Friday, July 17, 2009
Son of a Legend: The Sablestone, Volume Zero of the Everstar Saga [To be followed by the prequel, Volume Negative One: Son of a Bitch.]
Conleth is a gruff, roguish man who is universally known as The Son of Aerthir Everstar, a great hero of the bygone age. [I tend to think of the "bygone age" as when Beowulf was written, not one generation ago.] Conleth dislikes being known only as the son of his father [Is this guy based on Evil Junior?] and embarks on many "heroic" ventures in order to make a name for himself. With time, these ventures degrade into no more than mercenary work and tyrant-heckling. [Tyrants strike me as the type who don't take heckling well. That plus their access to torture squads may explain why I got zero hits when I Googled "tyrant heckling".] [By tomorrow I should be getting one hit.] Throughout it all, he is accompanied by Imbria, his childhood best friend. The story opens with the two of them completing a mission to dissuade a despotic lord from encroaching on the lands of other nobles. [The poor have Robin Hood fighting for them; the rich have Conleth the Gruff.] Afterward, they flee the country as outlaws and go to Anassia, where they will be safe.
Anassia’s King Zorren then summons them to a banquet in honor of Conleth and his father. At the banquet, Conleth nearly gets into a brawl with a noble named Lord Adarik, disturbing the banquet. [We're halfway into paragraph 2 and our main character finally does something: disturbs some diners. Have you considered writing a book about Aerthir Everstar?] Zorren punishes them by [It takes a lot of gall to punish someone for almost getting into a brawl at a banquet you were staging to honor him.] sending them on a perilous quest to find a beneficent talisman called the Sablestone. Conleth and Imbria find themselves at odds with Adarik, who constantly makes a fool of himself. In the city of Pali, the halfway mark of their journey, Conleth is reunited with his fiancée, Queen Shonda. This causes tension with Imbria, who feels that Conleth mistrusted her by not telling her of the engagement and abandons him. [Imbria's a woman? What else haven't you told us? Is Adarik a chimpanzee?] [Actually, I recommend making Adarik a chimpanzee.]
When Conleth arrives at the mountain pass leading to the stone’s location, Conleth is attacked by two demons. [You got something against pronouns?] After holding his own for a while, he is mysteriously helped by none other than Imbria, who [conveniently] never really left. Once they reach the stone’s resting place, [Resting place usually means grave or cemetery.] all is revealed. Conleth and Imbria were deceived. Adarik is actually a clever sorcerer in Zorren’s service and the Sablestone is in reality a giant dragon egg which he intends to use in a war against Shonda’s empire. [What's he gonna do, egg her castle?] Conleth, Imbria, and some ragtag tribesmen are then engaged in battle against Adarik, his apprentice, Joannavitch [(AKA Janet Evanovitch)], and Zorren's army. They are assisted at the last moment by Queen Shonda, who [conveniently] suspected such treachery. After defeating Adarik [and an entire army], Conleth and the group marches [march] back to Anassia and ousts [oust] King Zorren. [They just march in and oust a king? Oh, right, they've already destroyed the king's army.] As the story ends, Conleth, finally at peace with his father’s legacy, marries Shonda. [No, no, he has to marry Imbria. Trust me.] Just before settling down, he, with help from Imbria, [a mysterious stranger named] Tafar, Shonda, and a mysterious stranger named Gabriel, organize a fraternity called the Knights Telessar to carry on the legacy of Aerthir Everstar.
It's a little strange to have mysterious strangers show up on the last page. It's like you're watching The Wizard of Oz and at the end the exposed fraud wizard has just given the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion their diploma, testimonial and medal, and Dorothy asks for a ride home and the Wizard says, "I'll get to you in a minute, but first I'd like to present Claude the Mannequin with this inscribed pair of tweezers," and you're thinking, Who?
Synopses tend to be boring, but this feels too much like a list of stuff that happens. It would be more interesting if it felt like a story.
For some reason I find the name Conleth annoying. Possibly because it sounds like a normal name being spoken by someone with two speech impediments. I challenge the minions to come up with better names for all of your characters.