Tsalix Silverthorn and the Desert of Desolation by Richard Siddoway
Thank you to 'Love books tours' and the author for sending me this proof copy in exchange for an honest review.
Having retrieved the first talisman from the top of Mount Jinee, Tsalix and his friends are faced with another daunting task. They must cross Shayeksten, the Desert of Desolation to reach Mount Tsood and find the second talisman.
Shayeksten is formidable, dry, hot, and covered with drifting sand. Compounding their problem is their nemesis, Captain Nash Doitsoh and his band of soldiers, who are patrolling the desert and are determined to capture Tsalix and bring him to Prince Abadon. If they are successful in crossing Shayeksten and reaching Mount Tsood they must find where the talisman is hidden and then return to Mount Deschee to deliver it to the King.
Genre Fantasy / Adventure / Quest / War & Combat fiction Review When accepting this proof copy I hadn't realised it was part of a series however after a little research I found that others had mentioned that it could be read as a standalone as well as part of the series so I ventured on with the book in the hope I'd be able to follow it. As someone reading this book as a standalone I feel it could have benefited from a Prologue, just a short round up maybe to give me an overview of what I missed in the first book, (this would also be helpful for those who have read the first book but maybe a length of time has passed) a little about the characters and the setting. I say this just because it jumps straight in and I felt just a little bit worried after the first chapter that I didn't know enough background.
Chapter 2 does offer some background information and helps to give the reader an idea of what they've missed which is helpful. As does chapter 3. However I still felt a little lost at times, like I wasn't able to fully appreciate the story without background knowledge. As I push on through the chapters I was pleasantly surprised, though not fast paced or full of big punchy events it progresses at a steady pace and kept me interested. I don't read many adventure and quest books so it was a different experience for me, a very different type of writing. As previously mentioned I read this book as a stand alone, I do feel that I was at a disadvantage as in this book there wasn't much in the way of character building which left me unable to properly imagine what they would look like. I do feel that I would have benefited from reading this book as part of the series as opposed to as a stand alone. The descriptions of the various locations though were great so I was able to imagine the setting as they went along their journey. The book was well written and enjoyable I just felt at times that it would have been helpful to have a little more knowledge about how the characters looked and their backstory. I wouldn't say this book is unreadable as a standalone, I read it and it kept me interested I just feel like it would have been so much better to have read as part of the series.
The ending was a little flat for my liking, I didn't feel like it had enough of a punch. It did leave me wanting to read the next book though because it left so many unanswered questions and didn't feel like the natural end to a book. So I guess in that sense it did well. I do hope I get the opportunity to read the next book as I have a feeling I'd be able to enjoy it even more having read this one. I'd certainly recommend this book to adventure and quest fans though I would advise them to read it in order of the series to be able to enjoy it to its full potential.
Star Rating As a stand alone I would give this 3 stars. I think though if I was reading this as part of the series I would have better knowledge of the characters and feel less out of the loop so I would have likely given it 4 stars if reading as part of the series.