Due to the unfortunate deficiency of the local library system (and me being too cheap) I’ve been forced to skip the 3rd book of this series, Tomb of Albrek, in my reread of the series. The only reason I chose to do this is because I had actually already read it before, and relatively recently. (Within the last 2 and a half years.)
On the bright side, you can expect my review of book 5, Axe of Sundering, this Friday.
Title: Sands of Nezza
Series: Adventurers Wanted; Book 4
Author: M. L. Forman
ROTS Setting: EU/AU, Medieval, Higher Magic, Dragons
Synopsis: A call for help draws wizard Alexander Taylor into an adventure that he knows nothing about. To save a friend, Alex must travel to the land of Nezza, a land where war is part of daily life, where adventurers are imprisoned, and where all magic is believed to be black. Chance brings Alex into contact with young Rallian, a prince who might just be the true king of Nezza, and Alex s desire to do good sets loose a spell that could drive the land into all-out war. Alex must find a way for Rallian to be crowned king while also bringing peace to the land, but his magic and wizardry alone cannot make peace happen. His task is made more difficult when he learns that a group called the Brotherhood is actively working to keep the people of Nezza divided. Join Alex and some familiar friends in their search to unite the land of Nezza in this new adventure that will test their courage to the very core.
Recommendation: Highly recommend this series. Great for younger and older readers alike.
We see a bit of a change to usual formula with this book. In the previous three books Alex would join up with a group of other adventurers and they would go on a quest to another land. The quest being a formal agreement with specific parameters and rules. In this book we still get a new land with it’s unique culture and dangers, but Alex isn’t on an actual quest. Instead, a friend calls for his help and Alex, being Alex, runs off to help. As a result this book is even more tightly focused on Alex than the previous books.
I honestly missed the camaraderie that a group of adventurers provides and it wasn’t just me. Alex also felt the isolation so I was hopeful we wouldn’t see another quest-less books. (Having read the next book I was sadly disappointed.) However, I really thing this did a lot for Alex’s character. He learned how to do things on his own and trust in himself and his abilities. Often he needed to step forward and offer advice or rush off to save the day. It made for a fairly action packed latter half of the book.
Something else that struck me immediately was the amount of exposition we get within the first few chapters. I picked up on at least three big info dumps plus the normal exposition this series tends to have.
Nezza is an interesting land of deserts, mountains and forests. Sadly, other than a few unique perspectives on magic and having a king…..the land felt very bland culturally. I kept trying to infuse any sort of desert/arid culture in my head but that was all me. There was a tiny bit when they are actually in the desert, but even that was kind of minor.
As I hinted to already the plot was good for Alex, it also did a lot to make the big baddies of the series more of a real threat. The pacing was pretty good for the most part…..once you get past the exposition in the beginning.
In summary it isn’t one of my favorite books in the series, but I can appreciate it for what it does for the series and for Alex in particular.