Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review of Sagar'un: Tales of New World by Crystal Rayne and Konrad Hollenstein

As a reader, I open every book with an expectation of excellence. This writer, whoever they are, is going to sweep me off my feet into a realm of wonder and adventure. This expectation keeps me reading past the parts where things may not quite make sense in order to fully dig out and appreciate the book as a whole. In the case of Sagar'un: Tales of a New World, my expectation did not survive to the end of the prologue.

Naming the god of all creation, Kronos the Lord of Time, was one of the first things I noticed and found disheartening. Yes, the name carries with it a long history, but it also smacks of a lack of imagination. Especially when the names given to the other gods do not follow the same pattern. There is a comma splice on page one. In some cases, that alone would be enough to cause a reader to stop reading. Also on page one, there are verb tense changes within sentences and needless repetition. Keep in mind, this is all on page one. The prologue goes on for approximately ten pages.

The prologue covers the birth of a new world, the world of Sagar'un. Sagar'un is built by four elemental spirits: Safa, Savina, Nido, and Baphtomos. A pantheon of lesser gods and goddesses is also involved, called the Pathon. I'm not entirely sure if that is an attempt at a new name or a misspelling on the part of the authors. While the groups are convened together, Kronos sets the world in motion, starts time, and reveals to the assembled how he is going to make Sagar'un different from the other worlds previously made. He is going to give man command of his own destiny. I do not quite understand why the God of Evil, Malicos, gets upset about this. Malicos and his counterpart, Hyboros, get into an argument and cause the destruction of the gem created from the essence of the four elementals by Kronos. Kronos then hides the portions of the gem so neither Malicos nor Hyboros can take control of the gem. While on the surface, this seems perfectly acceptable, I have several questions at the end of the prologue.

First, why did Kronos allow these two to undo his work? He has the ability to freeze them in time, so he did not have to allow it to happen. Why let them destroy his work and then threaten them with consequences? It seems very backward.

Second, why are Malicos and Hyboros even arguing? Hyboros makes a comment that Malicos is upset about how mankind having the gem will make the balance of good and evil secondary. I do not follow this logic. Good and evil are human concepts. Giving men power and choice in no way changes how easily swayed they are. In fact, power makes it easier to sway a person to the dark side. As the saying goes: Power corrupts.

Third, why toss the pieces down to Sagar'un at all? Once the gem bursts, Kronos takes up the pieces. Why not simply use them to reconstitute the gem instead of throwing them down to the world below? Or, return the power to the elementals he took them from? His choice does not make sense.

These are not the only questions I am left with at the end of the prologue, but simply the ones I have the hardest time attempting to answer. Combined with the grammatical mistakes, these questions make it very hard to keep interest in the story. I read all 410 pages of Sagar'un: Tales of a New World and there were a few glimmers of possibility in its pages, but mostly I found it incredibly disappointing from beginning to end.

There are obvious points where the dialogue does not fit the setting. The leader of a wolf pack screaming about “LEGAL TRICKERY,” for example. (pp. 56) Or the mother of the chief asking, “Who are you guys?” (pp. 36). It destroys suspension of disbelief. Basic grammar rules such as those for comma usage and apostrophes are consistently ignored, another jarring effect. Finally, the plot itself is only cohesive in sections, not as a whole. Overall, “Sagar'un” has so many issues, I am surprised it made it into print.

Sagar'un: Tales of New World is available on Amazon.com.

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