Foreword Reviews

The Legacy of Skur

Volume One

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

The Legacy of Skur is an intricate, beguiling, and promising way to begin a fantasy series.

Morally ambiguous wizards, half-trolls, and a powerful talisman are among the features that make The Legacy of Skur a compelling fantasy saga. Generations of a diverse and devoted gentry family struggle to reconcile themselves to the magic they’ve brought into their midst in this intricate beginning to L. F. Falconer’s series.

Fane feels dwarfed by his impressive brother Kael, whose warrior status is far more respectable than the wizarding path that Fane has chosen. When the wizard he is apprenticing with hints that the key to eternal life waits on the mountain Skur, Fane seizes the opportunity to prove his own worth. With his loyal friend Jink at his side, he sets out to secure himself a legacy.

But an evil dragon who lusts after the crystal around his neck puts a kink in Fane’s plans, and a loyal young troll, by giving him a daughter, proves to be his only pathway home. Kael takes this beautiful and gifted young girl, Elva, into his care, with the help of a young villager, Alyn, whose goodness inspires loyalty and love. The dragon stalks the family, though, in search of what is his, and the horrors that he prepares for them have inexorable consequences.

At more than four hundred pages long, this is a hefty introduction to the Skur series, though its wealth of story lines and fascinating twists could withstand even lengthier expansions. Fane is a sympathetic first hero, and Kael a noble protagonist in his place. Secondary characters, particularly Jink and Alyn, are afforded their own complexities; circumstances test their moral mettle, but their goodness endures. Central characters warrant ample affection, and the tragedies sprinkled throughout the text earn emotional responses.

At points throughout, the text seems to rush toward next developments, and though unfolded battle scenes and magical clashes are always appropriately thrilling, greater attention to between times might have added even greater depth. Some textual tendencies may rankle. Jink can’t stop modifying his sentences with “bloody”; happy-go-lucky pub-frequenter that he is, this habit quickly becomes too much. Body parts are often awkwardly referenced—“dairy” for breasts, powerful “manhoods,” and the like. An abundance of rapes make the text seem gratuitously violent and may limit the audience more than the wild and fantastic narrative otherwise requires.

But Elva, the complex and lovable heroine who emerges from all of the tragedies in early portions of the text, is a protagonist charming enough to carry interest through. Her struggles to reconcile her innate innocence with the horrific events she witnesses, and the tribulations she endures, are captivating. Certain gifts of her lineage are replete with magical potential, and following volumes, if they expand upon these, are likely to build upon such fascinations.

The Legacy of Skur is an intricate, beguiling, and promising way to begin a fantasy series.

Reviewed by Michelle Anne Schingler

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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