Book Review: Redeemer’s Oath by John Burkhart

This next indieview commission is (I think) the first fantasy I have been approached to read. Having given up on a couple before this I was really hoping to like this one. So what is the verdict? Well… Typhin is distraught. Having lost his wife to a nasty plague, it seems that his only child too is at death’s door. What is he to do? Enter a mysterious priest known as The Blessed. In his desperation, Typhin turns to The Blessed to save his daughter. All is well you might think. Unfortunately not.

Our protagonist is a young lady by the name of Tourmaline, a young Paladin Knight of a warrior order and she has only just taken the vow to serve. She is a tough cookie and as with any rite of passage, we witness her going through the motions. I didn’t feel at this point that she was a particularly strong character, she didn’t really stand out but no matter – the plot was developing quite nicely. A far more interesting character lies in her companion – the rogue Slynx.

Everything seems fine with Typhin and his daughter – at least for a while, that is until it becomes quite clear that something is amiss. Of course, as with most things it becomes apparent to the reader long before it becomes apparent to the characters witnessing it. There is a brooding presence… slow and ominous.

The beginning didn’t work for me and it took too long to get going. We are introduced to Typhin and then we get an extensive initiation of Tourmaline. Personally, I would rather we’d have cut to the chase and have her leaving, fully initiated with perhaps the occasional flashback, or a much shorter summary of the Order and Tourmaline’s progress. It just jars slightly and I felt my attention drifting during this early part of a book. However, at the halfway point the pace really begins to pick up.

It is well written, nicely edited with no major typos or grammatical errors and the author has paced it rather nicely, striking a good balance between imparting information about the world and moving the plot along. This in a genre so bogged down in dense text these days so a thumbs up there. However, a few Americanisms really stood out – instead of “bartender” try “barman” or better still, “inn keeper” to keep in tune with the setting. These are minor complaints though.

A little more depth to the protagonist, cutting down the beginning and I would have been raving about this one. As it stands it is a good, solid novel but it didn’t set my world on fire.

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About mgm75

I began freelance copywriting in November 2012, work that I carried out in my spare time. I love the written word, have always enjoyed writing and in 2013 I took the bold decision to make a career of being a wordsmith.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Redeemer’s Oath by John Burkhart

  1. Now wait a minute. :) I don’t think (and you didn’t seem to either) think it was *bad*!

    On the other hand, on the Plot vs. Characters spectrum, I fall clearly on the characters side. I completely grant this lends a slow start to the plot. Lord of the Rings had the same problem. (Dragonlance Chronicles had the opposite one.)

    With that said, if this is the kind of genre you enjoy, I hope you think this is a good (though not fantastic) example of the genre. :)

    -John Burkhart
    (the Author)

    1. No, no not bad at all, only a couple of tweaks to make it a really good read (and I am very fussy about fantasy)! That’s why I agreed to read and review the pending sequel :)

      My main issue was of pacing – nothing wrong with characterisation at all but I just felt the pacing was off a little especially as (for me) Tourmaline is not that interesting a character.

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