Relics and Wonders: Lombard’s Amulet

By Kevin Mullikin & Randall Ridings

Rating:  star star star star star 

IR Verdict:

Book Reviews, eBooks, Fantasy, Fiction  •  Dec 10, 2012

When a thirteen year-old girl is kidnapped from an elf palace, a series of events is set in motion that threatens to forever alter the world around her.

The girl is no ordinary thirteen year-old and has been kept by the infamous Dark Elf Mahgus for motives that threaten the entire human race. As various characters clash steel, spill blood, and make magic in pursuit of their own goals, the girl and her whereabouts remain of utmost importance, even if it takes a while for many to realize it.

One such character is Draygon. A bounty hunter by trade, Draygon is hot on the trail of two sorcerers. Skilled at combat and possessing certain abilities that are beyond the range of the average human, Draygon is tough but not heartless. He may slash through man-wolves and other beastly creatures without hesitation but he always remembers those who help him along the way. Thanks in large part to a conniving king and a desire to do what is right, Draygon becomes involved with the epic of the kidnapped girl and the danger that surrounds her.

Navigating this world of elves, gnomes, dwarves, and a host of other creatures, some magical, some not, can be challenging even for devoted fans of fantasy. Allegiances are often shifty and it is not always easy to tell who is on the side of good and who is on the side of evil. While it is refreshing to see characterizations that go beyond black and white, it can make for a murky storyline that requires careful attention.

Several pages go by before the reader is likely to decide if we are rooting for Draygon, the sorcerers he is after, the girl who was kidnapped, the gnome who did the kidnapping, or some combination of the bunch. Though a good deal of dialogue is devoted to sorting things out, it often falls into a flat style of questions and answers that sound more like a stilted press conference than a riveting tale of fantasy. Other techniques such as redundant details “All of the torches were extinguished, meaning to find Pohl and any other potential survivors they would have to face the creatures with little to no light” and a noticeably large amount of time characters spend in taverns do little more than put a strain on the progress of the narrative.

Though the world in which he navigates can be confusing and drawn out, Draygon is a likeable enough character with a background that avoids many fantasy clichés. It takes time for his quest to become clear but once it does, the story progresses through enough sword clashing action and magical wonder that it is likely to please many fans of epic fantasy.

Reviewed by Collin Marchiando for IndieReader