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The Forging: Book One of the Four Companions…
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The Forging: Book One of the Four Companions Series

by Tim Rose

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The four adventurers became friends rather simply and quickly and are very soon willing to die for each other. They kill the ogres at the river crossing without enough of a back story to justify their action. Like thieves, they rifle through the pockets of everyone they kill. The four willingly tell their story and their plans to everyone they meet. When they arrive at the tunnels, they encounter hobgoblins who have built a kingdom within the tunnels. The four invade the kingdom by killing two guards. They steal from the body of the inside guard before disposing of his body. What gives the four the right to do this? What makes their actions morally right? Aren’t they just thieves and looters? Just because they hear of a treasure somewhere, what gives them the right to claim it? Perhaps it already belongs to whoever is living there. The characters are not very appealing as they violently attack beings in their way. I am reminded of early computer games where the character goes through a world, attacking whomever he meets and taking whatever he encounters. ( )
  Jan24 | Jan 31, 2014 |
I won this book in an exchange for an honest review.

The Forging is Tim Rose's debut novel into the fantasy genre. This novel contains the usual elements of dwarves, orcs, orgres, elves, magicians...you get the idea. The writing could be a bit more polished and I did find several type-o's.

Overall the story is quite simple; 4 friends on a quest. There's plenty of adventure and fighting with our protagonist getting their share of bumps and bruises.

I think what sets this story apart from typical fantasy novels is the fact that there are 4 of them working together. No one is stronger or smarter. Each brings his and her own strengths to the group. For a new writer in the field, Mr. Rose did an admirable job of meshing these 4 characters to make a cohesive and daunting adversary. On the flip side I would have liked to see more depth given to the characters, especially Breanna; perhaps have entire chapters devoted to just one character at a time. Mr. Rose does incorporate this concept but very fleetingly when he gives each character their moment of retrospection after a battle.

No Lord of the Rings or Hobbit, but a decent adventure story from someone who is trying his hand in a very hot genre right now. ( )
  NancyNo5 | Dec 30, 2013 |
I would put this as a young adult read. This is a basic D&D storyline. You have a classic party on a classic quest. Not a bad plan for a book, but it reads like someone telling someone else about their weekly game. They read like first level characters, no complexity in their dealings with other characters. Everyone is fairly one-dimensional. Hopefully, the writing will relax and the characters flesh out in the next books. ( )
  bgknighton | Dec 9, 2013 |
I found this book to be a little hard to get into. It lacked something of a smooth flow. That being said, it was a decent book. The characters were well thought out and had many different shades to them. I have read a lot of fantasy books and the closest thing that I can compare this to is The Companion series by Weiss and Hickman. Overall this is a decent book that will definitely give you your fantasy fix. ( )
  Jennyonfire | Nov 26, 2013 |
When you are told that the book given to you, is an “old school” fantasy, you pretty much know what to expect. It’s one thing for a writer to be able to pull off a tale that focuses on action and character development nowadays, it’s another to have FOUR – not one, but four - of said characters keeping you on your toes through more than a hundred pages!

The Forging is the story of Brehana Songsteel, Olan Stronghelm, Kod Hawklight and Smunt the half-orc, who meet under strange – yet oddly fated – circumstances, and begin a journey based on Olan’s map. A journey that is sure to become an adventure the likes of which they’ve never had before…

Tim Rose’s first book of the Four Companion series is strongly influenced by Tolkien and Salvatore, and, while it was not mentioned, I did notice a few Elaine Cunningham points here and there (particularly from her Elfsong and Silver Shadows books). I enjoy all of those writers, so the writing style did not faze me in the least – on the contrary, I loved it! The pace was similar to an RPG game, and there were more than enough details to show that the writer did some serious research before he wrote it all down.

What is a good and very stong point of this book was the introduction. It escalated in layers, showing us a little bit of every character just a little while before they all met, and it served as a perfect “hook” to get any reader interested. The characters are all unique, and I don’t mean just their race, they all thought and even acted in different ways, while still maintaining their unity as a group. I personally found Smunt to be my favorite of them all – always a sucker for the sarcastic, blunt ones, I’m afraid. There is a little something for everyone in there. Readers will find at least one of the main adventurers to their liking, and that guarantees flipping through the pages as fast as you can to see what happens next. 200+ pages full of adventure, action, humor and fantasy, are sure to bring even the most hardcore readers of the genre on their knees, begging to have a taste!

The only problem in all this, was the fact that it might be hard for those who are not familiar with this writing style and genre to fully enjoy the story. Still, I encourage you to try, as it will leave you with a very sweet aftertaste once you’ve reached the end of this particular adventure – side by side with the adventurers themselves, what more could you ask for?

***I was given a review copy from a LibraryThing Member Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.*** ( )
  Lydia_Perversius | Nov 14, 2013 |
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