Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Wings of Twilight by Hans Cummings

Wings of Twilight by Hans Cummings
Series: The Foundations of Drak-Anor #1
Published by N/A
Pages: 247
Genre: Fantasy
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It was a typical day for the crusader Lord Strom Lightbringer, killing draks, stamping out wickedness, and making the world a better place for the righteous. During the course of his crusade, he discovered the location of the fabled Twilight Dungeon, a den of evil shrouded in mystery. No one ever returned from that vile place, so no one knew what lay within. With purpose, Strom and his companions set off to meet their destinies.

It was a typical day for Sarvesh, the demonic-looking leader of the Twilight Dungeon's defenders, enjoying beer at the pub, flirting with a snake-haired woman, and dealing with invaders to their home. An exceptional goblin proved to be a harbinger of coming changes, and he found his easy life turned upside down. (from goodreads)

Sometimes those fighting evil were just as bad as those purporting to be evil.

I've really got mixed feelings on this book. I do like the idea behind it. Basically, it is a role reversal version of a typical dungeon crawl style adventure. The brave human warriors, out to rid the world of evil, are now the bad guys while the vile monsters are really just creatures that want to be left in peace.

That's all good, but there was little wiggle room beyond that for the villains and heroes to move in. If the story pegged you as one, that's what you were and I was really hoping the line would be blurred - where each character had good and bad aspects and they all lived in that grey area. There were no subtle clues whether someone was a good guy or a bad guy. In fact, this story has all the subtlety of a jackhammer.

During the first introduction of our human, Strom, he shows misogynistic tendencies, and eventually proves himself to be a racist and pretty much deserving death. Honestly, I had hoped that this book really would blur the lines like it promised, but the lines in this book were as clear cut as they are in most fantasy novels - it's just that the groups stand on different sides of the line.

On a final note, I do know that this was a self-published book, but I really wish the author would have gotten himself a good editor. There were several times when I had to reread a description of something because it made no sense at all, as well as there being a handful of grammar mistakes and capitalization errors that - even for someone like me - were easy to pick up on.