I first fell in love with Adele’s artwork back in 2000-2001, and originally read The Rover’s Cripple waaaay back when she first wrote it (and when it was a Legend of Zelda fanfic, no less! She has since changed plenty of details, so this is now an original work).
Now that I’m older and learning how to really critique books, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s a great fantasy book with some decent world building, a good story, and lovable characters. The characterization was well done, the conflict well built. It may have been a bit slow-paced at times, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was boring.
I did feel that Adele’s writing style wasn’t quite refined in this book. There are some inconsistencies with word choice as to how she refers to horses in the narrative (usually ‘it’, but sometimes ‘he/she’); and the POV seems to fluctuate between a third person limited POV and an omniscient POV. We get some snippets or glimpses inside the characters’ heads; but it jumps around from one character to another without scene breaks. Those scene breaks that were there also suffered from some inconsistencies – sometimes marked with asterisks, and sometimes with just extra spacing.
Adele also loves her exclamation points and commas, both a bit too much in my opinion – especially exclamation points, as they can very easily come off cheesy when used in narrative.
Still, I did enjoy the ride and getting to know these characters and their world. I would love to read the next one in the series, Saberondan, but it’s pretty difficult to get ahold of since the author took both her novels down years ago, so they are both out of print. 😞 I’m lucky I got my hands on this one! – Anne ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I have waited for some years now to get my hands on a copy of Adele’s novel and have finally read it. I’m so grateful that I got that chance.
I have to say that I do love the fantasy world the author has built. Its geography is fascinating, its people are enjoyable, and the conflict and plot are interesting.
The Legend of Zelda games have been a huge part of my life and my teen years…and so, while this is where this story had its beginnings, it is now an original work of fiction.
A few style things I did not like when reading this book include: inconsistent use of contractions (as part of the characterization, some characters will jump back and forth with usage and it really started to throw me off), Shion (sometimes – I know she’s a princess but boy can she be a bratty character at times!), too many exclamation marks in the narrative, and abrupt scene breaks without formatting for said break.
I also came to the realization that I really don’t like the trope that your blood determines what you’re destined for – I’m not sure if this is a huge trope in fantasy (but I would imagine it certainly is when royalty, nobility, and peasantry are involved!) and I would really like to read a work in which this is turned on its head.
That all said, I did enjoy reading this one! The words for metals, animals, and races in this series are creative and intriguing. Also, after reading this, I really felt an urge to go trek across a natural landscape and maybe even camp some!
The cover artwork is by the author herself, and she is an extremely skilled artist. We are fortunate enough to have an amazing sketch of two of our earliest original characters from Adele. (Which is a huge, huge joy to have!)
It’s a little hard to find a copy of this book as the author took it out of print along with the second book in the series, so we were lucky to finally obtain it.
On my bucket list for rare, hard to attain books is Adele’s second book, Saberondan. So if you ever feel compelled to send this book to me – THANK YOU!! – Jake ⭐️⭐️⭐️