Quiet in the Realm

About the book by Author Joseph Sutton
Epic Fantasy, 520 Pages

Cover RealmThe realm is quiet.

In the capital, idleness has corrupted mind and body alike following the longest peace in living memory, but the threat of whispers are rising again in courtrooms and alehouses across the land. Rumours are spreading like some toxic wildfire, leaving a trail of suspicion in their wake. Some are brave enough to dig for answers, but many more schemers want to fill the hole in and keep their secrets buried deep.

Ever more marriage pacts loom in such uncertain times, and wedding bells chime almost nightly, but reputations trail every nobleman, and some are more harrowing than others would believe.

Far from the mutter words and fancy pursuits of such highborns, the villages are suffering. Food is sparse, and even the young have long grown hungry. When stomachs churn and beggars go without, the laws of any realm would be tested to the letter.

Far away, across the Misty Sea, a stranger sits. Rich, powerful, but shrouded in mystery, the city that few care to speak of could have a part to play. But who, if anyone, will befriend this silent stranger?

The realm is quiet, for now.

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Reviewed by Guest Reviewer, the Twisted Book Carmudgeon

Quiet in the Realm follows the trials and tribulations of many characters in a land full of evil deeds. Told in multiple points of view, the story centers on a land that is on the brinks of war. The author allows the reader to see the truth in each class in this corrupt society.  The characters seem complex and the plot and realm created seem so real.

I enjoyed the saga style of story-telling and also, how it is grounded on the concept of good versus evil.  It is reminiscent of classic novels in its style of writing.   This is not for a very young reader as it has lots of violence and even some racy bits.  It does have an excellent use of high school plus vocabulary and gives explicit descriptions of the characters, events and scenery in the story.

The main issues I had with this work is that it is very detailed in its descriptions, leaving little to the imagination of the reader. Alas, I found myself skipping parts and skim reading because it dragged the story down, rather than maintaining the pace.

The author uses large words and complex sentences, which are fine, but the work is rather busy. There are multiple characters and minutia of every day life, combined with the language, added a layer of complexity that the story could have done without. While in hindsight, the information and different points of view gave an insight into the society, I do feel that condensing some aspects of the story would have helped drive the main plot. I enjoy the red herrings and signals that information would be important later on.

The author and story has enormous potential. I look forward to future offerings.

♦   ♦   ♦

With thanks to Lilac Reviews for the opportunity.  Twisted Book Carmudgeon’s Facebook Page

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