Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Afeclin was orphaned as a baby in a terrible attack from which he was protected by magic. Raised with the elves by their king, Afeclin has an ambition to use his natural magical abilities to become a wizard. To do so he must return to the human world accompanied by his friend Wolfgang. Dark times are brewing and danger lurks around every corner. Can they save themselves and the people they love most?
The author, Leisl Kaberry, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
There was a lot to like in Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny (Volume 1) by Leisl Kaberry. Kaberry built a legit fantasy world replete with elements that call back to the feel of the legends of King Arthur combined with the work of Tolkien. The author takes the unique step of infusing humanity into her world with the mythical races in a way that is seamless and complimentary. Afeclin is one with his environment. Kaberry’s setting has defined breaks. Not safe zones per say but boundaries. She gives us a perfect introduction to the story with a scene in which two characters interact. One is a powerful and dangerous man and the other is an innkeeper working for him. The innkeeper asks the man how he plans to staff his establishments. The dangerous man, without a seeming thought, says “slave girls….and I’ll take that one,” the innkeeper’s daughter. What follows is a stand-off in which the dangerous man gets what he wants. This is a world without rules.
There are many characters featured in the somewhat short chapters and constant shifts of Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny (Volume 1). One of the stand-outs is the character of Lenna, an Elvin woman engaged to Wolfgang. Lenna is clearly very strongly traditional. At one point in the story she expresses distaste for someone who is, in her opinion, as an example of what Elvin women who don’t marry become. When she finds herself in the world outside of what she knows she feels she must find Wolfgang to survive. Fans of strong characters may roll their eyes as they read this, but while Lenna is traditional, she is not weak. The character is a prime example that could translate to life that few people are only one dimensional. Just because she has opinions readers might not share and sound like your great-grandmother, there is still a wisdom, vibrancy and value.
Kaberry is a native of Australia so may use different idioms than typically used in American English. Because of the nature of the novel and the care given to dialogue that would be authentic to the story, though more casually done than one might see in Tolkien; I didn’t notice any point where that unique accent would stump a reader not of the region.
At 422 pages Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny (Volume 1) isn’t long for the genre. My one big issue with the novel is that it could have been much shorter. Kaberry is talented at writing dialogue but the description and narrative were quite repetitive. There were several points where a paragraph of description could have been condensed to a sentence and maintained effectiveness in the story line. That said, Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny (Volume 1) is Kaberry’s first novel and as she gets more comfortable with the characters and the world, I can see her finding a better flow. Sometimes these tendencies to over explain have a feeling of what the author can do. In Kaberry’s case, the lack of condensing thought read as over thinking especially as, at the start, the feeling of the narrative was that the author had written as simply as she could to convey a lot of knowledge and not confuse the younger members of the target audience. We’ve all heard the complaint of Shakespeare and the difficulty children have in understanding the text. In actuality, composed thought is often easier understood.
Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny (Volume 1) is a very good idea and the next novel has great promise. If you are a fantasy reader, give this unique new author a try. Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny (Volume 1) is listed as teen fantasy but is truly a book for all ages.
Leisl Kaberry is a Australian author. Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny (Volume 1) is the first novel in a planned series.