Kyra Halland's Reviews > Keepers of Arden: The Brothers, Volume 1

Keepers of Arden by L.K. Evans
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really liked it
bookshelves: epic-fantasy, fantasy, fantasy-heroes, fantasy-heroines, high-fantasy, wizards

I really enjoyed this fantasy tale of two brothers - Wilhelm, big, handsome, good-natured, popular with the ladies, and Salvarias, dark and strange, gifted with magical powers beyond his years and terrified of the evil within him. We follow the two from the terrible conception and birth of Salvarias, Wilhelm's much-longed-for baby brother, through their childhood and teenage years and into early adulthood, as the two become part of a battle between forces of light and darkness to conquer Arden.

I enjoyed the relationship between the two brothers, Wilhelm's unconditional love for his strange and sometimes frightening younger brother and Salvarias's utter and complete trust in Wilhelm. Salvarias's character growth is especially engrossing, as through hardships he begins to come into his full powers and personality. I also enjoyed the touch of romance between the brothers and two sisters, brought together by the younger sister's mysterious bond with Salvarias. I was especially cheering for Salvarias to find and accept the love he longs for and deserves; this is book one of a series and I look forward to seeing where that relationship goes in the next book!

Two things kept this from being a 5-star read: first of all, when a stranger comes to a character and says "Trust me and no one else, not the people you've known and loved your whole life, just me," alarm bells should be going off in the character's head. This happens a few times in Keepers of Arden, and either the alarm bells don't go off, or the character ignores them. I found myself kind of frustrated with this blindness to danger.

Also, while the prose is very smooth and polished, it's a little too smooth and polished for my taste, to the point that action and description and more contemplative passages would all blur together and I would catch myself skimming. This is often a symptom of over-editing, and can be remedied as the author becomes more confident of their own natural voice.

Aside from these two things, which are probably more personal quirks on my part than actual flaws in the book, I thoroughly enjoyed Keepers of Arden Volume 1, and highly recommend it to readers who like epic high fantasy told from a very personal viewpoint.
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Reading Progress

March 18, 2015 – Started Reading
March 18, 2015 – Shelved
March 23, 2015 –
46.0%
March 27, 2015 –
78.0%
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: epic-fantasy
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: fantasy
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: fantasy-heroes
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: fantasy-heroines
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: high-fantasy
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: wizards
March 29, 2015 – Finished Reading

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