Legacy of Bones by Kirk Dougal | Book Review
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Children found with the gift of magic are taken from their families and trained at the Sacara Institute. The Crimsons travel from town to town testing children. If a child even has the smallest inclination towards magic, they are bound and locked in cages to be transported to their new life. And if a family dares to intervene they are brutally beaten. When Keely, past the age of testing, shows a gift for healing magic, the family she resides with gives her up to the Crimsons. Meanwhile, her brother Gera journeys home after finishing his apprenticeship as a blacksmith, to discover his sister has been taken. Together, he and his brother Dax will hunt down the Crimsons that took their sister and discover there is much more at stake than the lives of one woman.
Legacy of Bones starts off a bit slow, taking time to build up the plot and characters. But readers will find the extra attention spent on the finer details is well spent. There are a lot of pieces at play, between backstories, politics, and hidden motivations. Together all of these elements create an entertaining story filled with sibling tension, haunted pasts, and startling revelations. This first novel lays down the foundation of a truly epic story for many books to come.
But even with the attention to detail, there were some parts of the story that didn’t quite line up. From the start, Dax is introduced as a troubled character. His backstory is built to showcase his guilt and the alcohol he uses to drown it out. He overcompensates when he is sober and makes some pretty poor decisions. He grows increasingly irate and angry as the story progresses. And up until his final defining moment I was on board for this character development. The combination of guilt and alcohol can make a person do horrible things, but his final appearances in the first novel left me confused and wondering what I may have missed. I also felt that there were a few groundbreaking moments mentioned in the later sections of the story that could have used a heavier build up even if it may have slowed the story a bit after the initial world-building.
However, Kirk Dougal created a story filled with political tension that kept pace with the main plot. Politics in a fantasy world can lead a story into lulls as armies mobilize and back door deals take away from the main focus of a story. Not in Legacy of Bones. In between the story of Gera, Dax, and Keely, there are chapters dedicated to building the antagonists of the story. Readers will witness the cruel nature of the Crimsons and the lengths they will go to achieve their ultimate goals. And while the readers may not fully realize what those goals are just yet, the situations the Crimsons create and partake in show the readers something evil is looming on the horizon.
There is so much at work in the background of this novel and so many different paths this story can take. Give this book a try if you enjoy the dark fantasy genre and novels that slowly reveal hidden histories and truths.
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