Monday, August 8, 2011

Novel Spotlight: City of Prophecy by Peter J. Dudek

Hey everyone! Welcome to the new reviews I'll be doing--the Novel Spotlight. Since I began posting a book review every week over at the Magical Ink Bookshelf, I wanted to keep this spot open for indie-published or self-published books I think merit a lot of attention. So, welcome to the first Spotlight, City of Prophecy by Peter J. Dudek!

Storyline: Tarin is a shy boy who would rather sneak around and listen to gossip through windows than speak with or touch his fellow villagers. Quite unwillingly, he befriends Sarky, the son of Woodend's gatekeeper, and his adventures begin.

Two strangers--warriors--arrive in Woodend. Tarin--and only Tarin--sees dark, smoky, cloaked figures skulking around the village, though Sarky throws up if he gets too close to them. The banished governor is rumored to return, and the people's dislike of the current governor, Willerdon, grows.

And finally, another stranger arrives--Gildareth, herald from the long-absent King of Arvalast. The country is in danger. The people's faith is waning, and their Illumina--phials of pure, holy light given to believers by the King--are loosing their light. Some are even turning red, overtaken by a weird usurper who claims to be the true King. Evil beings stalk the land, seeking to destroy the King and his followers.

And Tarin, Sarky, and Governor Willerdon's family are in the middle of the conflict.

My Thoughts: I unexpectedly won this book in a contest. When I received it in the mail, I was struck by the cover art--it was a very cool, well-done picture. That was my first clue that this book was a cut above most of the self-published stuff out there.

Then I opened it and started reading. It took me a little bit, but I was sucked into the story.

A few things may seem to echo The Lord of the Rings--shadowy beings, phials of light--but the further I got into the story, the more I saw the differences. There are some sticky spots of stilted dialog, draggy action, or omniscient pov, but those are few.

Much of the story is amazing. The characters are fun and quirky, the description well-placed, the action exciting even without many fight scenes in the first half or so of the book. What at first seems to be a straight-forward plot soon evolves into something epic in proportions, with multiple storylines and lots of characters.

And the best part? Nothing objectionable, yet still a fabulous story. This book doesn't read like a normal first-time author's book.

Peter Dudek has woven a skillful, amazing story in City of Prophecy. As soon as I finished it, I got on his website and checked for the second one--What? Not out yet?!? When??? :) I'd definitely recommend it!

Rating: Five out of five stars

Be sure to visit next week to see my interview with Peter Dudek!

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