Friday, January 16, 2015

The Blood Prince

By Jeff Wilson

Centuries have passed since the last of the great Sigil Knights, practitioners of lost arts, walked the earth wielding spiritual powers that are now only spoken of as part of myths and legends. Captain Aisen, a military officer in the newly re-founded Sigil Order, is returning home where his life will be altered forever.
His grandfather, Duke Kyreth Edorin, has died, and his body lies in preparation for a burial in the family crypts. As the heir to House Edorin, Aisen will be forced to leave his life as a soldier behind and assume the role of the next leader of his house. With help from his younger brother, Beonen, and his allies within the Sigil Corps, Aisen hopes to build relationships with the other noble houses and gain the respect of the people entrusted to his care.
Confronted by betrayal, Aisen will be shaped in ways which will give rise his reputation as the feared Blood Prince, and threaten to throw the nation of Nar Edor into a deadly conflict.

This is a promising start to what I hope (and expect) will be a great addition to the genre of fantasy. The form and style of writing reminded me of all the greats in high fantasy, everything was well fleshed out and felt realistic and credible. I was appreciative of the fact that it was so professionally written unlike many e-books that contain amateurish writing. I particularly enjoyed the main character Aisen and how his personality was explained through his reluctance as well as his ultimate actions in the finale of the short story. I was impressed with the depth of his character in the short amount of time in which he was introduced, and was excited by not knowing if he was intended to be a hero or a villain within the Archon Sigil Trilogy. I'll be happy to work that out when the first book is released this year. So congratulations Jeff for writing something that has me more than willing to read the full novels when they are released.
There was one thing that made the reading of this short story and prequel difficult, which is mostly just my own opinion. The beginning was challenging, where the specifics in names and places, and the general background of the world we are introduced to was overwhelming and confusing. I had to ignore the specifics I was being handed in favor of the generalities of the story. There was too much name-dropping for me to keep track of things in such a short amount of time. I would've appreciated being fed the specifics at a slower rate. Though, when the fighting began, Jeff was so detailed that I could see every thrust and parry, every move and counter move vividly.

When all is said and done, if you enjoy fantasy genres and kings and peasants, knights and mystical swords, then give this a go and see if the novels are going to be something you'll love. I can say for certain that if you like any of the above things, you'll love this short story (and probably the novels when they appear).

Content warning: There is a scene that has a pretty violent battle that includes a fair amount of bloodshed. I was cringing, but not sick to my stomach (thank heavens). It’d probably be like a PG-13 action film (think Lord of the Rings battles).

I give it a 4 out of 5

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