Book Review: The Trials of Lance Eliot

The Trials of Lance Eliot
by Adam Stück (as M.L. Brown)

Genre: Fantasy

Trials of LE

I am not going to give much of a review of this book, because the author has stated that he plans to rewrite it, whether he eventually publishes that new version or not (he stated this over 4 years ago, so who knows what progress he may or may not have made on it by now).

I knew about this book because the author is my sister’s brother-in-law. I followed his blog for part of the time it existed, from 2011 through 2016. The book was published in 2012. It is a fantasy tale of a college student who is accidentally summoned to another world in the hopes that he can help those who summoned him stave off war (they were attempting to summon Lancelot and got Lance Eliot). This regular, flawed man goes through a lot of hardship in his journey to return home, and that’s only 1/3 of his story. (The rest of the trilogy wasn’t written at the time that the author decided to re-write the first book.)

After finishing the book, I searched Adam’s blog for posts related to the book and found out that pretty much all of the downsides I saw in the book he had already identified and planned to change in his re-write (as well as other changes that he has planned). It is mostly for this reason that I do not intend to list any of these things, and instead will just link to his own post on the matter (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT). (I actually read this post when he first wrote it and made some comments, even though I hadn’t read the book at the time. I didn’t recall this at all until I saw my comment there today.)

Though the author intends to rewrite the book, you still may find the first version of interest, especially if you enjoy J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Dante’s Inferno, or mythology. (Don’t read the post about what he intends to change before reading it though. There are spoilers!)

Find out more about The Trials of Lance Eliot

See what I’m reading next.

If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!

Book Review: Weave a Circle Round

Weave a Circle Round
by Kari Maaren

My rating: 3.5 / 5
Genre: YA Fantasy

WaCR

Freddy doesn’t have the most pleasant life–she doesn’t get along with her siblings very well, her parents are basically non-existent, and her friendships are fragile at best. When Cuerva Lachance and Josiah move in next door, and Josiah starts going to her school, I’d imagine she longs for the simpler days when those relationships were her only problems. The new neighbors just don’t seem to obey the laws of physics, and worse yet, they end up sucking Freddy into their bizarre lives, which just happen to involve time travel.

I enjoyed most of this book. Though I didn’t connect with the main character or her family in the first section of the book, the mystery presented in the second section had me coming back to it every chance I got. I also enjoyed the way the author looped the time traveling, especially when it related to “present time.” My sense of foreboding grew along with the main character, as the time travel played itself out. However, the ending of the book didn’t deliver quite the punch I was expecting. I didn’t follow some of it, and for the rest of it, I was a little out of my element regarding the fantasy elements. There was one moment that I really liked, that called back to the very beginning, but I can’t say more than that. I appreciate Kari’s mind toward continuity within a story.

Overall, I’d say this book is worth a read, especially if you enjoy fantasy, fairy tales, and mythology.

I also want to again mention Kari’s web comics, West of Bathurst and It Never Rains. The former has some fantasy/fairy tale elements, and the latter is more sci-fi. Both have long-running plots (as opposed to a gag-a-day type format).

Find out more about Kari Maaren and Weave a Circle Round

If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!