Wednesday 29 August 2018

Book Review: Crowning Fantasy by Coral Russell

Last Updated: 19 July 2021

Crowning Fantasy by Coral Russell book cover

AD* | Welcome to the world of Varlid, a sprawling epic fantasy about power, loyalty, betrayal, and the courage to change. A great power struggle is poised to erupt across Varlid. A meek creature inherits power beyond her comprehension. A giant succumbs to a curse that will either liberate or defeat his kind. Tiny wizards practice the dark arts to save their race. The old order stews in bitterness and vows revenge. The rich sit on their thrones convinced they are invincible. Join the Crowning Fantasy as the inhabitants of Varlid struggle to find refuge, freedom and peace.

High fantasy fiction has so much raw potential. With pretty much free reign, authors are able to craft entire worlds and fill them with rich culture, history and characters. They can become epic sagas or stand-alone greats but will be remembered for sheer creativity if nothing else.

As a high fantasy novel, Crowning Fantasy had the potential to be just that. Set in a completely new world, with its own systems, politics and races, the potential was definitely there. 

However, sadly, this book simply could not meet the expectations outlined by its genre.

Crowning Fantasy is difficult to follow and reads as though random words have simply been thrown together on random pages of the book. There is so much going on that the events are extremely hard to follow and it's all too tempting to skip past the bits that just don't make any sense.

However, that's not all, as Russell seems to have taken the creative freedom of the high fantasy genre and ramped it up to the max. There are seemingly endless different creatures, races and parts of the world that are poorly explained and just casually thrown into the mix at random. Each race seems to have its own customs and traditions which the reader is expected to know, and irrelevant points about the land's history also pop up every now and then.

The characters are two-dimensional and poorly fleshed out, seeming to act on whims rather than having any real emotion or motivation behind their actions. This leads us to quickly become disinterested in their story and wish for the book to end. 

Another problem was the names of the characters, places and races in the book. Originality is definitely not an issue here, but most of the names seem to be comprised of random strings of letters jumbled together. They're jarring, jolting, and virtually impossible to pronounce which quickly lead me to get various characters muddled up.

Crowning Fantasy had a lot of potential, but sadly, it fell flat for me.

Rating: 1 star

Crowning Fantasy is available to buy now.

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* I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Have you read the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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