Irene's Reviews > Hands To Make War

Hands To Make War by Jason Tesar
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's review
Aug 11, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, science-fiction
Read in August, 2011

There were parts of these books that I really enjoyed. The story is a great idea, being inspired by some scriptures dealing with the angels cast out of heaven who later got together with the daughters of men. The story is set in the past, with horses, swords and arrows. Kael and Adair were great characters. The bad guys were really bad (as in evil) and the training the young men went through was interesting.

I feel that the author needed an editor for these books. The beginning of the first book is set in what appears to be modern times, when Adair travels through some sort of gate and appears in the future. Much is alluded to in this chapter but the author never returns to it (except for describing the same events through a different viewpoint) - even through all three books! I felt as though it was extraneous to the story.

The reader is briefly introduced to what appear to be fallen angels existing in the future, but again, they only appear one or two times. What do they have to do with the story being told? The reader never finds out, except that we do learn one of them is trying to return to that ancient time and is eventually successful. It is never fully explained who these beings are. One can only infer that they are fallen angels. There is very little mention made of the angels. No one would know they were angels if it weren't for the scripture references at the beginning of the first book. Maybe the author didn't want to get into great detail with them, but the idea seemed disconnected from the story line. Some details were needed to let the reader know what they were reading about.

One thing bugged me about Kael. Having been imprisoned and sold at a young age, even though he continues to think of his family during all the years of his training, when he finally gains his freedom he spends years traveling around first. Why wouldn't he return home right away to see his family? And the way the story is structured, we go from Kael jumping off a cliff into fog with no explanation of the outcome, to Kael showing up in Bastul to help them fight off invaders. What?! What happened when he jumped off the cliff? The only thing we know is that he survived. Later we learn what happened and find out that YEARS have passed in the meantime but we don't learn this until MUCH later in the book!

Saba/Sariel is too mysterious. We learn that he is a smart old man, then we learn that he doesn't remember most of his life, then it appears he may be a fallen angel who has perhaps taken over another body and wiped his memory clean, he is old but looks too young, then he appears to regain his lost knowledge but we really don't learn much about any of it. I wanted to know more about this character but was left without much substance.

As I finished the last book it felt to me that Mr. Tesar may have self-published and after looking at his website just now I see that is, in fact, what he did. Great story idea, Mr. Tesar, but I'd love to see the story edited and fleshed out in parts. It could become a truly great series!
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Renie Great review... I agree completely!

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