Author: V. R. Cardoso
Genre: High Fantasy
Length: 78 Pages
Publication: October 2014
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review
This novella begins by throwing you directly in the action of the story. Enrig, a fourteen year old boy, wants to venture above his underground home with a group of Watchers. The Watchers are watching for dragons. Enrig's real goal is to become a Runner. The Runner's travel on the surface from place to place, evading the dragons as they go. It can be a lonely life, but also full of adventure.
It was great being thrown right into the story. I often wish that full length novels would do this more. Sometimes it can be too slow getting into the world and the setting, but here we're thrown right in and introduced to the world right away. For a novella of this length it was a necessity, but it also worked really well and grabbed my attention. Sometimes too slow of a buildup can leave me wanting more.
The main bulk of the story follows Enrig as he embarks on a quest with a group of Runners fronted by Captain Targon. We witness fights among the Runners, attacks by dragons, and overall adventure. It has a nice Lord of the Rings feel to the adventure and some elements similar to The Hobbit, particularly in reference to the dragons and their lairs and attacks. I really liked these similarities. It wasn't a copy of another story, but rather pulled elements from some great works that are still loved today.
The main drawback for me in this story was that I felt I never became attached to the characters. Probably due to the length of the story, the development of the characters meant that none of them were able to reach their full potential. This left me without much connection to any of the characters. The story would be more powerful if I had been able to become more fully invested.
I did really enjoy reading this and look forward to future stories set in this world. The ending was somewhat surprising and a nice twist. I highly recommend this to lovers of the fantasy genre.