Certainly better than Clement-Davies' rather awful The Sight
, but all in all a rather mediocre book. Still, in parts I had really fun reading this little deer epic.
Its strongest point is the protagonists: deer. Yes! Finally! No more wolves! No more canines! Look at that! DEER! I don't think we've had those before? Good.
What if the protagonists would have been wolves? I guess it would have been pretty damn boring. The species in this animal fiction really is the selling point to me.
The world building ranges from okay to damn decent, and although a lot of people will compare anything with "talking animals" immediately to Watership Down
, the parallels are strong in this one. Wouldn't exactly call it a carbon-copy, but there is a strong influence that has lead to very similar patterns that are uncanny. I still enjoyed the deer lore, although the tales of folk hero
... erm... I mean STARBUCK got lost in the plot. Established at the very beginning as a cute little genesis, it seemed that the author casually forgot about it for the rest of the book and we don't hear about it until the very last page or so.
The deer behave fairly natural as far as I can tell (with very little exceptions that I didn't mind), the pacing was good and enjoyable, the characters were cliché cut-outs, but not the awful kinds as in "The Sight". I simply enjoyed the story as a whole, with its faults and shining parts.