Review: Legends Reborn (The Light of Epertase: Book 1)

Old School Fantasy

I just finished reading “Legends Reborn (The Light of Epertase Book One)” on my new Kindle and my three word response to this book is simple: Old School Fantasy. Douglas Brown gives us a straight action story with clear-cut villains and noble heroes. It's a little bit “Conan the Barbarian” a little bit “Game of Thrones” and there's even a touch of “The Road Warrior” for those of you who are looking for a wrinkle in your fantasy.

The hero is an honorable warrior named Rasi who is pushed nearly to the brink of insanity by the horrors that befall him. On some of the youtube interviews I've seen with Brown, he seems almost gleeful about the amount of torment to which he subjects his hero.

Rasi is a pretty straight-laced hero and for those of you who are looking for a highly moral protagonist, this is the book for you. As an example, Rasi is the type of character who feels guilty about stealing a horse, even when he's in desperate pursuit of an abducted princess (who he also happens to be romantically involved with).

Early in the book, Rasi is bonded with several self-aware tentacles (he refers to them as “straps”) that make him resemble Dr. Octopus. I was actually left curious as to what these tentacles are and if there are any more of them in Epertase, but I guess I'll have to wait for those answers in the second volume of Light of Epertase since Rasi is kept too busy to contemplate it in book one.

“Legends Reborn” follows Rasi's fall from revered hero to disfigured outlaw, while an invasion from a hostile, technological society allows him a shot at redemption. I also enjoyed the world building of Epertase, especially the “Lowlands” society that is based on a kind of “Brave New World” mind control.

The pace is set firmly at breakneck speed throughout the novel, so much though that at times I would have liked Brown to slow things down and give a few more details. However, I came to appreciate the “cushion” distance the author gives us from the action, since some of the events are so traumatic that they wouldn't be at all enjoyable if seen from a front row seat. Perhaps you could compare the narrative style to something like “The Call of the Wild,” although “Legends Reborn” is a bit more complex.

“Legends Reborn” is a tough novel from a new author that knows classic, barbarian style fantasy. You'll be intrigued by what's included and left yearning for more!

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