"Hope is for poetry," said Agramon. "War is despair."
'The Lost King' by Frazier Alexander is a really ambitious, epic saga type of tale, billed as being for fans of Eragon and The Odyssey.
Now, I haven't read Eragon.. I remember the film vaguely, but I did enjoy it.. and I do like The Odyssey and other kinds of lengthy stories of that ilk. I genuinely can't say they're wrong in their suggestion, as it's an enjoyable story.
King Athan of Antaranis, after leading attacks of vengeance on neighboring peoples, faces an unexpected turn of events when Arkastaros .. a magic star filled with True Light, becomes lost to them. Having been created by the Ethirians and bestowed upon the top of Mount Vilastra, it's essentially the center of everything for his kingdom.
Upon embarking on a sea voyage in search of the great star, hoping to restore it.. the King and those loyal soldiers who accompany him on the quest.. go missing.
As the kingdom falls apart, his children Prince Thalos and Princess Thara follow diverging paths. The prince clings to the past.. proceeding with his learning to take over his father's mantle.. but only as an eventual last resort.. even as he hopes to locate his father and bring him home, while the princess' resentment of the King festers and she focuses almost solely on the future.
In the void of power left behind by the missing King and the royal siblings focused more on themselves than their people and their duties, a beautiful enchantress snatches the throne from them. Enslaving Thara and their people, when Thalos returns home from his teachings, he finds himself exiled to the edge of the known world.
Cast onto an island and left to die, Thalos happens across an old friend of his father's. Together, they take up the search for Athan as Thara finds a way to free herself from the new queen's thrall.. and seeks out a band of creatures still loyal to her father.
As I said before.. it's an incredibly ambitious undertaking. There are times when the story fumbles a little, when it's slightly clumsy as events unfold.. but I genuinely believe this is largely because the author packed so much content into the story. Though it isn't a long book, it's a bit of a dense read.. simply because there's always so much going on.
Alexander did a good job with Thalos, though Thara is a bit annoying in spots.. I suppose that's probably the nature of the average princess. They are both determined to impact their situation though and so those small things can be forgiven. There's no just lying down and letting the new queen walk over them here.
The supporting cast is great.. Nasiros and Ruan are absolute favorites of mine. There are fun elements like a sassy dragon, a giant sea turtle (though the initial scene reminded me a little of Pandaria in World of Warcraft), and some titan-sized enemies. Sundra, the enchantress, and her Red Phantom.. make excellent villains.
Ever changing settings like ghostly ruins and tunnels through the mountains that hold surprises of their own, keep everything very fresh visually and the battle scenes while rather extensive in spots, are easy enough to picture as you read them.
This might be an author to watch. I know I'll be keeping an eye out to see what else they have up their proverbial sleeve.
If you like epic journeys and underdog stories, this is probably the book for you.