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Army of Misfits, by Crystalwizard
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ancient Tomes Press
Published: 2008
Review Posted: 2/3/2009
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Army of Misfits, by Crystalwizard

Book Review by Paul Weiss

Have you read this book?

Our ragtarmy army reaches Yaybar's mountain stronghold!

Dale is a man in trouble, stranded, lost and seriously out of place - transported through a galactic space warp and marooned on Earth by means and enemies unknown! He is worried to discover that his sophisticated, technologically advanced tools and weaponry, normally capable of modifying and controlling the people and the environment around him are now undependable, inconsistent and frequently out of commission entirely. But the tools that he does have and his charismatic force of personality are sufficient to gather around him a ragtag collection of misfits that seem to have also lost their place in the world - a thief bent on reform and self-improvement, an "animal-whisperer" who dropped out of the local wizard's college, the spoiled son of a baron, a demon held in thrall by a sorcerer's spell who can't seem to stay out of trouble and the runaway pacifist son of a cutthroat murderer.

As Dale and his strange fellowship fight for their lives against Gorgs that, time and again, materialize out of nowhere to attack them, (think really mean, really ugly and really powerful ogres - big brutes with a serious attitude problem) they come to the realization that the entire world is under attack by a magical force that survived the Wizard's War thought to have ended over fifty thousand years earlier. The world's only hope for survival against an impending all-out attack rests with Dale's technological know-how reaching the King of Yaybar. But his path is blocked by an impenetrable mountain range, a magical force field and some pretty powerful science and technology in the bargain!

In my review of "Wizards and Wanderers", Book 3 of The Sojourn Chronicles, I criticized Crystalwizard for allowing the plot to become mired in the mud on the road to Yaybar where, presumably, Dale and his cohorts were still destined for (but no closer to) their encounter with the evil Gorg. Happily, Book 4 seems to have resolved that issue. While the plot still has two more novels to run to completion, happy readers will see plenty of action and snappy dialogue as they actually move toward their date with destiny. Look for plenty of growth in the depth of your favourite characters and a return to that fascinating blend of science and fantasy that was begun in Book 1 but rather ignored through Books 2 and 3. Perhaps most charming of all, you'll bask in lots of that warm, pastoral, descriptive style with which Crystalwizard is fast establishing a reputation as a skilled narrator. How's this for homespun simplicity combined with razor sharp clarity?

"Morning tiptoed into the camp and tickled Aerline on the nose. She squeezed herself awake and yawned. A thin stream of sunlight spilled through the branches, trickling down to pool on the ground beside her. She regarded it for a moment, glanced up at the sky and groaned as she struggled to sit up. "Why does morning have to pick on me?"."

Heartily recommended for young adult or young at heart lovers of epic fantasy. Good job, Crystalwizard.

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