I read another fantasy this time. Unlike the last, there was nothing comedic about it. Rather, this was a high fantasy set during a war of epic proportions.
|Cover Art by Nick Deligaris|
The work I speak of is Flight of the Vessel by Robert Clifton Storey, Jr. It's the first part of his Vision Dream Series.
So what's it about?
Kingdoms throughout the world fall after a brutal invasion by the armies of the mysterious sorcerer known as Shutharja. The princess of Palzintine, Angelterra, is forced to flee with a small group of loyal subjects when her parents are lost in battle. Taking up the mantle of the Regency, she leads what remains of her fractured kingdom while banding together with other leaders in an attempt to mount a strong defense against the enemy. At the same time, however, Angelterra must wrestle with her newfound abilities as a magic user, as well as focus on a quest given to her by the Spirit of the Heavenly Father during a vision dream.
The storyline was a great one, having all the necessary components of an epic, high fantasy: a fight between good and evil that has an impact on the world as a whole, large-scale battles, magical creatures, clear boundaries between dark and light magic, and dialogue that has an archaic touch to it.
Storey is clearly a highly intelligent person that has an exceptional eye for detail.
I found myself learning quite a bit as I read through Flight of the Vessel. He has a spectacular talent for getting non-tacticians like myself to understand a complex and far-reaching battle plan. I saw soldiers maneuver into position, and I was able to actively see how and why something would work or fail.
This is not an easy task.
Trust me. My comprehension of military strategy is kind of similar to... well...
Have you ever tried to explain long division to your dog? That's a pretty good comparison to how well I tend to understand battleground tactics.
Storey, however, gave me the ability to grasp these concepts, and he didn't even have to reward me with a yummy treat. I even enjoyed reading about them!
Flight of the vessel did not, however, earn Treasured Tome status, which may seem surprising. It had all of the makings of a Treasured Tome, and it could very easily become one.
But there was one flaw that I couldn't let go of. While everything that Storey wrote was valid, and while everything he wrote was in line with the theme of the novel, his descriptions were a bit longer than necessary.
I know, I know... big deal, right?
The problem, though, was that the narrative considerably slowed down the story, and in some cases, the use of the passive voice and adjectives managed to not just slow the energy, but stop it altogether.
Storey is at his best when he writes about battle: the energy is high, the descriptions are clear and concise, and the heat of the battle comes alive. This, no doubt, is due to his military background. He's confident in his tactical knowledge, and this confidence gives him the ability to explain the techniques in a manner that allows anyone to understand them, and even live them.
Flight of the Vessel can be found at the Kindle and Nook stores (currently not available on Smashwords).