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Hunters’ Quest by Kasper Beaumont
Amazon Author Page
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to The Review Board by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Magical Reloria is under siege by scaly Vergai invaders by portal who have captured the Elven Jewel which creates their protective forcefield. These Vergai live across the western sea, and have fled with the elven princess.
Halfling friends, Randir and Fendi and their bond-fairies are members of a group of brave hunters on a quest to recover the stolen Elven Jewel. They must search for a mage who can make a portal to rescue the princess. They thought they knew what the quest would entail, but with an unexpected member and new enemies, not everything goes the way they had planned.
Their journey takes them to strange new places including the centaur lands, the gnomish inventors, the Great Elven Heart and the home of the dragons.
This unlikely group of men, a dragon, dwarves, halflings, fairies and an elf are known as the Hunters of Reloria.
Hello and welcome to The Review Board. Toady we are examining Hunters’ Quest by Kasper Beaumont. First up, Frederick Crook.
I have to start off by saying that my love of fantasy novels began and ended with J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” series. Just like my interest in the life of a mobster began and ended with “The Godfather” movies. Yes, that means I have no interest in “The Sopranos”, either. It has nothing to do with how well the series was done, I got the point with “The Godfather”.
So, I have to say that Kaspar Beaumont has done reasonably well with this book. I have not read any of the other books in the series, so I understand that perhaps I am at a disadvantage with my unfamiliarity with the characters or the dynamics of the world or worlds that he has created. I’m thinking that a lot more character development must have occurred in the other works, because a bit more background information and physical description was needed. On the other hand, I do understand that such things can detract from the story from a fan’s perspective.
The action sequences are well written and descriptive. I especially liked how the battle scene between the dragons and the giants was carried out. There was nothing over-the-top-gruesome about it while it maintained a good amount of detail so that the reader could follow the action. Besides the mentioning of blood and such things, this book can be read by anyone ten years of age and up, in my opinion.
I also liked the range of beings included in the book: Halflings with fairies, mountain men that transformed into dragons, dwarves, elves, cyclops and giants, etc. In that, the book was reminiscent of Tolkien’s works, which has its bad points, too. The siblings with rhyming names made me groan in disdain over the unoriginality, but beyond this, I’d have to say that the characters are enjoyable, albeit a bit distant.
I don’t want to include spoilers here, so I won’t. All I can say is that the book did succeed in holding my interest to the end, and I can truly appreciate Kaspar Beaumont’s attempt at recreating a fantasy adventure series that’s intended to rival Tolkien. There’s an intangible aspect to the story that keeps that from happening, however, but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt, considering that I haven’t read the other works.
Verdict: 7 TRB Stars
Next let’s look at Wordsmith Andi’s thoughts.
The Wordsmith Weighs In
Written in what I consider classic fantasy style, Hunters’ Quest sticks true to the traditional archetypes of elves and halflings, dwarves, shape shifting men, gnomes, centaurs and fairies, just to name a few. A group of eight companions travel together on a quest to rescue an elven princess who also happens to be the key component to a forcefield/shield that protects the magical land of Reloria.
While not terribly written, I found this book to be slow and uninteresting. It picks up where the first book left off and gives only the most cursory background details concerning previous plot. Character development was negligible probably because the author assumes the reader will have read the first book. Since this reader did not, I felt a little lost on how the relationships in this second book came to be formed as well as their importance. For instance, why are the fairies bonded to the halflings? Why are the fairy names only modifications of the halflings’? How did the mountain man, Asher, end up with this unlikely group of heroes? This second book leaves too much up to intimate familiarity with the first book which isn’t necessary a bad thing so long as you do the required reading. Faithful readers who’ve been with the series since the beginning will likely find this to be a seamless transition from one book to the next.
Reading this reminded me of sampling from novels written by fledgling high schoolers with an abundant love for fantasy novels and an eagerness to lend their love to stories of their own. It’s clear that Beaumont takes the inspiration from other classic works from authors like Tolkien, Brooks, and Moorcock. It’s just unfortunate the author couldn’t take more notes on character development, plot pacing, etc from notable authors like Rothfuss, Eddings, and Donaldson. I didn’t think there was too much in the way of original ideas put forth in this book, harkening back to high schoolers anxious to recycle the fantasy elements they love so well.
