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Finndragon's CurseThe Legend of Finndragon's Curse, by Richie Earl is Mr. Earl's first self published novel. The young adult fantasy adventure is part one of a two part series. I was introduced to Mr. Earl on Twitter, and found his book on Amazon here. (note: I purchased the book)
After Emma, Megan, and Scott Davies' father disappeared, all they had left were memories and his tales of an ancient kingdom near their home in Wales. The curse of the King's own wizard, Finndragon, caused the kingdom to disappear. Legend says the lost castle and its people are locked in an eternal struggle against Finndragon and his demon horde. After finding a clue to their father's whereabouts, the children set off to find Dad and unlock the mystery of Finndragon's Curse.
As I read Finndragon's Curse, the tale first reminded me of my own children. As a father of three, I appreciated the individual personalities of each child. Emma, the oldest, is strong willed and feels responsible for her sister and brother. Megan is free spirited and quick to find joy and laughter in any situation. Scott fears nothing, and is quick to attempt dangerous feats against his sisters' wishes. Mr. Earl's experiences as a father are apparent in his writing.
The children drive the story forward, searching for their father. Without spoiling too much of the story for you, they deal with magic, demons, and ancient knights as they unravel the legend behind the lost kingdom.
The book is the first of a two book series, with a satisfying ending that sets up the second concluding book of the series. I am excited to find out what happens in the second story.
My criticisms to the book are mostly technical. While I found no issue with the spelling, punctuation, and grammar, Mr. Earl's first book could use a professional edit to clean up the prose and pacing. I really enjoyed the story, but at times became distracted.
Reading a recent post of Mr. Earl's work in progress on his new blog here, it is obvious that the author is working to improve his writing style, and in my opinion he is having success.
One final nitpick is with the formatting of the eBook on Amazon Kindle. There is no "table of contents" in the Kindle version, and I could not jump between chapters. This is a feature I have become accustomed to as a Kindle reader, and I recommend any indie author try and implement this in their eBooks.
Nitpicks aside, the story is a fun read. I expect Mr. Earl's writing will only continue to improve, and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future. If you have not checked it out yet, I highly recommend Mr. Earl's new website. On it, he features the first 1000 words of books from independent fantasy and sci-fi authors, as well as reviews of independent works. (Full disclosure, I will post reviews on his site in the future.) If you want to "try out" some fantasy fiction before you buy, I suggest hitting up http://onethousandworlds.blogspot.com/
Score: 4 out of 5 purple dragons.
Finndragon's Curse is an enjoyable tale of magic, courage, and family. It suffers from some technical and pacing hiccups, but I look forward to reading the conclusion in book two! I recommend The Legend of Finndragon's Curse for anyone looking for fantasy fiction from independent authors, and at 99 cents, the book is a great value.