Monday, August 06, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: Red Leaves and the Living Token by Benjamin David Burrell

Dear Readers,

Today Edi's Book Lighthouse is the tour stop on the Red Leaves and the Living Token blog tour.

The picture above shows all the tour stops.

And my contribution is a review of Red Leaves and the Living Token
(digital,pb, 2012) [ISBN13: 978-0615618524; AMAZON KINDLE ASIN: B007KFGS36] by Benjamin David Burrell

 Author Benjamin David Burrell sent me a digital copy of his fantasy debut novel Red Leaves and the Living Token.This is the first of so far six planned Red Leaves Novels. The second book - Red Leaves and Death's Shadow - is coming soon.

Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:

Red Leaves and the Living Token  
(digital,pb, 2012) [ISBN13: 978-0615618524
 "Doctors tell Raj that his son Emret won’t survive his illness. As Raj struggles to prepare himself and Emret for the inevitable, he’s confronted by Moslin, his son’s nurse, who’s been filling Emret’s head with fairytales about heroic quests and powerful disease curing miracles. Emret now thinks that all he has to do is find the mythical Red Tree from the nurse’s stories, and he’ll live.
In an attempt to protect his son from further emotional damage, Raj asks Moslin to stay away from Emret. He returns hours later to find them both missing.
Now, he has to dig into the loathed fairytales to figure out where they may have gone. He’d also like to know why he keeps having visions of a temple on a mountain with a vat of glowing weapons, a vaporous black creature emerging from a lightning storm, himself in glowing armor leading an army, and the same mythical Red Tree hidden in a dense forest." [Source]
My Expectations
Based on the blurb I expected a coming of age story mixed with myths and magic including twists and turns. The cover promise a lot of non human characters.

The Delivery
The 200 pages of the story are divided into a prologue and thirteen numbered chapters.
Without any judgement let me say, that this is short compared to most of the books I read.So I could read the book in just two sessions.

I will not give any more detailed information about the story itself because the blurb above delivers enough about the plot.

But do not think it delivers all aspects of the story. There is more behind the story as you may think after reading the blurb. And the revelation of information about characters and especially about the past is well dosed and intertwined with current development. There is much more to unveil in the following books.

Benjamin David Burrell knows to tell a story. The mix of action, inner thoughts, descriptions, dialogue and information from the past has been varied in a manner that keeps the pace steady. 

Remember I mentioned the non humans on the cover. And indeed I could not detect one human being. There are three main races of people:
- the zo with their hunched over furry animal like bodies
- the botann with their bodies of branches and leaves
- the petra with their bodies of stone
Each of them inhabitat specific areas of the world and do not allow others to pass them. There is always the danger of conflicts. Beside that there are also areas where the three races intermingle.

But as ancient journals show there has been another, superior race called the Reds. They disappeared with the murder of the last living Red which lead to a disastrous war. Until today the past in form of the Reds has an impact on the daily life. With every page the urge to get more information about the Red rises.  A hunger which will hopefully satisfied in the following books.

It is not difficult to connect with the main characters. Fortunately there  are characters who are neither black nor white and what you always hope and not always get there are characters which follow their very own plans.

The description of the landscape is well done and transport enough information to create images in your head.

All in all this is a well done debut novel with a lot of potential and a minor flaw. To have a cast of characters at hand in the beginning would have been helpful. Thanks to the notes I took while reading it was not necessary for me to page back and forth.

I know there will be people complain about the cliffhanger like end of the book. Let me tell you that the end of Red Leaves and the Living Token looks much more like a rest on a long journey and I must say I lookforward to continue the journey.

All in all is fantasy novel which delivers more as you may assume at first sight. It is a good start into a world full of mysteries interesting characters and races. it has the potential to be a series beyond the well-trodden path of coming of age stories. The heyday lies ahead.

For more information about the books please visit Benjamin David Burrell's website.

And of course visit the above mentioned blog tour stops.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like an easy read though!

ediFanoB said...

Hi Alex,
despite it is an easy read it has some depths. And it has potential.

Rosalie Skinner said...

Intriguing review. Sounds interesting.. might add it to my holiday reading list.
Thank goodness the Kindle holds lots of books. I think I need longer holidays.

ediFanoB said...

Dear Rosalie,

I do my best to fill your Kindle with books :-)

Unfortunately I can't deliver a longer holiday.

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