Review: Pool of Souls ~ Cheryl Landmark

Pool of Souls.On the world called Regalis, the domains are ruled by kings and queens and mages wield great power. Queen Saranor, ruler of the Janix domain, is no longer content with reigning solely over her own queendom. She has become insanely greedy and ambitious and, with the help of the powerful mage, Nostrimus, and a soul-killing talisman called the Pool of Souls, she sets out on a brutal, bloody campaign to rule all of Regalis. Her bid for world dominance, however, is challenged by a rebellion led by General Darnellis Viadon, the former commander of her troops.

After her brother leaves their small hometown to join the general’s rebellion, twenty-two year old Cazlina Narzin decides to follow in his footsteps and enlist in the army as well. But, once away from the safety and isolation of Rothtown in the company of her loyal companion, Miris, Cazlina soon discovers that the battle zeal and passion she harbors to help rid the world of the renegade queen may not be enough to protect her from the danger and evil threatening her world.

3 Thumbs-UpThis novel is the Authors second fantasy novel, and the first she has self-published.

The main protagonist appears as soon as the book is opened and, unfortunately, I really didn’t find anything about her to like at all.  Yes, she is spirited and feisty but the way in which she was written just left her feeling a little flat to me.  Some readers may find her trait of continually sniping at people to be endearing but in the end, for me, it just became annoying.  Unfortunately this is not the first in a series; everything begins and ends in this one novel, so the main character has no chance of changing in future books.  Character development as a whole in this book though is well handled, and this helps the storyline along in a fast paced and exciting way.  The Author did a very good job of writing into the novel strong female characters and men who, well they were just there to serve as a back-drop to the women.  Again, and unfortunately, I really didn’t like any of them enough to care for them even though I was hoping this would change as I continued reading.

There is magic of all varieties in the book, and younger readers would find this an enjoyable read because of this.  The location descriptions and scene setting were written with a skilled hand, and during the battle scenes I found myself becoming more engrossed with this book, and that kept me reading until the end.  There were a few proofreading errors which didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this book; and despite my dislike of the main protagonist, I did enjoy reading this book just not as much as I had hoped.  There is something about this book, and the way in which it is written that keeps you on your toes.  The Author constantly has something happening, although at times this can feel like overload, but the way the novel was laid out I felt it was a necessary part of the read as stopping the action to cover something else and later returning to it would have really detracted from the overall feel the book was aiming for.

If this book were to become, at some point in the future, the first in a series, I think I would read the remainder to see how the main character develops and grows.  Until then I would recommend this to younger readers and those looking for an easy fantasy read that doesn’t require too much thought.