Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Review – “Sword of the Six” by Scott Appleton

Eldrei Word Count:  25,404

Well, originally I meant for my next book review to be about "Raven's Ladder", the third thread in the Auralia strand, but a few weeks back I ordered a copy of "Sword of the Six" from and I when I got it in the mail, I practically devoured the book. So this review is going to be about "Sword of the Six" and hopefully my next review will be about "Raven's Ladder". As with all of my reviews, I warn readers now that there will probably be a few spoilers ahead. :D

 A thousand years ago the land of Subterran was riddled with war, and in the hands of six chosen warriors was placed the ability to change the dark future that brewed. But of the six, only one remained faithful to the Great White Dragon, Albino, and the other five betrayed the one for the promise of dark power. Yet even as their swords slid free of the one's flesh and with his own blood dripping upon him as he lay slain, the Great White Dragon landed among the five and their swords instantly rusted, cursed by the innocent blood they had shed. Of the five, only three of them escaped.

Now, a thousand years later, Albino puts in motion a plan to restore that which was utterly sullied. From dragon eggs he hatches six human daughters – his offspring all – and unto them he bestows the rusted blades of his six warriors, five of whom betrayed him, and three who yet have to pay the penalty of their crimes. Unto his daughters he bequeaths this task; seek out the remaining traitors, and if they do not repent of their past deeds and turn from their wickedness, kill them with the blades they used to commit their crimes.

And so sets in motion a great tale of magic, intrigue, and justice, with an allegorical flare that readers will be able to recognize, and a quest for truth that will leave them breathless.

Scott Appleton, the author of "Sword of the Six" and the rest of the upcoming books in "The Sword of the Dragon" series, was homeschooled right through high school during which time he developed a love of reading and writing from his mother, and a love for science from his father. Upon graduating high school, he traveled to Thailand as a student missionary and stayed for three months, journeying into the Kingdom of Cambodia and through the People's Republic of Laos. Upon returning to the states he studied Math and English at a community college, and later obtained a certificate in Creative Editing through an online course. He wrote "Sword of the Six" and went on to create his own publishing company, "Flaming Pen Press", currently the publisher for several books including "Sword of the Six" which is the first book in "The Sword of the Dragon" series, "The Fairy's Ruby Cage", and "Kestrel's Midnight Song" newly released in September. A future book to be released around Christmas is an anthology of short stories written by Mr. Appleton. Also, "Sword of the Six" is no longer available through Flaming Pen Press as Mr. Appleton went on to sign a book deal with AMG publishers, the company who published the "Dragons in our Midst" series, and the publisher of Wayne Thomas Batson's new book, "Sword in the Stars". "Sword of the Six" will eventually be re-released through AMG. Scott currently works as a freelance reporter, editor, and a fiction writer.

My thoughts on the book:

PROS: "Sword of the Six" is a book of high adventure that fantasy readers will certainly appreciate… especially Christian Fantasy readers. I recognized the allegory behind the tale right away, and there are other, more subtle allegorical themes laced throughout. Many of the characters are intriguing and easy to follow, especially the character of Dantress whose utter purity would mistakenly denote her as naïve, yet whose unreserved quest for justice and truth mark her as a true epic heroin. There is a healthy love and a slight conflicting feel between the sisters' personalities, which I believe is always good to show; it proves that, though they are sisters, they are still different from each other with their own personalities. The book is engaging and the writing is done well. The scenes are vivid and fast paced; so much so, that I couldn't help but cry during several scenes, and found myself with pent breath while reading others. As I was reading, I could actually see the scenes play out in all their glory and color, and several times I stopped to sketch out what I saw, so vivid were they written. Also, the world in which this all takes place seems well fleshed out, and the characters of Albino, the mysterious shepherd called Patient, and the man named Specter with a past shrouded in obscurity have got to be my most favorite characters of all. This is a good story; I believe that young readers who follow this genre will thoroughly enjoy it, and will eagerly await the following books on the edge of their seats.

CONS: There were a few places in the story where I felt the writing was a little under-done, leaving the scene feeling slightly "dry". In these parts I would have loved some more detailed descriptions – but then, I enjoy writing out details, so perhaps that is only my preference. Also, in the first part of the book, the sisters often came across as much younger than their sixteen years, but again, that might only be my opinion. Personally, my favorite parts of the book are split between the prologue and the second half of the story where Dantress meets someone and falls in love; I believe the writing is a bit more solid in those parts, and the characters seem deeper – more flesh and bone, if that makes any sense.

Altogether this is an excellent read. Other than what is mentioned above, I really have nothing to pick at. I am looking forward to reading the next book, "Offspring" when it comes out from AMG. If this book is anything to go by, "Offspring" promises to hold even greater adventure and magic between its covers. I can hardly wait! I recommend "Swords of the Six" to any who love classical fantasy, and also to those who enjoy a good allegory. Those who love "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Door Within" trilogy will absolutely devour this read.


Squeaks said...

That sounds like an awesome book. I've been waiting for our store to get it, but I think I'm going to have to order it in if I want to read it (or check our library and see if they have it in).


Jake said...

I've been wanting to read this for FOREVER...but I can't get it anywhere and I don't really have money to buy it with. :P

Star-Dreamer said...

Jake: you can probably find some used copies on Amazon. That's where I got mine. Only I was lucky enough to land a new one. But it really is a good book; I know you'll like it. :)

Galadriel said...

I want to find a copy sometime.

Jaleh D said...

That sounds like a great book. I'll have to see if the library has it.

R.P.H said...

Hey Nichole White :-)
You have a very nice blog! Congrats on your book "Song of the Daystar" I loved the teaser for it and hope to read all someday!

Nice review on Scott Appleton's book. I'm waiting for it to come out with AMG next year.

Oh and thank you for the follow on my blog :-) Truly means a lot to me!

God's care,