Title: The Forgotten War
Author: Howard Sargent
Genre: Epic, Fantasy
Rating: 4 Star
For ten years the people of eastern Tanaren have known nothing but war, a war to which there seems to be no end in sight. Now, however, things may be about to change. Pitched into the heart of the conflict are four people: Morgan, a veteran warrior charged with an important mission; Cheris, a gifted but wayward sorceress called from her exile on a remote island; Ceriana Hartfield, a noblewoman whose marriage is pre-empted by a chance discovery on a beach; and Cygan, a man from the desolate marshes seeking aid against a merciless foe. Between them, could they hold the key to ending this deadly conflict? But at what cost? This extraordinary epic is a gripping, searing tale of the ugliness of war and the dangers of power.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I had the pleasure of receiving this book ahead of the publication date from the publishing company in exchange for a honest review.
I don’t know what I expected going into this book. Because of the size I was actually really quite scared of it. If the book was not to my liking, it was going to be torturous to get through it. I was however very surprised at how much I loved it!
I have mentioned before in a feral friday article of mine how I feel about epic length books. I more often than not feel like im trapped within the pages, that no matter how much I read that I will always be reading this book till the end of time because I don’t like to just give up on a read. In the beginning of this book I actively didn’t look at how long my kindle thought it was going to take me to read it (I think it was 40+ hours) but I didn’t need to avoid the time for long. Within a couple of pages I was swept up in the story and really invested in everything that was happening. I didn’t notice I was still reading the book until weeks later and I had about 10 hours left in the book and by then it hardly mattered! The end was just days away, and you could feel it in the story as well.
The plot of the story follows a couple of main characters which you are introduced to over time, and then the further you get into the story they break off and form their own stream the story which often lead to getting introduced and reading from the perspective of yet another protagonist, and then you also get perspectives of the antagonists thrown in there as well. It was very Game of Thrones like in the way you have a heap of people to keep up with, and not all of them had easy names to remember or even pronounce (I serious issues wondering how to pronounce some, the names ended up silent words for me cause I couldn’t for the life of me do the names correctly), but all that being said I found it a lot easier to keep up with them all because of the very gradual way they were introduces. You associated certain people to certain main characters and that main character to a certain section/location/plot point in the story. It made it easier to keep track of where I was in this really seemingly giant world.
As I was reading the entire time I was trying to piece together were all of these characters are, predict how some of their stories would cross over, and how each of their stories would effect the other! They are all connected and it was really fun working it all out in my head.
It made me laugh multiple times, and at others I just couldnt even fathom what was happening because I didn’t want to believe that it was happening. I was never brought close to tears though.It throws you a number of curve balls you didn’t see coming, and gives you things you were just begging for. It was also pretty graphic in some areas, specially battle. Letting you know in detail how someone died or suffered.
I loved pretty much all of the protagonists we were introduced to and felt a good hatred for all the antagonists. And being a women, I really enjoyed the fact that lots of the female characters we were introduced to totally rocked! Considering the era they were in and how women are treated and supposed to act, they all totally kicked butt and I wouldnt have want to make any of them angry because then I would feel their wrath.
Ceriana was probably my favourite to read about, though im not going to say why. At times while reading her story I had great urges to stop reading and go and pain the scene which was put into my head, but that would mean I would have to wait to find out what happened next, so I suppressed them for a later date (can you guess what I will be doing when I am done writing this review?). Next on equal footing would probably have to be Cheris, Morgan, and Syalin. Syalin probably would have gotten higher is there was just more of her in the book. She doesnt pop up until you are already a good way through. Cheris is just awesome cause she was born with awesome mage powers and her story is just in generally really interesting, though she did tend to whine a bit. Morgan was great too, you can just feel his honest and a mans got to do what a mans got to do kind of attitude. Very likeable and friendly. Oh and Itheya, basically princess of the elves. I wish her story had ended differently!
There was a downfall for me however in the overall story structure that I feel like I have to mention. Though once the character was mentioned I could instantly tell where I was and relate everything to that character, to me there wasn’t really a clear ‘voice’ I head in my head for each of them and they all just kind of blended together. This normally wouldnt be an issue because there would be a clear indication when we have switched characters, but my copy there was no such thing. Sometimes there wouldnt even be a gap or a chapter change and I would read on think I was still in one persons head and the suddenly find that I have no idea as to how I got to where the hell I was and had magically been put into someone else’s story without realising. As the story progress however I became more accustomed place names and thing people would be noticing and it eventually stopped happening (kind of). It was very disorientating! Though I assume some indication was put into the actual copies of the books, so I wouldnt be too concerned about that.
That last bit being ignored however, I hope to add this to my collection on my shelves rather than just my kindle, and have been trying to get others to read it so I can discuss the book with them. Really, who wouldnt like a story fill with mages, knights fighting bravely in battle, elves shrouded in mystery, legends of dragons, and not to mention a bunch of strong and deadly women! So yes, I suggest this book to anyone you enjoys fantasy and can handle it in epic size format, and anyone who likes to see strong female characters.