****I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review****
“Draguntome: Heir of the Forsaken” is the start of what I feel will be a very long fantasy series. Plum sets up a lot of tantalizing tidbits about this new world: an evil king, long forgotten dragon knights (and yes, dragons), mystical artifacts, pirates, and other creatures of legend. We get these hints through Kalos, a young boy on the cusp of becoming a man, as he follows his father on a mysterious quest, gathering items for … something. Kalos never learns the true extent of his father’s dealings as danger suddenly finds them, keeping Kalos always one step behind from ever being told the truth about what’s going on, and his sudden role in it. Unfortunately, as is the case sometimes with the first book in a long series, this book teases a lot, and sets up a lot of promises, but does not answer any questions.
There is a lot going on in this story, and Plum does a decent job of bringing a lot of elements back at the end that seemed random, and out of place, when they were first introduced in the beginning of the book, so I was impressed with his ability to keep track of those details, and rectify their jarring initial inclusion. But it takes the book a while to really find its feet, and I was still uncertain as to the main conflict about 40% in. When things kind of get settled, and you know “ah yes, that’s what’s happening and I approve!” then more promises get made… More secrets get teased, new characters, and creatures are introduced, and just before Kalos can definitively learn what the heck is happening, and why everyone is being so mysterious around him, the book ends!
It really does set up for a very long series just based on what was kind of set up in book one with all the different elements that will need to be addressed, and I hope Plum takes his time with later books to really address, and answers those questions in a satisfactory way, because it’ll be the only way to make all these little teases from the first book worth it. It’s not terrible that the book does this, I just know from personal experience that, unless you’re prepared to have the first book in a series just kind of be a long prologue, it can be frustrating, so consider yourself forewarned.
Over all, while the book could use another round of edits to clean up some of the grammatical issues, it’s a cute story, one that has the makings of a large epic fantasy world to be sure. Plum has a way of capturing accents very well in his dialogue that make all his characters sound different, quite literally, and he clearly has a lot of fun writing his action scenes! The writing style isn’t overly complicated, making this book appropriate for younger readers as the violence isn’t gory, there isn’t really any language, and the romances are more crush-like and innocent at this stage. Really the only thing holding my rating back was the slow start to the central conflict, my preference to having more of those tidbits of the world be fleshed out, to have some closure in book one before heading into book two, and the need for a bit more editing. But given the breadth of Plum’s imagination, I’m sure this series is one that will get better with each subsequent book, but I can only give THIS book 3 stars, but am looking forward to more in the “Heir of the Forsaken” series!
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