Mihir's Reviews > Hope and Red

Hope and Red by Jon Skovron
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really liked it

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Hope And Red is a nice throwback to the fun, epic fantasy that was prevalent back in the 1980s. Amidst all the grim dark and weird fantasy stories that are the norm nowadays, It essentially tries to bring back the fun in epic fantasy by giving us relatable characters, epic battles and a fast engaging story.

This is the first book in this debut trilogy and begins by telling us the story our main characters since they were children. Hope has her childhood destroyed by the king's magicians as her entire village is literally decimated (people, animals, etc). Hope is then adopted by a group of monks who don't take in females and is given her name by the leader of the monks. Red is the son of prostitute and a street artist who is orphaned because of the destructive habits of his parents. He gets taken in by a street tough named Sadie who then mentors him in all sorts of street knowledge and tricks.

The author then takes the reader through their formative teenage years as Hope becomes a terrific warrior and Red becomes a cunning thief. This was a fantastic way of making the reader get invested in both characters and understand what truly motivates them. I loved this aspect of the storyline as both threads are equally compelling while essentially kowtowing to the warrior monk and charming thief tropes.

Both our titular characters only meet after the halfway point of the book and when they do, they decide to work together to further each other's goals. This is where the story truly takes life and we are then drawn back to the point of origin to find out what caused the death of Hope's village. The last third of the book while being fast paced, has quite a few convenient solutions for all the character problems and that part is bit hard to fathom for most experienced fantasy readers.

Overall this book was a fun, fast paced read and the author has to be commended for making his characters so engaging (both the protagonists and the side character cast). Also kudos to the author for developing a rich world with its own slang glossary and magic system. It won't win any points for originality but at least it doesn't seem to bland either. I thoroughly enjoyed this opening volume and will want to read what happens next with Hope and Red.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 29, 2016 – Shelved

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