Russell Bittner's Reviews > Past of a Marked Man

Past of a Marked Man by Sevinar
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's review
Aug 11, 2012

really liked it
Read from August 08 to 11, 2012

I must begin this review with a caveat: I don't ordinarily read (never mind review) Fantasy. It just ain't my genre, either as a writer or as a reader. I came to this review by way of reciprocation, and I'm happy I did.

Jennifer Hirtler is a superb writer -- make no mistake about it -- even if I'm too antiquated to enjoy her genre. She runs a Website called The First 7500 Words, which is how I found her in the first place. (She's also a generous and fair reviewer, by the way, as well as a gracious and very witty little lady.) But now, on to Past of a Marked Man.

Although there are far too many characters with odd-sounding names for me to keep track of, and although the story-line weaves in and out of places with sometimes unpronounceable monikers, the principal character (Herod Basiv, age 18) and his journey of discovery (in which he becomes "Kagnos" already at the end of Chapter 9) are both familiar to anyone who's ever spent time with classical literature. As a matter of fact, by the time I'd concluded my reading, I found myself thinking this story had many elements of both both Dr. Richard Kimble (of "The Fugitive" fame) and Odysseus (Homer's epic) thrown into the mix.

I won't reveal too much of the plot only because I didn't read beyond Chapter 9 (for the reasons I gave above) and because I suspect Fantasy readers would rather not have the enjoyment of their particular passion marred by spoilers.

Other than the odd-sounding personal and place-names, Ms. Hirtler sticks to a jargon (in dialogue) and narrative style that sound quite contemporary. In fact, they sometimes feel almost too contemporary -- and are, because of that anachronism, whether intentional or not, enormously amusing.

I'll also reveal that Herod Basiv (aka Kagnos) is every bit the late-adolescent one would expect a hero to be -- fighting off, on the one hand, the advances of promiscuous young damsels-in-distress (not) and vicious warriors and back- (literally!) stabbers.

A GREAT read...for fans of fantasy!



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