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The Caldarian Conflict by Mike Kalmbach

The Caldarian Conflict

by Mike Kalmbach

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225476,730 (3.5)2



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Showing 5 of 5
Rip Roaring Adventure Story. Follow the adventures of Brother Mendell as he bands together pirates and monks to save the city of Caldera from the cruel rule of Admiral Cain and his evil henchmen. Hard to put down adventure story, can NOT wait for the next installment. A Great way to spend the afternoon in the sun. ( )
  Scoshie | Jan 27, 2013 |
The Caldarian Conflict by Mike Kalmbach is a dystopian, fantasy, mystery. I thought this book had an interesting plot line - monks working with pirates to overthrow the city's tyrant military leader and his henchman. There were sword fights, spells, evil plots, - everything that a person could ask for in a good fantasy.

However, I thought the writing style to be, how do I say, a little bumpy. It seemed to jump around too much with little or no tie between scenes. It also seemed the characters thought too much about what they were doing and analyzing everything - leaving nothing for the reader to figure out.

Since I enjoyed the story itself I was able to make my way through to the end. I think that a little more editing and smoothing out is all it would take to earn four stars from me. ( )
  Ginerbia | Dec 29, 2011 |
This fiction treats pirates, a religious sect, and royal naval administrators inhabiting the mythical land of Caldaria. In popular culture there is a sci-fi PC game involving the Caldarian navy with a feature called Raven. In Mike Kalmbach’s novel, Raven (also known as Krell) is an antagonist who drives the subversive conflicts of the plot. I don’t have enough information about the video software, so I don’t know whether this novel is an original treatment or if it is a parody of that video game.

I do have a problem with a writer who adapts cultural knowledge of monastic life to some bastardized pagan cult. The device demonstrates little originality in story-telling or in framing a fantasy world. In this writing, cloistered hooded religious (ranked as novices, brother monks, priests, and an abbot) pray to any number of pagan gods and goddesses, while the mendicants apparently are infused with certain magical powers. Unfortunately, when consulted, the gods can warn of impending trouble but are not omniscient enough to prepare the supplicants. Plus, in our reality a monastery’s abbot would never comply with a community member’s whim to pursue a specter. The weak motivation to pursue Mendell’s suspicion is suspension of belief.

The protagonist is a monk named Mendell (not to be confused with geneticist Friar Gregor Mendel), a man of action who thinks too much. He glimpses a shade, shadows a pirate, and eventually commands a rebellion that unseats a draconian royal duchy. The story’s action tacks about like a sailboat on a windless day, due mostly to so many reflective thought passages that belay the monk’s actions. The character Mendell is capable of turning a slight wheat wafer into a loaf of bread but later frets that he can’t possibly feed a group of refugees. Additionally, he is powerful enough to mend a pirate’s severed hand but cannot stanch a wounded man’s stabbed leg. Mendell’s inconsistencies are as erratic as the plot is sporadic.

Some few fantasy elements are named without definition or history: death madness; assassin’s guild; amulets that function as private two-way radios. There are other inconsistencies: unprotected dusters who are unaffected while scattering fast-acting poisonous flour into the faces of victims; uneducated characters that dialogue eruditely; and, the initial problem of the pirate Shannon’s head. Blown to smithereens in mid-ocean, how could her head survive? Who would have found it? Apparently her magical boogie board caught her skull and whisked it back to port.

The book’s ending is abrupt and scant compared with its preceding wanderings. The conclusion reads like someone pulling the plug on a video game in mid-play. I admire any writer whose efforts produce a full-length novel. Kalmbach’s work here needs more thought and tighter editing to elevate the book to a smoother read. ( )
  terk71 | Oct 30, 2011 |
This is an enjoyable novel that mixes the allure of pirates with the ethics of the main protagonist, a monk, and that borrows a bit of sci-fi to sweeten the pot and add some interest and open up some doors that wouldn't normally be available in times of the wood galleons. I would probably rate this as a 3-star for adults and 4-star as a YA novel. There are no adult themes and no abusive language. There are some twists, some tension and a good basic storyline, and certainly a good read for anyone.

This was a Member Giveaway review. ( )
  mldavis2 | Oct 9, 2011 |
I am not normally a fan of pirate stories but when I had a chance to read this book, I thought what the heck, it might be okay - what an understatement! I was literally up all night because I just couldn't stop reading (if there are any typos in this review, blame it on my blurry eyes). This tale has all the twists and turns any fantasy fan can appreciate with plenty of rich characters to love or love to hate. At the same time, author Mike Kalmbach has raised some important (and very relevant) moral issues like justice versus vengeance, how to deal with the poor, and the need for mercy in terrible times. This is definitely a book worth reading. It does end on a cliffhanger, though, so I'm hoping the sequel will be coming out soon. ( )
1 vote lostinalibrary | Sep 25, 2011 |
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