***Warning Review Contains Spoilers***
This is what I like to call and under-the-radar fantasy and scifi series, a few that have popped up over the past few years. The series itself is relatively mediocre and the first of the eight book series is particularly rough but the author definitely grows into his own as the series progresses and you genuinely want to know what’s going to happen next.
The story follows a young man called Azerick, when we first meet him, he is happy and content in his relatively wealthy family home, well educated and has started to take his fighting classes more seriously. But this situation is very short lived as his father is wrongly captured and killed as part of a plot to usurp the throne. His mother is then later killed by a customer in a tavern after she takes a job to keep herself and Azerick fed. These early traumatic experiences cause Azerick to grow up fast. A mean streak has understandably bern created within him especially toward those who wronged him, along with his constant thought of revenge towards those who destroyed his family, make him very dangerous. But for now the young man must learn the ways of the streets, and attempt to find information on his father’s capture during which time he finds his mother killer and puts an end to him.
His life on the streets continues until he comes to the attention of one of the masters of the Academy, however he does this by robbing him, but in stead of going to the authorities, the ‘Master’ see’s potential within Azerick and bends the rules to admit him into the Academy. From here we follow Azerick through his short time at the academy and how he quickly grows to understand that unlike the other pupils his powers work slightly differently. This is because he is a Sorcerer, and not a Wizard. Sorcerers are rarer and more powerful, their abilities are somewhat controlled by their emotions, so explosive tempers can have explosive results. This leads to heated rivalries, especially among the noble kids, at the academy. These individuals ooze false superiority, even though they are snivelling backstabbing weasels. Eventually tempers fray and a fight breaks out leaving our would-be “hero” Azerick fleeing the Academy after accidentally killing another student. He sets sail to start a new life, only to be captured by pirates and thrown into slavery by a powerful magical creature, and is forced to fight gladiatorial battles against, men, beasts and magical entities alike. Eventually he breaks free, and returns home to the mainland, only to meet several more hardships before finally getting the revenge he seeks.
The world as a whole seems to play very similar to that of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. This is reflected in both the way the events and the fights are played out in particular the abundance in looting, training and upgrading. This style of writing wouldn’t be an issue for a D&D fan, however I can imagine that for people unfamiliar with the style of story, it can be pretty jarring at times. I also feel that the series would have benefited from a in book map, merely due to the amount of locations that are introduced over the eight books, as it frequently connects them by characters being chased, sneaking, or simply travelling from one to another. A map would have fostered better understanding of the relations between those places and getting an idea on what it would take in terms of time/effort to get around. All in all as I stated earlier it’s a mediocre series, and much of it plays out as event driven rather than character driven, which I have tried to duplicate in the telling of the plot within this review. BUT that said it was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to any D&D or fantasy fan.
Until next time, read more books!..