“The deep, cavernous opening showed itself below the eyes, a smile of inhuman cruelty and malice splitting the lower portion of the head where a mouth should be”
Wraith ~ Robert Allen Johnson
A fantasy land. Two daring protagonists. Evil soldiers hunting down innocent village folk. A formless talking spirit. The premise of ‘Wraith’ sounded promising, but what I was left with was the first book of a series of six with little eagerness to look forward to the next.
Tiro is a young master archer who ghost-like drops evil soldiers dead with precision. His sister is eventually captured and shipped away by these soldiers of the “Empire” and his mother is killed. What I was left wondering throughout the book was, who these soldiers were. What was the purpose of the Empire? I was dropped disoriented in the middle of a sadistic battle with no explanation.
Arach is a lonely traveller. He encounters an evil spirit who follows him on his travels in a foreign land. Despite the reader picking up on clues that the spirit is evil, capable of unimaginable harm; there is no indication as to why he has chosen Arach to follow and why he spares his life.
The two protagonists are interesting individually but there is barely a connecting thread between the two. I understand of course that the intention in the first book is to leave the reader wanting more, waiting breathlessly for the story to unfold – book by book. The “less is more” tactic however seems to have fallen short with this first Chapter. Too many questions were left unanswered with barely-there clues. I also had a problem with the mega-prose, which did not suit the narrative voice, making it sound almost comic. The simple jargonistic dialogues exchanged between the characters went entirely against the flowery narrative. But that’s just me nitpicking.
Why you should read it:
- If you’re looking for a mix of historical/fantasy fiction
- If you’re willing to commit yourself to a six book series
Why you shouldn’t read it:
- If you’re looking for a standalone novel to read
Note ~ I was provided with a free copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review