20 November, 2015

#BookReview :: The Outlander: Rise and Fall of an Empire by Abhijit Haldar

"I am from a war. I will either end in one, or live it to fight another. It, keeps me going."

17 years after the Battle of Dert, a war had been waged by Wale over Dorin. The vengeance of Dercallume threatens the whole kingdom as he orders for a dragon-fire. The perished hopes of the outnumbered men of Dorin are revived when Roin Avon comes to the war with an oblivious sword, the Stalwart. Thought to be forged with a soul by alchemy, it is the mightiest weapon in the whole of Darthé that helps them to evade the war and run into exile. They head to the Frozen Kingdom for the Frozen Games, which if won, would let them the strongest weapon of the kingdom.

"Who am I? I am an Outlander. This is not what I should be."

Supposed to be the last Outlander of the Outlandish race who are people with half souls, Roin’s existence will prove threat to the rule. And with the unfulfilled vengeance of the mad-man, evil forces are allying and preparing for a war somewhere in the West. 
Roin must confront the truth and find answers to his questions, and lead the comradeship of his fellowmen to the other kingdoms, while the darker minds are prevailing and aiming for a crown much craved for. 

Roin Avon, our protagonist, had started off as a ‘nobody’. Orphaned at a young age, he is used to taking care of himself and surviving against the odds. This has made him confident and he aspires to be known as ‘someone’ instead of the ‘nobody’ that he has been all his life. The book starts with The Battle of Dert giving us a glimpse of Roin. The book is then further divided into two parts – The Battle of the Two Realms and The City of Kurmime. From powerful swords to mythical creatures, Roin’s journey introduces us to a fantastic new world.

The best part about the book is perhaps its premise and plot. The young and debutant author, Abhijit Haldar, has successfully built a brand new world for us readers to delve into. It is nothing like anything that I have ever read, yet it has bits and pieces of every fantasy novel I have ever enjoyed. The plot takes you through one hell of a journey that almost gives wings to your imagination (No red bull needed :P). The author has given enough details for the readers to start understanding the world and the setting. At certain points it feels like the author has held back something – intentionally or unintentionally, and while that may irritate some readers; I found that it gave a free reign to my imagination – which I undoubtedly enjoyed. The story has so many things going on in term of sub-plots and action that the pages flew by. As for the characters in the story, there are quite a few and only handful of them made any impression on me. Our protagonist, Roin, is someone who was easy to like even though it was difficult to get into his head completely.

The narration style is where the author failed to engage me. I was restless throughout the book even though the plot intrigued me. The language and the narration style needs working on in order to get the readers at ease while reading the story. Brushing up on these two along with better editing would certainly help the author in the long run. But seeing that this is the debut work of a very young mind, I have to say that I am pretty impressed.

Review Copy received from the Author

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