Heroes of Aldrizhon: A Novella
With a fantasy world underlaid by elements of Roman Britain, Heroes of Aldrizhon mixes mages, villains, and a dethroned Crown Prince in a seemingly doomed counter-rebellion.
While this novella had a lot of strong elements in the underlying plot, I felt that it suffered from a certain lack of plausibility in some areas, most notably a truly remarkable ‘Hail Mary’ save at the end when the family mage reveals at the last possible moment that there’s a fortified castle easily in reach of the Prince’s beleaguered forces; it’s in good repair but totally unknown to anyone except the mage and the old king; and better yet, it’s invisible. Slaughter of the good guys miraculously averted.
From a more technical perspective, the point of view skipped around from third to first to omniscient, which occasionally forced me to stop and reset where I was in the story. The scenes also displayed a startling number of adjectives, which along with the occasional editorial error, contributed to my difficulties in staying in the flow of the plot. The characters’ motivations were a little too much explained, which may also have contributed to why they didn’t come across to me as particularly relatable. It may have been a side-effect of that use of the omniscient point of view, but I felt that a little more work on the characters could have allowed them to show their feelings, rather than having them explained. However, I do have say that the author managed the novella-length choice very well; the story fit well into the selected book length, and didn’t feel rushed or abruptly cut off.