Title: Dawn of a Legend
Author: R. K. Lander
Blurb (as taken from Goodreads):
Book three in The Silvan, a best-selling series by award-winning author R.K. Lander. “Page-turning epic fantasy you will not be able to put down.”
A past to claim
A power to wield
A destiny to fulfil
To the enemy, Fel’annár is just a half-blood bastard, but to the Silvan people, he is their crownless warrior prince. Returning from battle in the mountains, he grieves for one who was lost, a death that triggers a mystery Fel’annár and his company of chosen brothers must unravel. But why do the trees speak of a beautiful monster?
Fel’annár will learn the ways of the Kah Warrior from a legendary commander while facing the disdain of another who struggles to accept this ‘ignoble son’ for who he is, not for what he represents. Meanwhile, Fel’annár’s royal half-brother reveals a plan to restore the Great Forest to its past splendour of multi-cultural harmony. But the Forest is falling apart under the final onslaught of a ruthless traitor and the Silvan people are turning away from their ruler. Can Fel’annár come to understand what role he must play in this plan before it is too late? Can the brothers put aside their resentment towards each other for tearing their families apart and learn to trust one another? Can love prosper in the midst of battle and hardship as dark enemies converge on the Motherland?
Danger lies in wait for an elf who is slowly coming to terms with his heritage, learning to wield a natural ability and accepting the nature of his unfolding destiny.
The greatest warriors of their time will come together once more—in the name of justice. In the name of love.
Book Review: This is the third installment of the Silvan series and, though I coached and edited it like some of the earlier novels in the series, I have to say, this is my favorite. This moment in time in the characters’ stories is just such a great mix of romance, adventure, friendship, intrigue, and new challenges that I couldn’t help but love it.
Still, I’m curious to see how it stacks against my book review rubric, so here’s a closer look.
Narration: 4.5 out of 5. I’m not one to give out high marks readily, but the narration truly comes into its own with this book, beautifully displaying the varying emotions of the characters, the beauty of the world, the fear and danger and worries, the growing frustrations of the Silvan people. It does feel like it’s a bit more “down to business” than some of the earlier books have been, to where there aren’t as many moments of wonder or awe, not as much poetry as there tended to be in earlier books, and while it does somewhat fit a book where the characters are used to their environment, there are moments where the descriptions are a bit more straightforward than they have to be.
Content: 5 out of 5. As mentioned earlier, this book had everything, just by virtue of where the characters were in their lives and their journeys. It didn’t feel forced to where content was added just to make the book interesting, and I loved the way the author took her time with the romance and the relationship between the brothers, with The Company and with Fel’annár’s interactions with his commanding offiers.
The only area where I was left wanting more was with Tensári, who only makes a brief appearance, and with the baddies—but then, you get the feeling that we’ll see both areas unfold in the next book (I hope), and this one had a lot more about the villains than any of the earlier ones, at last letting us see the elves behind the opposition and witness some of their scheming in operation.
Characters: 5 out of 5. The characterization in these books is always one of the strong points and in this one, I felt it was pure literary gold. It showed Fel’annár as he matured and yet still struggled, as he grieved and hoped, but it also featured more than just him. The Company got a much larger role in this book, and we got to see Sontúr and Idernon in action far more than usual. We also got our first major female character (yay!), and while she isn’t a fighter by virtue of her work and studies as a healer, she is strong, capable, and competent.
We also got a lot more of the villains’ side of things. We meet Silor’s father, see Band’orán in action, and you get the feeling that there’s plenty more characterization to explore in the future. Rich, vibrant, real characters were everywhere you turned, with elves we had already met blossoming and finally getting character arcs of their own (though, of course, as it’s a series, there are some character arcs that don’t finish in this book).
Artwork: Subjective. Personally, I really like the cover. I feel like it shows his maturity and nicely hints at his martial arts studies in the book, and I like the purple color, giving us a break from the green and blues of the earlier ones (but then, I think all the covers are gorgeous).
Worldbuilding: 5 out of 5. The series has always had incredible worldbuilding, and this book is no exception, showing us new areas but continuing the consistency of the parts we’ve already seen. It feels like we’re constantly excavating new layers, seeing new things, and it’s part of what makes the Silvan series such a delightful reader journey, as you know you’ll see something new with every book.
Overall Response: 19.5 out of 20, or 4.875 overall. This book is the perfect balance of action, adventure, grand battles and subtle, sweet romance. Anyone who likes fantasy with lots of relationships, friendships, believable characters and dangerous intrigue will love this book!
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Copyright 2019 Andrea Lundgren
Cover used by permission from the author