Esmes Indie Highlights/SPFBO: Torics Dagger by Jamie Edmundson

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This book has been cut from Ventureadlaxre’s grouping, but before that it had been put aside for further consideration for the final, so it was a near miss. I liked this one, overall it was fun and quick at 314 pages on ebook – but being shorter it still had depth and nice world building.

Here’s Venture’s review if you’re interested https://ventureadlaxre.com/2017/09/17/review-torics-dagger-by-jamie-edmundson/


Plot:

The book starts out with a heist scene and I thought I was in store for a Gentleman Bastards type book – but after that scene the plot shifted to a group of characters taking back Torics Dagger which had been stolen from Torics Temple. The dagger is a holy relic and needs to be taken back because it’s vital to the countries safety.

There are a bunch of POV’s at the beginning but around 14% they start to merge and by 20% they are all pretty much together and you know how their stories are connected.

This story has back stabbery and betrayal and characters with concealed intentions which creates some twists and turns that kept things interesting.

While the main characters are on their mission to find the people who stole Torics Dagger and return the dagger to the temple, neighboring nations are declaring themselves independent from their kingdoms. Rulers/nations who acknowledge these new independent nations or show them support for them make enemies quickly with the Kings they split from. Allegiances and rivalries are being spawned all over the place. Other nations going to war with each other also threatens Magnia’s safety so it’s on the Princes mind a lot ( the country most of this book takes place in)

Magnia suffered a civil war in the last generation, and instead of one side winning and the leader of the victors becoming King of Magnia two Princes emerged instead – the Prince in the South and the Prince in the North.

There’s a lot of stuff going on with the plot and the book isn’t long, it’s 314 on ebooks so it’s a pretty tightly told story.

Final Score: 7/10


Characters:

A lot, but here are the main players

  • Prince Edgar – Prince in the South, fairly likable not too snooty for a prince
  • Soren and Belwynn – a brother and sister set of twins with telepathic abilities. The book starts with their POV’s telepathically communicating and they stay close throughout the books. Nice to see siblings get along for once.
  • Herin and Clarin – another set of siblings, these are brothers and Herin is the older brother. He’s smaller in stature and a little more serious, while Clarin is amiable and a pretty big dude
  • Farred and Gyrmund – two boys raised as brothers, but really Gyrmund is an orphan when his parents died, they worked for Farreds family so they adopted him and raised him.
  • Elana – a Priestess of Madria, she’s got some cool as shit healing abilities that come in hand through the book.
  • Dirk – Priest of Toric tags along with the group
  • Kaved and Rabigar – two Krykker characters which are humanoid like races but have scales across their torso as a kind of armor, pretty badass in a fight. I really liked Rabigar, you learned a bit of their culture through his dialogue

Final Score: 7/10


World Building:

There are a bunch of humanoid like races in this world, and some of them didn’t even originate in the world the book is set in. The Isharites transported themselves from another world via magic to this world, and created the Drobox. The Drobox are an artificially created and enslaved race, they aren’t talked about much until the end, but I’d really like to know more about their backstory.

The Vossi are a woodsy race with bark like skin that carry spears and harass you as you go through the woods. The Caladri may live to 150 years, the Isharites came here from another world, the Krykers have abdominal scale armor etc etc

The magic is pretty mysterious and old school wizard kind of stuff. The healing magic that Elana can do is pretty broad sweeping, anything from broken bones and wounds to sore backs can be eased. (She comes in handy frequently and actually is one of my favorite characters.)

Magic also has a cost, Soren has knocked himself out a few times when over expending himself magically.

There’s a few really cool battle scenes with pissed off wizards with red eyes who can open pits to hell in the earth and neat shit like that.

Final Score: 8/10


Pacing/Tone/Prose:

Adventurous and fun, I like old school fantasy with wizards and mages and mysterious magic, especially when the story is tightly told with a lot of world building.

The prose was pretty straight forward with mild cursing, no in world cursing that I noted which is always a bonus for me.

The pacing was pretty consistent and smooth, it wasn’t a super long book and there wasn’t anything I’d call a slog.

Pacing Final Score: 7.5/10

Writing Final Score: 7.5/10


Originality:

There were a ton of original monsters and the world building was pretty unique despite being classical fantasy

Final Score: 8/10

 


Audience:

  • People who like a lot of characters
  • People who like a lot of world building with geography and different nations and wars and background
  • People who like old school mysterious magic
  • People who like old school wizards and mages
  • People who like quickly told tight stories
  • People who prefer series, the book ends on a cliffhanger, def not stand alone

Final Score: 45/60 or 7.5/10 or 4 stars on goodreads.

 

 

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