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Flipping Fantasy on its Head
Ben is doing what has been needed for some time now. Fantasy has become a stale despot of Tolkeinism and Jordanesque attempts at world building. Where the word counts rise and the plot falls. Where Orcs are evil because they are Orcs and Elves are good because their Elves. Ben steers clear of this and writes an original story.
Ben writes "The Pale Wood" in 7 riveting tales that each mark an important moment in "Sir" Kendrick's life. In Poor Knight of the Wood, Ben sets the stage by introducing a bevy of characters thrust into a terrible situation. We learn of the history of the world but only in the brief terms required. It is shrouded in mystery and remains intriguing as we move from story to story.
My favorite aspect of the tale is Sir Kendrick himself. In the above mentioned Poor Knight of the Wood we discover his weaknesses. He is man after all. As dangers approach throughout the tales I feel for Kendrick and I am concerned for his safety in a very real way. Through this we watch Kendrick grow. We watch him ascend the title of 'Sir' and become something more.
Ben's ability to create real tension within his characters growth is excellent. The Pale Wood is an excellent read.
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