Book Review: The Sword and the Flame: The Forging


Gilliam rested his hand on mace’s handle, straining his hearing for another sound. After a few seconds the cleric’s patience was rewarded when voices drifted through the night air towards them. He glanced at his nephew and was pleased to see he heard the voices as well. Any further questions would have to wait as the fighter leapt to his feet and headed for the sound which began to sound like a scuffle. Gilliam said a quick prayer to Fallor before lifting his mace in preparation for the upcoming fight.

They could hear the shrill voice of one of them ahead. A child, judging from its pitch. No, she was a Halfling. Berek could tell by the sight of her seconds before one of the men made a joke about Halflings. If it’d been another time and place he would’ve congratulated himself on identifying her, it was by no means a simple task to do so. Instead, he concentrated on reaching the pair being held. There were only four bandits but he doubted they could reach them in time without allowing his uncle to learn of his ability.

Gilliam sat crouched next to his nephew waiting for what, he prayed, would be the appropriate time to intervene. While he lacked the ability to see at night, like Berek claimed he could, his hearing was excellent. After hearing the bandit’s leader talk of killing the magic user, nothing wrong with that in his mind, he tensed. Like most clerics, he didn’t trust magic users. In fact, he hated and feared them. A cleric’s power came from their deity, they were nothing more than a conduit forthe power they could yield. Mages, warlocks, druids, and other magic users took their power from the world around them and sought to be like the Gods. Indeed, he was certain that was their ambition despite what claims they made to the contrary.

Sensing the time to act was nearly upon them; Gilliam glanced at his nephew to see if Berek could sense it as well. It was the first time the cleric ever saw his nephew’s face when he was using his night vision. The surprise at the sight of Berek’s eyes forced a gasp from the well traveled cleric. “By Fallor… Your eyes…” He leaned backwards away from the soft glowing emptiness of the fighter’s eyes. The bush couldn’t hold the weight of the cleric resulting in a chorus of breaking twigs, branches, and a dull thump on the soft ground.

Berek watched his uncle for a moment, this wasn’t how he wanted him to find out and neither of them were ready. He wanted to say something, anything to calm the terrified look on Gilliam’s face but the sound of the bush gave away their location. Without wasting another second, Berek raised his hand and mumbled a strange word. Five balls of light, no larger than an insect launched from each of his finger tips towards the form farthest from them. The Halfling’s attack was hidden from him by the positioning of the bandit he attacked. At least it was well timed, he thought rushing through the brush towards the remaining two.

Bialois, CP (2012-03-27). The Sword and the Flame: The Forging (pp. 78-81).  . Kindle Edition.

 

Sometimes our friends and family are all we have. They are there for us when we need them, whether we like it or not, and in return we are there for them. Sometimes this arrangement costs us far more than we could ever imagine, but we would do it all again for the ones we love.

The Sword and the Flame: The Forging, by CP Bialois, is the story of friends, both old and new, coming together in the pursuit of treasure. They each have their own reason for wanting it and they each bring a unique set of skills that will help them find what they are looking for, but there is risk in pursuing their dreams and dangers that they can only guess at. It is a good thing they can count on each other, even if they do not always want to.

There is a familiar comfort in this book. Much of it reads like a Saturday night Dungeons and Dragons session put to paper, and while that does not always make for superlative fiction, it does make for a good story. This is the first book in a series, so there is a lot of time spent in world building and back-story. This is fairly typical, but the author is very direct about telling the reader the information rather than weaving it into the dialogue and action.

The main story is direct and maintains that familiar comfort of a role-playing game dungeon crawl, but CP Bialois weaves in enough outside story to leave the reader wondering about what will happen next and how the other players in the drama will be involved. The characters tend to fall into classic RPG archetypes, but they have enough personality to make them stand out as unique.

All in all I would say that the author does a good job of walking the line between the familiar and the unique and creates a book that is a decent read.

The book may be purchased in Kindle or paperback format at Amazon here.

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