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New Review of Book two

4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully not the last word of Vargo's world ...!, April 25, 2011

By Edward_Williamsport - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Passage of the Acolyte: Part Two (Paperback)

Part Two of "Passage of the Acolyte" opens with Greynol and his party continuing their travels southward toward their destination. The fiery creature, which made several troublesome appearances in the first volume, attacks them once again, forcing them from their intended road. A legendary path becomes an escape route and an introduction to a most interesting figure.

Their newly found, but very ancient friend is a strong, wise, and earthy character who not only helps them on their way, but through his conversations further develops Vargo's world, fleshing out more of the back-story. Additionally, the conversations and settings allow the reader to finally get to know Drago and Zerrin who come into their own in this volume.

The party comes to the end of their fascinating detour and joins with a party of warriors from Nordheim led by Baric the Tall, no stranger to the reader, who had also set out for adventure in the south in the previous volume. The two parties join, affording each party certain travelling advantages, but most importantly affording Vargo ample opportunities to introduce several new characters to advance the story line, as well as to develop his main characters via some rather opinionated interactions between the two parties.

The city of Rintar, royal capital of the war torn kingdom of Fanael, is the setting for a series of plot elements, including an important and eventful Fawarran liturgical ceremony, an introduction to a new and unexpected adventurer, further exploration of Greynol's faith, and some surprising events which shake the party up with associated plot twists.

The action eventually moves to the neighboring and secretive country of Asenrael. Asenrael is rather quickly introduced to the reader, and it seems that there is quite a rush of information packed into the several chapters dealing with the events taking place in and around this intriguing realm. Perhaps the sense of being overwhelmed with the fast paced descriptions of events in Asenrael is intended to mirror the wonder and confusion felt by the party of northern outsiders who find themselves plunged into the quickly moving world of a hidden kingdom swiftly being overtaken by war. In any event, I wonder if Vargo might have tempered the pace here a bit.

In the very heart of Asenrael and at its darkest hour, Greynol, Fauglir, the undead Ragulon, King Halphun of Asenrael, Halphun's opposition, and the Alliance and their friends all play out their fates and set new ones into motion. Vargo nicely brings to a close Greynol's quest while leaving open a number of plot hooks for (hopefully!) future stories.

Vargo's epic has it all. Ancient powers slumbering in abandoned temples, mythical mines, legendary creatures (both friend and foe), swordplay, and magical duels are enough to satisfy any "fantasy" addict, but what sets it apart in my mind is the pervasive human element. Vargo, while utilizing the fantastic, bases his story around people - people with everyday lives, hopes, and dreams, people who enjoy good food and sleep when they can get it, who rise above their fears when necessary, and having risen above their fears to look dread evil face to face, still can find it difficult to muster the courage to speak openly to those that they love. Even his most "magical" race in his world are finite and human and can be related to by any reader. Above it all, his world is permeated by a hope that transcends his world's humanity, entering into it via people like Greynol and those whose hearts are good, and in the end testing and perfecting their humanity.

A few more typos to be found in this volume than in the first, but not enough to be distracting.

I certainly hope we have not heard the last from Mr. Vargo concerning his world!


Scott Niven said…
Congrats on the positive review! I've only published ebooks so far. How was your experience with createspace? That's who I'm considering going with eventually to print my books.
James said…
I like Createspace because you can (almost) publish for free. I'm sure you looked at the others POD's, and they are far from cheap. It does take some effort, but they have a great forum section that helped a lot.

I'm still having trouble with e-publishing. Kindle was easy, but Smashwords is a pain. I've been trying to get on Nook and apple, ect, for months, but they keep complaining about my format. What did you use?

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