Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wardell, Bradley. Elemental (Destiny’s Embers).

Wardell, Bradley Elemental (Destiny’s Embers)
Ballantine see Random 2010 532p 16.00
978-0-345-51786-9 hs/adult VG-BN

At a frontier outpost, Xander witnesses the destruction of all he knows at the hands of the Fallen, the great enemy thought vanquished during the War of Magic. Like a video game, the key elements developed in this novel are interesting characters engaged in a well-paced plot, while other elements, such as setting, receive nominal consideration. It could be argued that this novel is a vehicle to shamelessly promote the video game developed by the author. On the other hand, Wardell’s debut novel might also be categorized as a successful fan-fiction written by the designer of the video game upon which the novel is based.

Fantasy fans need not be gamers to enjoy this engaging story. Those unaware of the video game might never make the connection between the two -- the story reads well.

At a provincial outpost, Xander’s life is forever changed when he witnesses the Fallen, the enemy thought vanquished during the War of Magic, annihilate his home and all he has known. Accompanied by his friend Genica, the thief Vreen, and a Sion of uncertain loyalty, Xander’s group embarks on a journey to seek out an artifact of legendary power in order to save their race and their world. But the motley cohort, reacting to events believably -- like ordinary folks in extraordinary circumstances -- make mistakes and strive to do what is necessary despite their personal limitations. Fantasy Welliver, Hilary

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