This twisted tale of The Crimson Sword begins with Jarom, Guardian of Diln, and friend Allion of the village located in Alson. They are in charge of keeping his village safe. There isnít a lot of action in that part of the world, so itís an uneventful job.
The peaceful kingdom is suddenly under attack when the King is assassinated and a powerful wizard conquers Jaromís home. After a run-in with the Queen, who is trying to escape, they flee together Ė Jarom,his friend and the Queen.
With her there, Jarom suddenly finds out heís really the second son of the late king. His older brother was banished from the kingdom after trying to poison the king, and he was sent to the village to live in peace away from all that. Unfortunately, it is his brother who has now taken over the kingdom after having faced the world and become a sorcerer. You canít really blame him; it was his birthright, after all.
Jarom goes into a sort of shock at this discovery, and he tends to go on about whatever the world owes him; heís a bit whiney through the entire novel. With this, and being a rather plain sort of personality, he is really hard to love as a main character should be. One of the best and most interesting characters is Shadow, an assassin, who pops in a few times but too far between.
There is a mysterious council whose sole purpose seems bent on telling Jarom what to do with his life. A Demon Queen awakening from an Abyss threatens an unstable human race. Jarom must find the Crimson Sword, the Sword of Asaheil, and, like King Arthur, unite his people.
Yes, there is a love interest, the voluptuous Marisha. Her sole purpose is to provide a distraction for Jarom. She falls under capture, waits patiently to be rescued, and then, after the rescue, is captured again. Itís amazing that Jarom puts up with this. This female character could easily be mistaken for a lump of bean curd, as much as she helps out.
Its comparison to the Lord of the Rings or some of Terry Brooksí works are surprising. While certain elements contained in the book have obviously been done before, the style, structure, prose and pacing all need work. The main character needs to grow up; with hope this will be fixed with the sequels. This book, however, could very well stand alone.
Its quest and many twists make it a fine read. The author introduces few of his own elements but makes enough new surprises with old elements to take it out of the ordinary. Jaromís slow interpretation about the things going on and his self-ramblings, thank goodness, only take up part of the fun.
In all, The Crimson Sword portrays an exciting journey, even if the characters are a little humdrum. The creatures and adventure are worthwhile, and there may be promise for the future editions. This tale earns its right to two stars.