**** (4 stars)
Science fantasy, futuristic fantasy, whatever you want to call it, if you like magic and high tech together, you’ll enjoy this. Sorcerers and ancient prophecies, whiz-bang hardware and space battles, and a human story of love, loss, ambition, friendship, and vengeance all come together in this story about Grogaan, a talented young starfighter pilot. We follow Grogaan as he deals with the loss of three of the most important people in his life, including his beloved fiancee Miranda, through his search for vengeance against the raiders who killed them, and then as he begins to realize he has an even greater destiny.
The style is somewhat formal, and the book is written in the omniscient viewpoint (that is, a distant, all-knowing narrator) rather than the more familiar 3rd-person limited (the story being told from inside the viewpoint of one character at a time). This is a legitimate stylistic choice, but some readers might find it makes it harder for them to become engaged in the book. To these readers I’d say, stick with it, it gets easier.
Also, there’s quite a bit of explanation of characters’ thoughts, emotions, and motivations, as well as information about the (well-developed) world. The author is adept enough at using action and dialogue to show what we need to know about the world and the characters’ thoughts and emotions that a lot of the additional explanation isn’t necessary. Even so, the story moves forward at a good pace. The space battles are particularly well-written; I was able to clearly visualize the action, and found myself reading quickly to find out if Grogaan and his friends made it through safely.
Overall, this is a fun, exciting book, and I understand that the next books in the series are even better, so I look forward to reading them.