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Preview — The Written by Ben Galley
The Written (Emaneska #1)
They whisper that he’s dangerous.
Dangerous is only the half of it.
Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options.
Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged h ...more
So let's start at the good points:
- The idea of tattoos giving someone power, and different tattoos giving different powers, was really neat.
- I liked the bond shared between dragon and rider, which altered the rider's appearance. Though, this is not the first story I've read where dragon and rider become inexorably linked.
- The theme of addiction, wh ...more
I have just finished the first chapter and I have decided that I will not read any more because:
1. The first chapter reminds me of my college freshman creative writing workshop class...and that is NOT a good thing.
2. Actions taken by the characters were summarized rather than described while the setting or inanimate objects are overly described.
3. There are cliches - "He smiled like a wolf..."
4. The word(s) "Suddenly.." or "All of a sudden..." were u ...more
This novel is set in a world called Emaneska, the Arka are ruled from their capital city Krauslung by the magick council & the Arkmages. To become a mage one must first go through the intense school of training and finally undert ...more
Overall Rating = 3 & 1/2 Stars
Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic
ANALYSIS: The Written is a debut book that I had no clue about but thanks to Mark Lawrence, I was clued to its existence. Usually it’s said never judge a book by its cover but in this case, I was ready to make an exception. The understated cover really drew my eye with its stark color usage, so in this case I was ready to make an exception. The book blurb didn’t really do justice or give any idea about the plot content. ...more
Farden is a member of the Written, a group of elite mages with special words of power tattooed on their backs. He is charged with th ...more
'Haha, and without you, old fools, I would have nothing.' The smile was instantly gone, replaced by thin lips and a narrowed gaze. With a sudden burst of immense speed the mage drew his sword in a silver blur and furiously slammed the blade into Innel's chest."
I expect this is the single worst book I will read this year. No stars, and my Cino help the soul of Ben Galley.
This is not your usual hum drum usual template fantasy (you ...more
1. the writing. Word choices were repetitive and uninspired. If the main character was referred to as "the mage" in basic prose one more time, I would h ...more
I first came across this book at the beginning of the year when Ben Galley ambushed a friend of mine in Waterstones begging her to buy his book. She was terrified, but I was amused and yes, intrigued. The book seemed to tick all of my boxes and the cover art is really amazing. I kind of hate the matte-type feeling, but I let that one slide. Needless to say, it has taken me a long time to finish it, ...more
Aside from the various grammatical errors throughout the book, at the beginning the story itself was too much like a straight up D&D campaign. Thankfully, as the story progresses, the author does start to move the story in a more original direction.
The use of tattoos as the source of power was done very well. There were a lot of typical fantasy elements thrown in here, but they work well. The dream sequences we ...more
Firstly, Emaneska is a richly imagined and highly original world. From the many different races to the exposition of the world itself I struggled to find anything derivative. Okay, so elves are one of the older races th ...more
I've got to open with the most obvious comment, the cover art for this title (and indeed the for next in the series) is Stunning. It completely sold the book to me, which I know is awful on my part. My Shallow is showing. Not only that, but the quality of the book itself, it's genuinely a thing of beauty. I've been reading this one at work quite a bit, and the number of colleagues who aske ...more
Excellent! A powerful and well-written debut.
Farden is a Written, a Mage who exists to serve the Arka and its surrounding areas. After a tragedy and a horrific betrayal, he finds himself becoming weaker and weaker at the hands of a very evil man indeed. How will Farden get out of it?
Finding his strength coming from an unexpected source, Farden battles his daemons, external and internal alike, and finds out just how strong he can truly be.
This fantasy has everything, epic battles and fights, ...more
I don't feel like spending a long time tearing this book apart, so I'll just say it briefly. The writing is just very poor.
"All of a sudden" and its like are overused. The drama is summarized and told rather than shown. The characters are flat and seem to be the author's favorite D&D personas, not real people. Descriptions are filled with mad-lib-esque adjectives of a poor, and often repetitive, nature. Nothing pops.
I'll be honest. I picked it up because of the cover art, and it just wasn't...more
Farden, our my character, put me in mind of a fantasy version of James Bond. He is part of a special breed, whom has endured a horrendously painful procedure which kills a a high percentage of those attempting it. The W ...more
First up, I don't often read high-fantasy; the worlds are usually too dense to easily get into. The world in this book was interesting, but I'm not sure how much of that was actually intended and how much of it was me projecting onto the scaffolds. I ended up pl ...more
I only stumbled across Ben Galley and this, his first book by chance and to be honest this is the first 'fantasy genre' book I have read. I have always been a reader of detective and crime novels and also of classics by Thomas Hardy, Elizabeth Gaskell and so on. Fantasy books had never really appealed to me, however after reading a small sample of Ben's work (just a few pages) I decided to take a chance, try something different and so purchased a copy ofThe Written.
Ben's passion for his work, ...more
shoulders above many of the others in the genre, and it's an impressive
feat for such a new author. Before I wax eloquent with praise, I should
get some of the issues I had with the book out. I enjoyed Galley's
writing style, though at times it could become a bit tedious. Repititions
of "the mage" were used a bit too often, and the fight scenes seemed just
a bit too forced, like the author had the battle playing in his head and
was try ...more
I got a bit more than half way through and now I'm throwing in the towel. I don't want to read it anymore. I don't care if the characters live or die. My favorite characters were the ship's cat and the big dragon Farfallen and they just weren't there enough to hold my interest.
Farden was bland ...more
(EMANESKA SERIES #1)
When Ben sent me this book to read and share my review with you the first thing I noticed was THE MOST AMAZING AND EPIC cover ever! I absolutely loved it, and if I was about to buy a book merely based on its cover I would definitely buy this one.
His name is Farden and he lives in icy cold Emaneska. They call him dangerous, but that is only half of the truth. Then one day something goes missing from the libraries of Arfell, and five scholar kids are fo ...more
I see a lot of praise and high ratings for this book but a lot of those mention the potential of the book and even the series. And I agree with that. But putting that aside and only rating this book, as it stands, so far I cannot give it more than two stars.
Possible spoilers below. The second star is mostly due to my fondness of the mythical and how a lot of that seems to be in this book. The problem is, as ...more
Aside from writing and dreaming up lies to tell his readers, Ben works as a self-publishing consultant and Guardian Masterclass tutor, helping fellow authors from all over the world to ...more