Review: “Union of Renegades”, Book One of The Rys Chronicles, has details that are admirable: maps and background information on locations and kingdoms which can be great additions to help readers visualize a work. They evidenced the careful thought and planning which went into the novel, and the seriousness with which the author considered the genre.
My problematic issue was that the execution seemed somewhat uneven. The author displayed great world building skills, yet the dialogue at times seemed rather abrupt. Often the characters were thinking, making observations or decisions, yet I felt there was little or no indication of how they came to those conclusions. I would have preferred being shown more of how things happened or came to be.
When I’m reading, it’s important for me to be able to relate to the characters in some way, to their personalities, emotions or realities, and through their relation to others in the story I can gain further insight to care about them, want them to succeed or overcome their difficulties. Miranda, a runaway slave, and Dreibrand, a runaway lieutenant both were challenges for me as I felt their actions and behavior sometimes didn’t seem to meet the demands of the situation or reflect what I’d learned of their histories. When the rys kingdom and characters were introduced I found myself wanting more insight into the people themselves.
I particularly enjoyed the finely detailed settings in which the author placed their characters and scenes. The narrative really flowed, and there was good pacing, there was always something new happening. I really wanted to like this book, as epic and high fantasy is one of my favorite genres, I just think this could really have benefited from streamlining too much extra information and focusing on the main character’s roles, as the secondary ones were more outstanding for me. “Union of Renegades” can be enjoyable in and of itself. There are three books which followed in the series: The Goddess Queen, Book 2, Judgement Rising, Book 3, and The Borderlands of Power, Book 4, I would be certain the author added to her characters so that they matched their very believable and well drawn environments.
Publisher: Brave Luck Books / Smashwords (depending on edition)
Publication date: Original edition January 2006
Buy Link: Goodreads.com
Per Tracey Falbe’s Goodreads.com page, a free copy can be downloaded by visiting www.braveluck.com
Tracy Falbe has been an enthusiast of fantasy fiction stories since childhood. She was born in Michigan in 1972 and grew up in Mt. Pleasant. She lived in Nevada from 1995 to 1997, in Northern California from 1997 to 2009, and now currently resides in Michigan with her husband, sons, German shepherd, and black cat. Her hobbies include being a news junkie, baking, and gardening.
In 2000, she earned a journalism degree from California State University, Chico. She considers writing a necessary activity that she enjoys. She has the most fun writing in the fantasy genre. She finds inspiration in history and likes to contemplate warfare before gunpowder and life without modern technology. Placing characters in an elder world fantasy setting fascinates her and allows her to explore age-old notions of bravery when combat was often done face-to-face. Magic is another story element that adds to the pleasure of writing in this genre.
Since learning to read and write as a child, Tracy always knew that she wanted to write novels. The Rys Chronicles represents the efforts of many adult years.