Book Review: Eliesmore and the Green Stone, by Angela.J.Ford

This was something I was planning on holding back, at least for a while, but I do enjoy reading and posting book reviews, and the more I do, the more I can promote authors. It is something I enjoy doing.

Warning: This is not necessarily a completely glowing review, and it is something you shouldn’t expect from me when you apply for one. I’m quite easy when it comes to liking books and genres, but I will be honest as well as positive where it is due. I did find several problems with this book, and I prefer to be honest when reviewing things. I will however always find positives in a book unless it is so bad that I cannot continue the book. If that happens, I won’t post a review blasting the book, but instead talk to the author privately. I prefer it like that. Unless a book is so terrible it deserves the criticism and one-star review, I will always finish the book and be as fair (and critical when it’s due) as possible. It is who I am. A book is someone’s work that they hopefully have put a lot of their heart into. Remember: THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION. That does NOT make what I say mean for people to attack or praise it to high heaven just because I did. We are all free with our own choices.

I got this book as part of the author’s blog-review tour, and when I discovered the idea behind the book, I immediately facepalmed a little bit. That is just my personal thing. I hate hate hate Chosen ones. Many people love them, and I understand why, but I’ve always found the Chosen One/Coming of Age storyline very overdone, and not that original anymore. It is difficult to find truly new ideas, but everyone is unique, so I always go in and give books a fair chance.

And I am glad I did. Eliesmore and the Green Stone has its flaws, but it is still an endearing read, and casual fantasy fans will likely love it. Due to my rather specific tastes and the care I put into scrutinizing a fantasy world as hard as I attack my own (which sure as hell needs improving!), I did not enjoy this book as much as others will. It deserves its fans for certain and I love the author, I will continue to support her until our untimely deaths. Yes. I’m a hoot. Whohoo!

*Puts on serious face* Onto the review.

Eliesmore and the Green Stone was an interesting one for me. I love the fantasy genre, but I find many things…”tired?” I generally find Chosen One’s and quest objects dull because few books do much interesting with them, so when I found out that this book had both in spades, I went in with a little unease.

Now, I will start by saying this. There are some good things about this book. Even though it is book three of a series (I dove in on this book) you do not need to read the prior editions beforehand, which I liked. They address the previous books well enough so I knew what was going on. I liked the idea of the Changers for one, and having the “good” side constantly outnumbered and under threat gave off the constant vision of danger. This was helped by the solid scene writing, which was very good and painted a simple, yet efficient picture of the surroundings. It goes through a lot of typical fantasy settings true, but they are done well, so I enjoyed them.

However, there are some problems which dragged down the enjoyment for me. To start off, the book is packed full of exposition, especially in the beginning during the typical “sit down and explain plot to main character”. Unfortunately, this is done in a way that really dragged on me, as it shoves in right in your face. Whenever a prophecy or background was explained, it took the same formula. I understand the need for information, I just feel it would have done better at least spread out, if not reduced. I found that many of the prophecy talks could have been resolved with far fewer words.

Second, the main “Quest” cast overall did not appeal to me too much, with a very “Fellowship of the Ring” vibe. Elismore the Chosen One did not feel like a Chosen One to me, although I laughed at his initial reaction to the Prophecy. In fairness, he was one of the stronger characters. While I find him a bit whiny, he does grow over the book.

However, some others grated on me. His companions pretty much all joined him without a second thought, and the actions of Wekin and Yamier frankly pissed me off. They spend most of the book whining about bacon. Seriously. It was funny once or twice, but being obsessed with food wasn’t a great impression, especially when you’re supposed to be surrounded and threatened by enemies. However, I got the dynamic of the group very well as a whole, and I found their conversations enjoyable to read.

My favourite character of the group was Visra. Why? She was one of the only gray characters. The vast majority of characters in the book are either incredibly obviously good, or painfully evil. Some names are a little…too fantasy, right out of Robert Jordan. Indeed, some of the character names were so outrageously silly or cliche they made me giggle. The Dark One, The Dark Servant, the Great-Black-Evil, Black Steeds as the evil side, and Rakahi which are basically Nazgul stalking the group throughout the book. The good side don’t get off either. One of the characters is called Optimistic.

Third, while the scene description was very good quality, action and dialogue needs a bit of polishing. Passive voice is used quite excessively to drive the story and action, and whilst it makes it easy to follow, I feel it could do with a bit of work.

A word of warning to readers. It ends on a pretty big cliffhanger, and I did feel that the quest climax needed a little bit more time to resolve. Ending a book during a major battle I feel is a mistake, but I’ll hold off until Book Four for that. There was also one particular moment in the book which angered me more than anything else, and it involves a character death. No spoilers, but I felt it was resolved in a way which irritated me a lot. I really hope this gets explained in the final book, otherwise, it will be a major cop out.

Now, this sounds like a very critical review, and you would be right, but I still recommend the book. It is a good coming of age story (if the conclusion did not sadden me a bit), with solid scene description, a decent cast, and a relatable quest, but I feel is let down by the issues I listed. On the plus side, they are relatively easy to fix. Maybe it wasn’t for me, but if you like high fantasy which some pretty creative races (and some awesome, vicious moles), quests and Chosen One’s coming of age, you’ll find this an enjoyable read. It has its flaws, but overall it’s a job well done, and it will gain many fans!

Personal Score: Gathering everything together, I would give this a 3 out of 5. It has some very good things about it with a strong potential for the final book of the series, but the issues I found really dragged it down.

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