Review: Cedric of RoseThorn: Book One ~ S. Thomas Kaza

Ismael BeldaAfter a near fatal encounter with Death, Cedric wakes to find his castle abandoned, his people scattered, and enemies at the gates. The world he once knew has been turned upside down. And he is now hunted by the very outlaws he once hunted.

But Cedric is a man of RoseThorn. Not only is he resourceful and a warrior of the first class, but he is also heir to the noble values of his ancestors. Determined to keep RoseThorn alive as the last hope for the weak and outcast, Cedric rescues the few survivors he can find and brings them back to his castle.

Therein begins Cedric’s long struggle to outsmart an army of bandits and their charismatic leader, Luther, while trying to make sense of the ghosts from his past. As the story reaches its climax, Cedric begins to get an inkling of a traitor in his midst. But can he uncover the truth in time to save his castle and his people?

3 Thumbs-Up

This book is the Authors first full length novel, and the first in the RoseThorn series.

The Author is off to a good start with this series, as the character development and making sure the reader will come to care about the main lead start with the very first page.  The main character is well written and extremely well thought out; he is resourceful and able to think on his feet with no apparent problems.  He is the epitome of a man of his rank in those times, treating those beneath him with the contempt born of his rank.  His ‘peasants’ are not his friends; they are a means to an end for his estate to produce the money necessary to carry out whatever acts he chooses.  Although he treats them more kindly than most, and as the book progresses, his attitude towards them does change it does not make the book any less believable.  Most of the other characters in the book have also been well-developed, but not so much as to overshadow our main character.  They are well-characterised enough for the reader to be able to discern one from another, without the Author having to write a brief ‘this is how they met’ line whenever they appear.

From the descriptive segments of this novel, it is apparent that the Author has done some research on the period of time in which he sets his work.  The description of the castle reminded me very much of the layout of Warwick Castle in England, and I found myself being able to walk the corridors as I read these parts.  This carried on outside the walls of the castle and into the world that the Author was creating as he keeps tight control over his fictional land and all those that live in it.  A plus point for the writing skills of the Author is that he keeps the same type of capitalization found in the title, and carries it through to numerous other locations that we visit whilst reading.  This gave the book a real sense of continuity and flow.

Unfortunately, where this book falls down is in the proofreading and editing stages, not the writing style as can be the case. There were several grammatical errors and questionable sentence structures which a good proof-reader and/or editor should have picked up on.   Some readers may not notice these issues but others may find it distracting and disappointing and, for me, it actually took away from what was a good and enjoyable read; it is also the reason behind my rating this novel as I have.

This is a great read that gives the imagination free rein and I would recommend it to any and all readers from teens upwards.  Because of the inclusion of some violence and swearing, I am hesitant to recommend it to anyone younger.  Anyone who likes a good fantasy novel, mystery or a book with some historical content I am sure you would find this to your taste.  I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

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