Good ideas, definitely (if on the typical fantasy tropes side), though not always executed in a way that would really emphasise their worth.Nevertheless, it's good to see a novel whose characters all have their own, often touching background stories, and whose journeys to save the world are also addled with very human relationships.
After a while, it felt as if part of the cast of characters was given more prominence over the others.However, this bunch of people gathered through circumstances must go through its own issues of trust, friendship and love, and a sense of duty isn't always enough to keep things going smoothly—far from it. Everyone in the group has at least one person of interest s/he wants to follow, for various reasons, and this creates a good dynamics.However, at times, I found the narrative lacking in showing this very dynamics.Occasionally it shows up in Fantasy works as well, usually as the personal guard of a wealthy and powerful ruler.In a Bishoujo Series, they are probably the main characters, their existence in this case due to the Improbably Female Cast policy. Expect some degree of Ho Yay, especially if they are kept isolated from men. If the entire world is an Amazon Brigade instead of a single squad, then you have a World of Action Girls.There’s been a big resurgence these days of the sword and sorcery subgenre in Fantasy.
A lot of hack and slash amidst very personal settings and plots, where the characters are just handling their own issues, and the fate of the world isn’t really hanging in any balance.
It lends a great sense of scale to a story, knowing that serious events of world import are happening.
As I mentioned in my intro above the fold, it really hearkens back to The Lord of the Rings or Dragonlance’s The Chronicles.
Maybe their relationship will be developed in the next book, but I thought it would've been interesting to see more of it here, because of how Litnig saw it, and how it might have affected his own evolution. He wasn't so much the oaf he seemed to be, and the story didn't want for opportunities of making him turn towards the dark side, so to speak.)Another issue for me was the pacing.
Granted, I must admit I'm not always keen on the traveling parts in fantasy novels in general (yes, even in widely acclaimed novels), but I don't know if this was what caused the problem in the first place.
A dream of moving statues, shattered chains, and seething clouds of darkness sets the brothers on a journey into Litnig Jin has spent his life yearning for the power to weave the souls of the dead into magic.