Hello readers! As you may have noticed on my calendar widget on the right, today is the long-awaited day where I have the pleasure of being a Novel Publicity Blog Tour host for Ken Floro III’s The Rising Wind. It’s a fun book about high-seas adventure. Read on for more info about the book, my review, and prizes!
About the book: After graduating into the Imperial knighthood, Marcavius and his cousin book passage aboard a merchant ship, the Rising Wind, to visit their family estate before reporting to the legions. They know no ship dares tread the heart of the Mennaidran Sea, yet along their voyage a strange fog suddenly sets the Rising Wind adrift in those haunted waters. Fortunately another passenger offers his skill as a navigator to save the day, yet he insists that the ship first detour to a nearby island to replenish its supplies. There the ship’s unlucky passengers soon learn that the monsters and magic of legend are no mere myths! Friends, strangers, and even bitter enemies must work together in order to survive and escape. Yet some of the greatest dangers they’ll face are destined to come from one another. Get The Rising Wind through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
My review guidelines: As you know from my last Novel Publicity review, I HATE spoilers as a reader, so as a reviewer, I avoid them as best as possible. As a writer and an editor, I put a lot of value on the language itself used to tell a tale. A 10/10 review for me will be one with an amazing plot, characters I love, and enchanting writing. I can’t get lost in a book without falling under the spell of its words–and the spell will be ineffectual without a great plot to fall into.
With that said, please enjoy my review.
I was impressed by this book I might not have stumbled upon on my own, since I haven’t been exposed to this book genre as much as its equivalent movie genre. I was reminded of a cross between Pirates of the Caribbean and Errol Flynn’s classic swashbuckling high-seas adventures from the 1930s-40s (i.e. Captain Blood, the Sea Hawk, etc.).
I would classify this as an adult adventure fantasy mythopoeia (a genre with a mythology created by the author). I think the book would most appeal to older teens and adults.
The world: I think this was my favorite part of the novel; it immediately drew me in. I was extremely impressed with the level of detail. Although the book is a fantasy, many of the details suggested a 1700s-1800s European-esque culture, and some of the religion seems more ancient. Floro clearly did ample research in clothing, seafaring, armor, weaponry, mythos, etc., which paid off in immersion. There were lots of different fantastical elements, too, such as monsters and mists, but they all seemed to work together well. Because of adequate set-up, you never felt shocked out of the book, even when some of the more surreal elements came about. Really, the world was as clear to me as if I were in it myself. I think this would make a great movie, especially if the special effects could be done well and dashing young actors, a la Flynn, could be cast. Which brings me to:
The characters were not as complex as I was hoping for. Marc was brash and overconfident, a bit tiresome to follow after awhile–but it did make sense for his societal role as a knight. It was hard for me to consider him as a love interest for the female lead, Adrianna, but then, she was his opposite–faltering and wide-eyed…not my fave. I DID greatly appreciate that she loved books, she was curious, and she wouldn’t always let herself be told what to do (but sometimes). If you read my Strong Female Characters post, you already know that I am extreme in my wanting VERY strong heroines, so perhaps this is my own bias getting in the way. Honestly, my favorite character was the even more bookish Monty, Marc’s more thoughtful cousin. However, I did appreciate the fully-stocked cast, with lots of distinctive characters who brought the world to life. So I guess I liked the variety of characters more than the main two.
The plot was quick-paced, especially after the first chapter. Every page was interesting, full of heart-pounding adventure that made you want to keep reading. It was a nice balance of action and character/relationship-building. The pacing was well-done, and the ending was fulfilling with enough of a cliff-hanger that will make you want to read the rest of the series.
The language was overall very good, with a few areas for improvement. I really liked the imagery, descriptiveness, and vocabulary. However, I would advise the old “show, don’t tell” guideline for Floro. He did a great job of showing us the character’s emotions through their actions and expressions, but sometimes, he also went on to tell us their emotions after we could already infer them through such clues. This was a little jarring and frustrating for the reader who wants to go on to the action. It also felt out-of-place for third-person narration that switched among several different viewpoints. This would be very easy for Floro to adjust in the future–just leave out the word for the emotion; the other cues are amply and gracefully done.
Review: 7/10. Well-done! I look forward to reading other works by this author.
About the author: Ken was born and raised in the Southside of Saint Louis. After earning a degree in World Literature, followed by a degree in Culinary Arts, Ken soon made the obvious career move and went to work in medicine. If you’re having any trouble guessing why, then you’ve probably never served time in the literary or culinary fields. A little taste of reality can suddenly turn a healthy paycheck, normal working hours, and long-term job security into sumptuous delicacies. Despite the sudden change in his employment trajectory, Ken never turned away from his dream of writing. He’d nurtured a lifelong creative ambition, which had gained direction when a funny true story he wrote for a high school English class became so popular with his classmates they traded copies of it in the hall and passed them up and down the bus. Ever since that catalytic moment, Ken has been writing as a hobby and a passion. Thus far, he’s published eight books, along with several other tidbits. Connect with Ken on his website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.
About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of The Rising Wind! Here’s what you need to do…
- Enter the Rafflecopter contest
- Leave a comment on my blog.
That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form on the official Rising Wind tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!