (May)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5047-1733-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5047-1734-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5047-1732-8
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