Not an awful read overall, this book just failed to capture my attention on a consistent basis. Far too easy to put down compared to other books in the same genre, I had to give Hunters’ Quest a low rating.
Verdict: 7 Stars
Finally, let’s see what No Labels Unleashed has to say.
Hunters’ Quest is the second book in The Hunters of Reloria trilogy. I did read the first book Elven Jewel to get the full effect of all that has gone on.
One of the things I tend to get asked as a reviewer is if the books in a trilogy can stand alone. Although one can read Elven Jewel and get the feel that it is a stand alone story, I cannot say for sure in reference to Hunters’ Quest, simply because of the way Hunters’ Quest ended. Whether I liked it or not, I will get to momentarily. I think it is best to chime in further on my conclusion of the “stand alone” component once I reach the final trek in the last book of the series, Dragon’s Revenge.
Although the colors of the cover have a whimsical appeal, a few more illustrations as far as the journey would have been helpful. Yes, there was a map at the beginning of the book but no others sprinkled throughout. That way it would have shown the differences between different locations they were going to, as well as being provided more descriptions on what these lands looked like.
Syntax wise, the presentation could use some polish. For one, a bit too “comma rich”. For two, on several pages, although a different quote was said by another person, on my copy of the publication, they were both on the same line.
So, instead of this:
“I have to go to the store.”
“In a few minutes.”
It appeared like this:
“I have to go to the store.” “When?” “In a few minutes.”
This took me a couple of re-reads because I had to refresh myself on who was saying what, since in a lot of the dialogue segments, there was usually more than one person present.
Whether the author intended the books in The Hunters of Reloria trilogy to stand alone or not, the descriptive component of locations and the new characters needed improvement. The way they were presented to the reader isn’t an introduction that stands out; it came across more matter of fact than anything. There were bits of comic relief to break up the intensity of the quest yet the down moments threatened to keep one’s attention off the main elements of the story. This author doesn’t quite strike the balance between establishing local color and having excessive fluff.
I do disagree with fellow reviewer FC as it pertains to the action sequences. There was great potential in a lot of the action sequence yet they were executed in a bit of a detached way. One of the former reviewers of The Review Board was a big advocate of “showing the story”. A dynamic tale such as this one should have the author showing the story—to the point where it plays like a movie inside of one’s head. In addition, I couldn’t understand how the early battles with the Vergai are over in just a couple of pages, yet a fight between two dragons over a rumored infidelity went on for several pages. It is up to the author to showcase the magnificence and decide what is “screen worthy” as what is simply “wait for it on DVD” in the reader’s mind.
The pace was excruciatingly slow. This was a flaw Elven Jewel also committed. I wanted to dismiss the slow pacing of the first as the author’s attempt to establish build up, since it was such a long book. However, Hunters’ Quest is about half the size of its predecessor, so why is the pace just as slow, if not slower in this rendition?
The chapters are also still way too long. They should be crafted in such a way that the action and flow of the story is immediate. When one is thinking to himself, “What happened at the beginning of this chapter?” or “Wait! I’m only on Chapter such and such?” it’s a bad sign. When an author has written a riveting story, there should be a seamless transition and an eagerness to find out what happens next. There was not a huge urgency there for me in the first book and even less so for this one.
The main part of Hunters’ Quest that delivered harm was the way the ending was delivered. I do not mind if there are incomplete threads in a series, just as long as one of the major threads that was presented to be solved has closure. Elven Jewel accomplished it, albeit it in a very “Was that it?” fashion.
Hunters’ Quest made me do this:
Followed by this:
In case one hasn’t figured it out, those are two faces you don’t want The Unleashed One to make.
Unleashed Verdict: 4 Stars
Hunters’ Quest reminds me of my recent exposure to the Divergent movie series. The first movie Divergent was good, although not the best I’ve seen. Yet, with Insurgent (the follow up), after fifteen minutes of seeing it with my friend, she packed up the DVD and sent it back to Netflix.
If one is going to do a series, one should strive to have the next part of the series be just as good, if not better than the book before it. This author has a lot of work to do in order to get this one to that level.
Now taking all of the numbers and dividing by the number of reviewers, Hunters’ Quest gets 6 out of 10 Stars from The Review Board.
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