Revelations (Salinor. The Beginnings Book 1) a fantasy written, copyright and published by Samuel Alexander.
Salinor is the name of the all-powerful goddess after which the author’s mythical world is named and according to legend, was established following a harrowing trip made by a human to visit her with hope she would save his mother who had been poisoned by a magician. The rather ethereally described world is populated by several quite different races who have the ability to exert differing skills at varying levels that can be enhanced further by training; e.g. magic, construction, assassination, hunting, love. There also are untrained peasants, who as would be expected are the lowest caste. After establishment of this world, it prospered until, as might be expected, a split formed between the magicians and non-magicians that led to the War of the Beginning. An uneasy peace lasted till the present when desire for power again reared its ugly head with assent of another tyrannical ruler. Members of the old alliance again formed and began initiating a highly dangerous plan to eliminate the new upstart. The obvious need for secrecy was escalated by the ease with which the plan and/or any of its perpetrators could be discovered. And of course, beyond the obvious simple physical infiltration to the group, their ‘enemies’ are magicians controlling every imaginable type of magic including shape-shifting. So, all discussions and activity must be on the ‘need to know’ basis and ‘when the time is right’. There seem to be two main protagonists in the tale. Danais, is a peasant discovered as an abandoned child in the wilderness and raised as a farm worker by his uncle Torak, who as the tale develops, appears in some manner to be involved in the secret plot. There also appears to be growing evidence that this developing young boy is more than the simple peasant he appears. The second is Leo, also an orphan with the same or similar anxieties and introspective tendencies. Unlike Danais however, he has the advantage of being a magician. The story continues with rather lengthy descriptions and/or dialogue interspersed with physical activity considerably magically interlaced that continues to the closing pages where the statement is offered: “The start of the prophecy?” “You and Leo. There are only two people who would want to see you more than we do: the ones who sacrificed the most for the cause. But that will be revealed in due time.” Danais then must leave all he ever has known as he realizes the journey has officially begun. ““Danais,” Leo said again. Again he looked towards Leo, and the two of them shared a smile. “Come””.
Discussion: Quite frankly, this is one of the more difficult reviews I have attempted to write, It is about a story I attempted to enjoy for several reasons. The author certainly exhibits the product of a highly imaginative and creative mind from which a fantasy of large proportions has evolved. He also has introduced two protagonists who are similar in several ways, complex, somewhat unstable, obsessed with their status, introspective and who develop a close relationship. Also supportive characters are presented with enough ‘quirks’ to make them interesting although they often appear ‘unannounced’ and provide answers simply through magic. However and most regrettably for this reader, the plot and general features of presentation provide a considerably negative reaction. Descriptions are unnecessarily detailed and over abundantly supplied. Similarly conversation, often about subjects seemingly unimportant to the story, are set forth in quantity. Both factors not only slow the tale’s progression but deter the reader from the plot itself. A plot that already is quite confusing because everything seems to hinge on a specific factor which eventually ‘sort of ’ reveals itself as the subject to be dealt with in the adventures next episode.
Conclusion: A fantasy of possibly epic proportions that no doubt will appeal to readers closely attuned to the genre. Existing problems have been enumerated for others than those so dedicated. The next volume, of course, hopefully will correct many of these features.
3* 4* for dedicated fantasy readers; 2* for others, as described.