Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Liberator's Ruin by P J Johns

Definitely NOT Star Wars
Review by The Mole

In a world at war, three people hold the fate of an entire country in their hands.

Nathaniel An’Rieyr is the captain of the airship Storm Brother and profiteer extraordinaire. He dreams of making his fortune in the lucrative southern trade routes. But to achieve that, he will need to get involved in a war he has made a career of avoiding.

As the last surviving member of the Illysian Royal Family, the war is all Anna has left. The Rhivellian Empire took her family, her throne and her country. Unable to compete against the might of the Rhivellian war machine, Anna enacts a plan to retrieve a mighty artefact from a long forgotten Age. With it, she will finally have the power to reclaim her kingdom; a goal for which she will sacrifice anyone, even her closest ally.

Thomas Ras’Kar, High Inquisitor of the Rhivellian Empire, has been sent to Illum in disgrace, where he will be forced to contend with the incompetent Thane Charles. Three years of occupation has seen the city’s populace cowed and the Thane’s interest turned to his own pleasures. A fate worse than death for a man of honour and action such as Thomas. But the Princess is returning to Illum, and she may be the key to his redemption.

When I started to read this book - one of the last e-books we agreed to review I would stress - my immediate impression was 'Star Wars'. But because I was deep in several other books at the time I put it to one side and it had to wait - being an e-book an' all. And wait. And it waited 9 months until we went away and I thought I would take it with us. It wasn't long before the Star Wars impression melted into the background and was replaced by a feeling that perhaps the motivations of the characters, that bore that resemblance, were being portrayed more realistically than the fairy tale. In fact the reality of their motivations makes this adult reading. Yes, there is a non-gratuitous sex scene and I'm afraid it's not of literary quality, but it is important that it's in there.

I quickly came across a lot of poor editing which was also mentioned in reviews on Amazon. I have encountered this with a few self published books and always try to raise it with the author. I have not known an author take this badly and Johns had already taken this on board in producing a better copy which he forwarded. From then on the edit was MUCH improved and am happy to put aside the early edits. (I did check a few to make sure they had been picked up - there were a few howlers.)

In reviews on Amazon some people expressed disappointment with the end... well I want to go on record and say I loved it! The ending brought real justice as I saw it and I would not want to see it changed at all!

I was trying to explain the plot to my wife who replied "Oh, Star Wars as it SHOULD have been written?". Well maybe. But I did thoroughly enjoy this book and would recommend it to lovers of science fantasy. I read it using the world's worst method of e-reading, yet I looked forward to picking it up again and again.

Publisher - Self published
Genre - Adult Science Fantasy

Buy Liberator's Ruin from Amazon's Kindle store

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