It set nearby unmoving with a gray quivering mule and on the ground the slumping body of a man still holding the reigns beneath his life force spilling from the holes of three bone spun arrows fletched with owl feathers sticking from his crimson soaked back.
In The Last Legend by T. B. Odin action abounds. Being warned of a betrayal plot against her father Galedian sets out on a dangerous trek to warn him. Along the way she is rescued from goblins and orcs by Tyrell Nacar who escorts and protects her. A romantic interest begins to develop between them and Braxon’s plot against her father turns out to be more complicated than was thought. The evil intentions of demons in league with traitorous evil men to rule the world can be stopped only by an alliance of the free peoples of the world: men dwarves and elves.
Relations between dwarves and elves are sometimes strained as this disagreement between Thorin and Zimnefin illustrates. “‘We should retreat to the cover of the woods!’ one elf cried out. ‘This is not our problem!’ said another. ‘You must stand and fight you tree-huggin cowards.’ Thorin yelled out over the others. Zimn gazed around as the tension grew thicker among them like a blinding fog. A sense of disgust formed in the back of his jaw filling him with a desire to spit it out.”
Odin’s colorful use of description at times reminiscent of Edward Bulwer Lytton crops out at odd moments in unexpected directions. His use of description however is not the only drawback to his writing style. Frequently his word choice completely disrupts the emotional involvement of the reader bringing laughter at a tender moment or in the midst of tension. At other times his word choice is just bizarre suggesting a lack of education. The book is filled with misspellings poor grammar and punctuation typographical errors and colloquialisms.
Although Odin has a vivid imagination he lacks basic story telling skills and far too many of his ideas borrow heavily from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or the computer game Dungeon’s and Dragons. He uses too many passive constructions where there should be an active voice and he tells far too much when he should be showing us instead. The pace of the story varies wildly often dragging during the first 300 pages which deal mainly with the journey to warn Galedian’s father and preparations for war. The war takes 70 pages but is told with too much detail of battle often stroke by stroke while the strategy of the battle is presented in a confusing blur.
The best parts of the book are where the writing fails so badly that the reader laughs at the absurd. “Beside him the hard dark exotic - yellow eyes shot him a troubling glance from the long silver haired wolf of enormous size.” All of us who love Tolkien would welcome another good epic adventure filled with elves dwarves and men overcoming evil but this is not it.
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