Originally posted at Paris Carter
After the tree of arbor heart is stolen by water warriors who stormed out of the river, Anguis is put at the point of collapsing if the knights and lords of Heartwood, Laxony, and Wulfengar can’t team up together and get it back.
High fantasy and elves and knights swinging swords and slaying villages and dragons was all I used to read in middle school, but it could possibly be me growing up or I haven’t got into this novel. Heartwood is a high fantasy novel set around several knights as they are travelling to six nodes. The novel has all of the elements of an average fantasy novel, but it doesn’t attract me.
All of the several knights traveling to the nodes have traits and qualities that make each and every one of them unique and somewhat of their own characters. Each has a family and either been married or hasn’t, but all of the characters' dialogue are harshly written. All of their dialogue seems to be unrealistic and over used. The story is also told switching from character to character as they journey to each of the nodes making it even harder to understand, remember, and connect to every character, but I still walked away with a few favorite characters like Chonrad, Procella, and
The length is another problem the novel is stretched into an epic long novel, when it could’ve been compressed into a way shorter novel. I found myself struggling to stay interested in the boring no action love scene after love scene. Having romance in a fantasy novel is something new and cool, but when it’s more about taking our armour off and having sex instead of swords drawn ready for battle at any moment.
But despite its flaws, the world of Anguis actually seems interesting to learn more about in the second novel. We learn about the Laxony and the Wulfengar, but what do any of their cities look like? What’s the climate? I would love to explore a more fully expressed Anguis world in the second novel. Book one is a great opening to the world, but it does need to be addressed more in book two, Sunstone.
I would only recommend this novel to readers who enjoy fantasy but also are interested in romance, and the plot hooked me well enough to go on to read the second novel, Sunstone expected to come out in March. Heartwood isn’t the best thing to hit the shelves of fantasy, but it’s also far from the worst. (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books-A-Million)