Where Honesty Never Ends.
Breath of the Titans Trilogy by Riley and Sara Lyn Westbrook
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the authors to The Review Board in exchange for an honest review.
Breath of the Titans: Little Black Stormcloud by Riley A. Westbrook and Sara L. Westbrook is a story that centers around a half elf, half dragon boy who just turned 16, named Lovonian. The story begins with Lov and his uncle Nord taking their annual hunting trip. On their return to Elvenhom, they find that the city’s population has been slaughtered by an army of Titans, except for those taken as slaves, when they see the collection of ears that were chopped off. With Amon dead and his mother captured, Lov and Nord begin their quest to find his mother by seeking out Nord’s old friend Jaxon. After acquiring weapons and knowledge of their enemy, they set out to rescue Lov’s mother with the help of a fairy sent by Lov’s grandfather. From there, they encounter all kinds of adventures and creatures, while in desperate pursuit.
Hello and welcome to The Review Board. Today we bring you our very own Harmony Kent’s thoughts on the “Breath of the Titans Trilogy” by Riley and Sara Lyn Westbrook. On with the show.
I have read this trilogy as a whole, and therefore this review pertains to all three books in the series.
BOOK 1: LITTLE BLACK STORM CLOUD introduces us to Lov, a half-elf/half-dragon sixteen-year-old boy and his companions. Titans devastate his home at Elvenhom and either slaughter the villagers or take them as slaves. Lov’s family is killed, except for his mother, who is taken hostage. Lov and his companions set out on a quest to save his mother.
BOOK 2: A MOTHER’S LOVE and BOOK 3: WAR OF THE CHIEFS continue the story. I don’t want to write a synopsis about the final two books in the series, as this would give too much away, and so I shall follow the author’s example and settle for the one book description to cover the whole series.
These books are not standalone novels, and will need to be read in order for maximum benefit. This series is traditional fantasy fiction filled with magical creatures, battles, adventures, and the whole works you would expect from this genre. Strong language is used at times, which some readers may prefer to avoid. This isn’t an issue for me at all, and only adds to the realism of the read.
While I had looked forward with eagerness to an epic fantasy read such as this, I quickly found myself disappointed. The writing needs some polishing. It is filled with telling instead of showing (especially ‘ly’ adverbs), split infinitives, comma splices, filter words (he knew/she decided/he watched/etc.), and spelling mistakes—there is a huge difference in meaning between ‘Unphased’ and ‘Unfazed’ for instance. I don’t comment on these things unless they prove too numerous, which—in this case—they did.
Add to this morass the passive writing style and jumping POV, and it all makes for an arduous read.
While the ideas behind this tale have awesome potential, the execution is lacking. I never felt able to connect with the rather clichéd characters—standard young boy with hidden power and an older mentor—and even when the characters were placed in danger, it just never quite felt as if they were in danger at all. For me, this fantasy trilogy hasn’t given me anything new, interesting, or intriguing. The most it gave me was a headache, trying to wade through the passive and error littered text. If I hadn’t had a commitment to reading this series on behalf of The Review Board, it would have been a DNF from 25% of the way into book one.
From an aesthetic perspective, the book covers do absolutely nothing for me. If I saw these sitting on a shelf, I wouldn’t pick them up. The book blurb also fails to entice. A blurb that has me bored before I’ve finished reading it is always a good indication that I won’t enjoy the book.
I wanted to love this series. Being an avid reader, I always want to enjoy a book, especially when it’s in a genre that I adore. It fills me with dismay when I have to leave such a negative review as this. However, I cannot in all conscience, recommend this series. Again, if I weren’t committed to leaving a review, I would have preferred to remain silent instead of trashing the book so publicly. It’s a rare thing that about the only good thing I can find is the story premise.
I give it 5 out of 10 stars on the TRB rating scale, which basically means: Flip a coin and/or take a chance (if you dare).
This equates to 2.5 out of 5 stars on other rating scales, and for the purposes of posting this review, I round that up to a soft 3 stars.
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