Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Review-Swords of the Six

Swords of the Six is the first book in the series The Sword of the Dragon by Scott Appleton.  It is currently published by Flaming Pen Press, whose owner is actually the author of the book.  It is to be republished by AMG Publishers in Fall of this year.

Swords of the Six was a very interesting book.  The plot was fantastic, the characters were awesome, and the world building was quite mysterious.
Warning:  If you have not read this book and you dislike spoilers, then it
may be unwise to go further.
The beginning is what every author should strive to do, and every reader needs to have to continue reading.  A captivating scene.  I want an epic battle scene-but that's just me.  Swords of the Six starts out with a terrible battle between an army of men and a devious, black dragon.  When the armies of men fail, one man, the only loyal of the six, fights the dragon-Xavion.
From there the story jumps ahead, and I'm still not sure how many years pass between the prelude and the first chapter, but I don't think the author intended for me to know.
The great white dragon, Albino, brings life to six daughters who were humans in appearance.  After seventeen years he sends them on a mission to redeem one of the fallen six who preceded them.  The man-Letrias-refuses to be redeemed and kills himself, leaving one wish: That the girls bring his son to their father.
After giving the son to their father Albino, he sends them on another journey, one which they are not sure what they're doing.  He sends them to a forest far away and gives them a stone cave as their home.  Years pass and Dantress, the youngest daughter and the protagonist of the book, meets a young man named Ilfedo who she falls in love with and soon after marries.
Being dragon in everything but appearance, she is not allowed to mix blood with a human, and if she does so, must give her life to bring another to the world.  And so she does.  The baby's name is Oganna and Dantress dies after giving birth to her.  Once Ilfedo and his new sisters-in-law bury Dantress, Albino comes and gives the girls a mission as well as give Ilfedo a gift-the Sword of Living Fire.
So ends book one of The Sword of the Dragon series.
End of spoilers.
As you can see the book's plot was extraordinary.  I loved it.  Who would of thought of a dragon having six human appearing daughters?  It was pretty amazing plot-wise.
I did notice a few writing errors however.  There was a little to many emphasized words for my taste.  The thing about emphasis is that its not needed-at all.  You shouldn't need a special type of word to get a point across.  Italics come in handy at some points though, and I'm not saying you shouldn't use them.  I use them in my writing-they're just not something you want to use too much, else you diminish the value.
I also saw some printing errors that happened repeatedly.  I think the main things were the quotation marks.  They seemed to be on the wrong side a lot of the time.  When starting a quote the mark would be facing the side that the end quote should be facing and vice-versa.
The author did an exceptional job at describing.  I could see everything in my mind very vividly.  However, this was also one of the downfalls.  I caught myself not being able to focus on the actual story because of the great description.  I personally prefer story over description.
The world building was also phenomenal.  Even though I myself didn't know anything other then what the girls explored.  What made it great was when the characters talked about other places, but only hinted of their existence.  It left me wanting to know what else there was in this world.  I can't wait to explore the rest of the world in the books to come.
All in all, Swords of the Six was a great book.  For being a self published book it has made quite a bit of sales and is a great addition to the bookshelf.  I am eagerly awaiting Offspring, the second book in the series, as well as the republishing of this book.

Also you can see the artwork for book two here-click image to make bigger.  To discuss the books, writing, or pretty much anything you can go to the forum here.  However, to prevent spamming and to keep the forum safe, you'll need to email Scott Appleton before registering.


Nathan R. Petrie said...

Seems like you enjoyed it :D

So your issues were: Italics, quotations, and too much details?

Italics is a personal preference and I don't remember that being an issue...but hey, I could be wrong lol

Quotations was an error not on the part of Mr. Appleton but that of the typesetter. I noticed that too lol

Description...I don't know where you're coming from. I found only the description needed presented and, like you, I loved it. Only It didn't distract me at ALL lol

I think it's one of the best fantasy books out there. Just saying ;) LOL

Seth said...

I realize it wasn't the authors fault with the quotations, but I'm reviewing the book, not the author :P I think it'll be fixed when its published with AMG-that's one of the things I can't wait to see with the republishing. That and the new cover, if they do a new one.

Italics is a personal preference, but, kind of like we were discussing on your blog, I've heard it both ways. For me it's kind of like adverbs in fiction-they're okay to have on rare occasions, but you have to be careful how much you use them.

Again, the description was kind of a preference. I'm really not sure if the description was even a problem, but for some reason I couldn't get into the book like I could with other books. Could be that I didn't have the time to sit down for a few hours at a time and thus couldn't take the actual time needed to get into the book. But, I kind of labeled that problem 'too much description' because it was the only thing I could think of that might be the reason. It may be the reason it may not, looking back I should have said that in the review lol.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

@Seth, just to make it clear. Telling isn't told both ways. It's always labelled as wrong. Italics, as we've said, is opinionated lol And adverbs (ly ones) are always considered a negative in descritpion.

But yeah, we can discuss writing rules later :P Awesome book :D

Seth said...

Telling isn't told both ways. True. In almost everything it's bad. But it's a rule to be broken. Seldom is it good to use telling, but it isn't something to get rid of altogether. Telling comes naturally, every writer has to fight it. You should always strive to show instead of telling, but if you really need to use telling you should use it rarely and intentionally. Meaning you should be in control of how you actually use telling.

Adverbs are also something that should almost always be avoided. Other then in actual dialogue-not the dialogue tags-I can't see a place where adverbs are okay, but I'm not going to rule them out.

Well, enough of my ranting lol. Perhaps we could continue on the SotS forum later. Like you said, awesome book.