The Canticle

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This adventure story treads a road that most of us have traveled before.   It is a pleasant and a comfortable road, but one that brings a bit of weariness with it.  It borrows heavily from Tolkienesque fantasy, with a company of men, elves, dwarves and a wizard going after a dragon named Slathbog, who lives in a mountain and guards a horde.  (Very much like Smaug from “The Hobbit”) It evens go so far as to have the main character get mixed up with a troll, which is turned to stone by sunlight.  
Don’t get me wrong.  The author does have some great original ideas.  For example, I liked the concept of “magic bags” which each adventurer carries.  It has different rooms and can be added on to in a sort of “The Sims” style.  They could then store their massive amount of loot in their bags without ever running out of room. 
The characters were interesting, and the places they went held my interest, though they too sometimes smacked of Tolkien, such as a woodland city ruled over by an elf queen. There was a lot of singing and feasting and going through ceremonies, and a few fights and then a bit more feasting and laughing.  It is an adventure, but one where everyone gets along, and there doesn’t ever seem like anyone was really in danger. 
In the end, it is a comfortable story, suitable for young readers just getting into the genre.   I enjoyed reading it, but I hope to see a little more tension in the next installment.  

One Response so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree. The whole story was unoriginal and a total smack off of The Hobbit. It was kind of bland, boring, predictable, and broke every possible rule of cliched fantasy. As an avid fantasy writer, it just annoys me how M.L. Forman ripped off Tolkien. There was only about 3% of originality in that book. And Alex was the most flat, boring main character I have ever seen. The whole cast were a bunch of cardboard characters walking around on a cliched fantasy quest. UGH!!!!

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