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I had trouble finishing this
The title drew me in, and I like finding new authors, but I find it hard to believe this sotry has earned so many votes.
I have to say that the opening scene was very descriptive, but it took far too long to say the mountain man is doing the mountain man thing and the fantasy cliches were abound (a cabin he formed with his own two hands, a random blacksmith specializing in weapons and armor, everthing about the man is described as 'mighty', a man keeping his strength up by only eating meat and drinking moonshine... I actually started rolling my eyes)
The writing style, while at times solid, also worked a bit too hard to be descriptive (a log cabin isn't an edifice), while also missing the point of describing what matters, such as the character's motivations. 'Show, don't tell' was very much a missed point here.
Why would Noss send the girl into a snow-filled wilderness without her bow? That seems weirdly cruel, and sets our expectations of his personality as a needlessly harsh man. But then it's turned on its head and he randomly decides to chase after her with no insight as why he or we should care. The story has such random bursts of conflict and silences that it actually succeeded in boring me.
Honestly, lack of motivation is my biggest issue with this. Noss spoke once to this girl who threatened him for holding a guitar (you have no instruments but you know what one is? You are tribe out of legend but you share the same language?) And then decides he'd gladly give his life for hers. Why?
Congratulations to the tribeswoman for declaring her people to be barbarians once she fought the 'final boss', when her only interaction with another civilization is a murderer and a story about rape and torture. But a giant fire breathing monster gets hurt every now and then and suddenly it's too much?
The story is just too full of cliched fantasy archetypes, awkward character development, slilted dialogue and world building inconsistencies for me to rate this story any higher. The author does have potential, and I like the parts that are unique, such as the tribe of Ash (even if living in a literal wasteland makes no sense at all) and the dragon rite, but this story wouldn't go on my shelf.
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