Thursday 30 July 2015

Book Musings / Read4Review - Magic/Blade ( Notes from an Arena Onlooker ) by J D Camacho

Title : Magic/Blade (Notes from an Arena Onlooker)
Author : J D Camacho
Series : Areniana Book 1
Genre : Fantasy, Action
Source : Free copy from the author through the Read and Review program at The Choosy Bookworm for an honest review

Blurb :

The world of the Arena is a personal one. In the shadow of the crowd, on the sands of battle, each combatant here has something to prove. Here, a wizard wants to show everyone that an orc can become the most celebrated spellcaster in history. Here, a barbarian craves victory so much that he would sacrifice his soul to win. Here, a giant needs success on the grandest of stages to achieve riches beyond his wildest dreams. And here, a dwarf trained by elves may defy them all in his quest to become the greatest Arena fighter of all-time.

These are the scrawls of a scribe who saw every one of their encounters with each other. These are his chronicles. This is their combat. The Arena beckons.

My Musings :

Though this is categorised as a fantasy book, it is quite different from the others.

Let me start at the beginning and put my thoughts to paper. I requested the ebook for review mainly because of the book cover which hints at a confrontation between a human and an other and the book blurb which hints at quite a violent and fight centric story. Though it took a while for me to get into the story, it caught up fast after I understood what was happening. That was kind of my fault because I thought the tale would be about a singular fighter against all. But what it is, is a chronicle of the journey of all fighters who enter into the Arena in a particular time period.

The uniqueness of the book comes in the form of the protagonist, who is a journalist/scribe who writes about all the fights, the important and the non important ones too. Though the story is told in the voice of the scribe, the spotlight is on the fighters and the fights which made history. Sometimes it was a direct account which made me feel as I was in the stands getting involved in the excitement along with the spectators while other times it was a bit in the narration style which didn't have me visualising it right.

The story is well written and the characters are well described with attention to detail. Though it is primarily a book about combat in the Arena, it does venture into the personal lives of the fighters. The before and now versions of them are shown in the book for our understanding. Among them, Rockhammer is the one who caught my fancy and quickly became my favourite.

I might not personally follow the series since this one was totally out of my comfort zone since it was not like the fantasy stories I am familiar with. But I would say this will be a good fit for readers who like to read about gladiator style stories in a fantasy setting.

My one line rating : A different take on gladiator fights in a fantasy setting!

My rating : 3.5/5

My reread factor : 3/5


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