Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Obsidian Key - Eldon Thompson


When Soric, an insidious and conquering sorcerer, declared war on Alson less than a year earlier, Jarom was forced into a birthright he had never asked for. Torn from his quiet life as the Farson of Diln, he soon found himself floundering as the new king following his father's brutal assassination. Jarom's quest to defeat Soric and an awakened demon queen from a bygone age drove him to seek out the fabled Crimson Sword, the magic of which promised to be Alson's salvation. But the talisman was more than just hidden away and served as a key, locking a more dangerous enemy than anyone could imagine in the astral plane they come from.

The Illysp rose on mass when Jarom took the Crimson Sword and began, in secret, a new invasion of Pentania. It is not long before the new king learns of the Illysp and he embarks upon a dangerous quest to the distant shores of Yawacor. Legends say that the remnants of Finlorians, elves who are ancient and wise in the use of magic, fled to the most inexcessible regions of the far continent after their civilisation on Pentania collapsed. The Finlorians, who had once pervailed over the Illysp and locked them away. Jarom must find them if he is to save his country and friends. He must speak with their elders and learn their dearest secrets,

The Good
The Obsidian Key is fast-paced and exciting, being full of the same gripping danger and strife that made The Crimson Sword so exhilarating. Many of the enemies Jarom made in the first book resurface and Eldon Thompson has managed to end many of the story arcs that were left open in favour of new ones that should develop interestingly.

The Bad
Once again, Jarom's character was one of the worst things about the book and he was understanding and docile to the point that it wasn't plausible or reflective of real life. No matter what happened to him, he never became angry or hurt over events or betrayals and worked things through logically so he could emphasise with that person. Even the nicest and wisest people in real life aren't that understanding and forgiving, which added an unbelievability to an already bland character, Furthermore, it rendered Jarom's acts of violence slighty absurd when he suddenly dove into battle and began hacking down enemies left, right and centre.

As in the series first book, The Obsidian Key is full of extremely stereotypical villains and cheesy mannerisms. They 'snicker' and 'smirk' over the 'evil' things they do at every chance, which, again, is slightly unrealistic. Criminals in real life commit crimes and hurt people because it works to benefit them in whatever way, rarely because they enjoy being 'evil.' A man doesn't 'smirk' and 'snicker' when he robs or store or shoots someone dead, and I find it a bit unplausible when Thompson's antagonists do this.

My Thoughts
Overall though, The Obsidian Key was a good read and was a nice instalment to The Legend of Asahiel. I enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to finishing the trilogy in The Divine Talisman sometime soon.

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