The Orb of Truth
The Orb of Truth came as rather a pleasant surprise. To be strictly truthful, the whole adventure fantasy genre has been one avoided ever since the professor in a long-ago course in Chaucer warned his class that J.R.R. Tolkien should be avoided as he wrote ‘fake English mythology.’ It was decades later that a friend said, “But isn’t mythology supposed to be fake?” It’s a pretty good counter-argument, you must admit.
Fans of Tolkien or Terry Brooks, those readers who enjoy the quests of little forest-like creatures accompanied by dwarves and such fighting off completely evil shape-shifting monsters while on a quest should find a new home in Brae Wyckoff’s book. It has all the appropriate elements to it. Besides those mentioned above, it has a stolen ring, a mystical box, the possibility of a fortune, and, of course, the eponymous Orb of Truth.
Yet, all that said, a novel is not a collection of playing cards scattered across a table, nor is it World of Warcraft. Can Wyckoff actually write? Well, the joyful answer is yes he can. He keeps the pace up – this first of four planned books comes in at a sprightly 242 pages – and doesn’t melt the reader’s mind with too many made-up species, places, or bizarre religions. He lets his characters be real, even if of course they’re not. The only true criticism is that he can be a little light on the descriptions of some of them. One really does need to see what his hero Bradazak looks like in order to be completely drawn in. He is small, has furry pads, but beyond that he is a bit nebulous. Still, the reader can always apply his or her own imagination. Why should the writer do all the work?
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