Book Review: The Book of Deacon by Joseph R. Lallo

Title: The Book of Deacon

Author: Joseph R. Lallo

Series: The Book of Deacon #1

Page Count: 323

Publish Date: January 28, 2010

Synopsis:

Myranda Celeste’s world has been built on a legacy of bloodshed. For more than a century, her homeland the Northern Alliance has fought the Kingdom of Tressor in what has come to be known as the Perpetual War. While her people look upon the conflict with reverence, Myranda’s hate for the war has made her an outcast.

When she finds a precious sword among the equipment of a fallen warrior, she believes her luck may have changed. Little does she imagine that the treasure will draw her into an adventure of wizards and warriors, soldiers and rebels, and beasts both noble and monstrous. The journey will teach her much about her potential, about the origins of the war, and about the threat her world truly faces.

Will Myranda unlock the secret of bringing peace once and for all, or will the world be lost to the Perpetual War?

The Book of Deacon

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My Review:

Having picked up The Book of Deacon as a freebie from Amazon I wasn’t sure what to expect. The reviews seemed quite mixed about it, though I admit I rarely look at or read reviews before plunging into a book as I was my opinion of it to remain unbiased. Free books can often lead to creating massive TBR piles, however, with this one I dove in immediately, curious about this war-torn world.

The book follows Myranda, a young woman who struggles to survive in the frozen North in a country that has been stuck in a decades-long war. As a sympathizer she is shunned from most villages she comes across and leads a mostly nomadic life, moving from one town to the next stopping long enough to rest and regain supplies before continuing her constant walking. I liked the fact that she often talked to herself while traveling to help distract herself from the biting cold, hunger, and great distances that she needed to reach the next village. The history of the world she lives in is well described and makes you wonder at times how she has survived all this time.

The introduction of new characters flowed well for the most part. When she meets Leo, a Malthrope which is a half man half beast (in this case a fox), the initial exchange between the two of them is interesting. Sharing a bottle of wine they both explain how they got to where they are now, taking turns asking questions then waiting for the other to answer, and then asking their own question. Myranda’s reaction to his species is exactly what I would expect, there was a shock but not enough for her to change her mind about him keeping her company. Their quick friendship had me wondering just what the future had in store for them, especially when they went their separate ways shortly after leaving the village.

As she moves on through the world, carrying a sword that would change her life forever, a number of other characters are introduced and thrust Myranda into many new situations. The appearance of dragons was honestly something I hadn’t expected to see in this book and at first, I was worried that it might ruin everything that had been laid out so far. However, as the story progressed I saw the importance of the dragon as it affected not only Myranda’s life but Leo’s and several others around her.

There seemed to be a few characters that were thrust into the story with little reason at first. Eventually, they were revealed as important to the storyline and some were directly linked to Myranda’s life and past. What they added to the story will hopefully be of greater significance in the two other books in the series. One character I highly enjoyed was Deacon. His enthusiasm over the small secluded world that he lives and trains in was a great addition to the book. Though I saw early on that there would be some sort of relationship between Deacon and Myranda forming I was glad to see that was not rushed into, in fact, it was left up in the air at the end of the book as Myranda left the secluded life to find Leo once more.

When she starts to undergo training in the various elements of magic everything suddenly feels rushed. After completing training with the four element masters she must then be given a final test. I enjoyed this part of the book not because of the use of her newly found powers but because of the way she was able to outwit Azriel, the woman conducting the final test, at her own game. The end result of the test surprised me.

One small problem I did have with the book was the lack of chapter breaks. I am not sure if it was strictly because of the Kindle edition but it was a bit odd to have no chapters within it. Usually, I use chapters as a stopping place while reading. While I rarely wanted to put the book down I found it hard to pick a spot to take my reading break from.

While there were slow parts popping up here and there the overall flow of the book was good in the first half. However, I found near the end that things seemed a bit rushed, especially when she was undergoing her training with the masters. Not only did the flow seem to speed up too much I also had a problem with Myranda being so good at each aspect of magic in which she was trained in. No one should be that good that quickly in so many different aspects. Then all that training seems to go to waste as she leaves the hidden away village to chase after Leo. Hopefully, the next two books will explain not only why she seems to be such an expert with magic but also give her reason for having this power as well. The rushed end aside I am looking forward to seeing where this story leads in the next two books.

Have you read The Book of Deacon? What did you think of it?

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