Title: The Wizard Lord
Author: Lawrence Watt-Evans
Series: The Annals of the Chosen #1
The Overview: The Wizard Lord’s duty is to keep the world in its delicate balance. He must govern lightly to protect his domain from power-hungry interlopers, such as certain wizards who previously fought to rule the world…But if the Wizard Lord himself strays from the way of the just, then it is up to the Chosen to intercede. The Chosen ones are the Leader, the Seer, the Swordsman, the Beauty, the Thief, the Scholar, the Archer, and the Speaker. Each are magically-infused mortal individuals who, for the term of their service, have only one function–to be available to remove an errant Wizard Lord, whether by persuasion or by stronger means. Breaker, a young man of ambition, has taken the mantle of Swordsman from its former bearer who wished to retire. Never did he realize that he would be called to duty so quickly, or that the balance of power in his world would be so precarious. He had a duty to perform. A world to save. So why does he still have doubts…not just about himself, but about the entire balance of power?
As the writer of my all time favorite Dragon series, The Obsidian Chronicles, Lawrence Watt-Evans had never failed to entertain me in the half a dozen books I’ve read from him so far. In fact, I liked him so much that I immediately went out and purchased every book he had on the market at the time – an impulse I have not yet regretted…Until now.
I have to say, for such a fantastic idea for a book, this one took a lot of time to get going. A hundred pages in, the main conflict of the story was finally hinted at… Although I don’t know that I would’ve been able to pick it out had I not read the back of the book. There was a lot of speculation and back-and-forth questioning by the main protagonist, which built great character right up front, but I think it could have been edited down a little bit without losing any of its impact. That said, it was still interesting and engaging even though not much was happening other than personal growth and discovery. I always appreciate authors who can take ordinary, everyday events and make them interesting to read about.
Then after that first hundred pages, when he finally got on the road I thought “great – now the story really begins!” The trouble is, it kind of didn’t. Sure, he was visiting new places for the first time, but it seemed like in every place he just rehashed everything that had been pounded into us before he even left on the journey. Not to mention that most of the scenes didn’t seem to add anything to the overall arc of the story. I’m a little sad to admit that I got a little bored reading it – and that saying something considering I just finished Prophecy by Elizabeth Haydon (One of the most long-winded books I’ve ever read… But still strangely amazing).
I have been working really hard to live by the motto that “life is too short to read boring books” and finally decided to put it down. This was a difficult decision considering how dazzled I’ve been with his works in the past, but I’m to a point where I have so many great books just begging to be read that I will not force myself to finish anything I’m not enjoying.
Recommended Reading: although I found this great conceptually, it came across uneventful and repetitive. I really can’t see myself recommending it, and have figured out why it went out of print so quickly. I will, however, stand behind my recommendations of The Obsidian Chronicles as my all-time favorite Dragon series – which happens to be coming back in print January 2014!
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