Rated 6.43 out of 10 Statistics
Occasional Coarse Language
Overall Rating: 6.431
Average Rating: 1 (Guests), 6.38 (Members)
Rating Count: 3 (0 Guests, 4 members)
1 indicates a weighted rating.
"for a traditional fantasy "fix"..."
If you couldn’t guess from the title, Swords and Sigils is a traditional sword and sorcery let’s-go-on-a-quest fantasy tale. Melkeen is an up-and-coming young wizard fighting his way up the ranks of his magical order, which is full of sneering elitism, backstabbing, subterfuge, political infighting, cynicism, etc. Melkeen has been strongly shaped by the arrogant, ambitious mold, but seems to be different in two ways. First, his youth means he isn’t yet entirely set in the cynical, elitist ways of his order. Second, because he wasn’t born into the right family and doesn’t have other powerful patronage, he has to consider the unconventional in order to find advantages. This is what leads him to hire Sarta, a female barbarian mercenary, for his bodyguard on the quest that the senior wizards have assigned to him. The story starts when these two meet.
Sarta verges on the "too perfect to be true" category for me, although she is apparently older than Melkeen and, as we learn her backstory, her personality and abilities do have justification. Still, this story to me seems like it’s going to be about Melkeen personal transformation and quest, with Sarta tagging along to play "Merlin" to his "young Arthur".
The writing is a bit stilted and stiff, so reading it isn’t exactly pleasurable to me. It could use enlivening with more emotional reaction from the characters, or humor, or something to make it more fun/gripping/entertaining. As it is, it isn’t bad or difficult to read, just not one of my favorites. If you’re looking for a new story to read, or really enjoy fantasy, it’s worth checking out.
(cross-posted from WebFictionGuide)
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