Hello and welcome to my review of fantasy debut novel The Bone Sword (November 1st, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0982743720] by Walter Rhein. Publisher Rhemalda Publishing has been so kind to send me an electronic copy.
You would like to read the official blurb? Then highlight the following lines between YYY and ZZZ. In case you don't need the official blurb, continue reading with the text on the right side of the cover.
YYY"Deserter on the Run
Malik emerges from the swamps of Plaiden seeking only shelter, food, and the time necessary to take the chill from his bones. But after a barroom brawl lands him in trouble with the local authorities, he flees to the mountains with two orphaned children who have the power to heal.
Pursued by the vicious Father Ivory and his Nightshades, Malik and his charges become the center of a grassroots movement that quickly blossoms into a full-fledged revolution. Their problems are compounded when news of their exploits draws the attention of Malik's former Captain, a swordsman of legendary prowess who will not stop until Malik and his followers are dead.
As the final battle approaches, Malik must face both his inner demons and his former master in a duel that will determine the fate of the free people of Miscony." [Source]ZZZ
The Bone Sword is the story of Malik, bearer of a legendary Bone Sword, the weapon of the Camden Guard. He is on the run from his inner demons and the Camden Guard which he left on his own.
During his getaway he meets the young siblings Jasmine and Noah who need to escape the church in form of Father Ivory due to their blasphemous skills. With their actions they raise a storm which will either lead to their death and the slaughter of the population or to the victory over their inner demons and freedom for the population.
The outcome is uncertain because their inner and outer opponents are powerful and ruthless ....
The Bone Sword stands for 230 pages which is short compared to the fantasy books I read in the past months. But the number of pages is no indicator for the quality of the content.
I appreciate that the book contains a map of Miscony county and surrounding.
Before I go into details I feel obliged to tell you that The Bone Sword contains gore and explicit violence. But the violence serves a purpose and is far beyond to be grandstand play.
That leads me directly to one of the strong points of The Bone Sword. The depictions of scenery and situations is gorgeous in its nearly physical tangibility. You feel the heat of fire, you smell the blood, you feel the agony of torture ....
The more imaginativeness you own the more .....
Let's have a look at the characters. I does not take long until you get connected to one or more characters which is good because you will part of them. The main characters and their motives are described well enough to have an understanding their personality. There are at least three parties in the game:
The first party consist of Malik, a young warrior who has to fight his inner demons and more; Yasmine and Noah, siblings with powerful skills; they are surrounded by their friends, comrades and supporters.
The second party consist of Oberon Keel, captain of the Camden Guard and his men. They are connected to the third group.
The third party consists of two men and their followers and supporters. Father Ivory is the archetypal violent zealot. The Earl of Miscony is his secular twin. That means they are obviously bad. From my point of you they are nothing compared with Oberon Keel because he perverts life (you will fully understand when you read The Bone Sword).
Who is good and who is bad? In the end it depends on your moral concept.
In the plainest form The Bone Sword is the story of Malik's finding himself. But there is much more.
It is a story of human beings, their personalities, their interaction with other and their inner wars interwoven with perversion of belief and church, the perversion of faith, enriched with self-doubt and trust, embedded in a fast-paced and action-packed adventure.
It is a story of the sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind which will become clear after the last revelation of Marik's past.
The Bone Sword is a great read from entertaining point of view. Something to criticize? From my point of view the story is at times predictable. But hey, this is a debut novel.
The Bone Sword is a well done action-packed interspersed with inner thoughts, fast-paced adventure, which will grip you from the first page.
I hope, there will be more novels by Walter Rhein in future after this excellent debut.