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Strife Of The Mighty: Book One of the…
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Strife Of The Mighty: Book One of the Chronicles of Vrandalin (The Læl…

by Julius Bailey

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So, I'd just like to expound on the awesomeness that is this book. The writing style is what first struck me about it; it's lyrical to the point of being archaic (the first chapter kept giving me Beowulf flashbacks) which is not something often attempted, much less attempted with any success. Somehow, however, in this book it just works. Where the style could have seemed high-handed, it results instead in a deep sense of respect and tenderness; and the epic unfolds vividly through the eyes of characters who are very real and very human.
Brandegan in particular comes to mind here; unlike other fantasy mentor characters who seem to exist merely to scold everyone else's stupidity, Brandegan doesn't lord his superior experience and abilities over his fellow-travelers, something I really appreciated. He's not a perfect hero, either--we're given glimpses into his struggles and motivations. He's not always right. And because we're allowed to see his weaknesses, the times when his nobility shines forth in its full glory are so much more satisfying.
Despite its depth (or perhaps because of it?) Strife of the Mighty is also an extremely fun read, with epic fights between men and monsters (there are some really cool monsters), a vivid landscape of myth and magic, and heroism on every level from escaping the prisons of petty tyrants to defending entire kingdoms.
Ultimately, it's an adventure story, inspiring and enjoyable, that deserves to be read and re-read and read aloud. (I have plans of reading it to my neice and nephew once they're old enough for such amazingness)
Really loved this book, and would strongly recommend it to anyone :) ( )
  GraceCrandall | Jul 26, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 150282437X, Paperback)

A HUSBAND. A LIQUOR LOVER. A STRANGER. THE DIREST ADVENTURE OF THEIR CENTURY. For over fifteen hundred years the kingdom of Vrandalin has withstood the might of the one enemy they had need to fear. Now a new threat arises. In the southeastern part of the land, a grim-looking newcomer arrives in the village of Varalel, bringing with him a warning of imminent ruin. Shortly afterward, Varalel is stormed, its folk scattered, and one man is separated from the woman he loves. Little else matters to Allon Bracken than reuniting with his wife. With nowhere else to turn, he must place his faith in a gruff, mysterious man he knows little of, and an unexpected comrade. But his road is a hard one, and will lead him into dangers and discoveries that will change everything. It is likely safe to assume that the silver-haired man did not expect events to take such a swift turn when he hasted to Varalel with his warning. But there is no time to curse ill fate. Extenuating circumstances compel him to share Allon’s road—unless it is the other way around—but he quickly finds himself with another goal: the capital must be warned. An army out of legend stamps through the land, goaded by an age-old enchantress with designs of destruction. Time is short. But he must look to himself as well, for a hunted man is rarely at rest, and the terrible creatures that pursue him do not sleep. And for a former traveling trinket seller deemed village ‘softhead’ by his peers, things are suddenly very horrible indeed. Or are they? It seems that chaos brings folk together. Joined to Allon’s path by an inner impulse, he discovers a companionship he did not expect to find. He will need it. Enter Vrandalin; a land where ancient powers stir, dark beasts prowl, forgotten lore returns, and those who are thought weak discover their strength.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 26 Feb 2016 04:05:11 -0500)

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