"Si vis pacem, para bellum." (if you want peace, prepare for war)
"Facilis descensus Averni." (the descent into hell is easy)
|Calasade: Blood Isle|
readers who are familiar with Mark Stone's previous works will welcome this latest Calasade book as the continent of Calasade bursts to life once more with all its excesses, intrigues, savagery, magic, bloodlust, greed, wealth and poverty.
Mark Stone's characters in this book are not exactly endearing ones but they are well-developed. each has a story to tell or a role to play in the world they inhabit - be it for good or evil.
for example, Caderyn, the main protagonist, is hardly the sort one would admire after what he has become due to alcohol abuse and guilt over his wife's death. his portrayal is so realistic. though he comes across as pathetic and hopeless, one could not help but feel sorry for him at times. without realizing it at first, Caderyn's quest for the missing Indrasena will be more than that - it is also a quest for personal healing and salvation as he wages a battle within himself and against the ghosts of his past.
later, we find out that Jana and Lepidus have secrets that will impact Caderyn's fate. Jacob, on the other hand, appears to be the most level-headed among the players.
while there is darkness and blood in the storyline, there is also romance squeezed in.
i have to admire as well the distinct language the author has developed for Calasade and its denizens. it is not an easy task to come up with. although, it may be challenging to read at times, it gets its message to the reader. the all too familiar smattering of Latin phrases may upset new readers but they can be understood well enough from the context of the dialogs and descriptions. of course, the ubiquitous illustrations are as good as ever.
all in all, another satisfying read that made me forget about the real world for a while.
lector caveat: do not be dissuaded from reaching the end. it may not be the ending you would expect but something happened and was being conveyed there. for me, it worked.
*Calasade: Blood Isle is available at Amazon in print and digital formats. for more information about Mark Stone and his work, please visit his website at www.authormarkstone.com
my personal rating is:
Calasade: Blood Isle contains material suitable for adult readers only.
Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a copy for review. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.