Carol Kluz extensive writing experience spans a variety of genres including poetry, prose and multimedia. She takes advantage of her knowledge of publishing to create a five-part fantasy series that begins with The Chosen of Azar.
This first installment of the series chronicles the identification of the Chosen, children imbued with magic yet no knowledge of who they are or their role in saving the known world. Their training focuses on complete obedience to their adopted fathers and uncles, the Commanders of the Barranda Guards. Filled with magic, sentient horses and catamounts, the land they live in is beautiful and captivating. It also contains creatures of evil - Churls, demons and wicked serpents.
The reader sees much of the land through the eyes of the Chosen as they search for their talismans left to them by Azar, the creator of this world and the leading power of good in the story. Mo Demz, his personal disciple, directs the Commanders and the Chosen as they continue the search. Much narrative time is spent describing the Chosen as they learn discipline and self-control.
While the foundation of the story is fresh and holds great potential, the focus on the discipline of the Chosen becomes overdone. The constant emphasis on punishing the Chosen, who are children struggling to grow up fast, is tiring and eventually irritating. This has nothing to do with my personal beliefs regarding the punishment of children; however, when every few pages or so contains a similar sequence of “child steps over line therefore child is punished so s/he can’t sit a horse,” then I simply become bored, laboring to tease the rest of the story out of the punishment scenes. What is left was quite good, though, and I wish there were more of it.
Overall, this story has some possibilities. The dialogue is a little wordy at times, but the characters are real and believable.