My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Henry is a wealthy carpenter who wishes to marry the Isabelle from a pauper noble family. There is genuine love between the two, but unfortunately there is also a heinously evil father Lord Oslan between them. Lord Oslan is prideful, poor, and has no friends. For some reason he worries about what people think of him, but the truth is everyone who knows him hates him. Since Henry isn't a noble despite his wealth and the dowry he'd pay for Isabelle, Lord Oslan refuses to give Henry the right to marry Isabelle.
So A Tale of Light and Shadow isn't what I was expecting. I read the short story The Fool and the Dragonox and I was expecting at the very least more magical creatures, but sadly there weren't any. There is the slightest hints of magic with a tiny bit displayed, but it seems rather worthless. The story could basically be summed up as evil noble Dad literally ruins his daughters life. The betrayed lovers along with their friends and family run away to save Henry and Isabelle's love and all their lives.
It has been a while since I've encountered mustache twirling tie a girl to the train tracks kind of villains, but this story has two of them. I can not express enough how evil these two men actually are. Maybe no one hugged them as children or perhaps they needed to be spanked, but these guys are monsters.
One of the things that bothered me is how dumb can protagonists be. How many times does someone have to try to kill you before you stop trusting the kind things they say? For me I think once would probably be enough, but perhaps under the craziest of circumstances twice. Henry and Isabelle have that doe eyed naivete that makes you want to smack them for their sakes. They trust the evil Dad and listen to their friends when the say just hear him out or give it a try. If that's me I'm saying "do you even listen to me? That fool tried to kill me and you are saying hear him out??? You must have lost your d**n minds." But that's not Henry and Isabelle.
So the majority of the book is spent with our heroes running away. Which is awesome to read about. It's my own fault I knew the story was about a carpenter I guess I just thought he'd get powers or powerful friends. I know they say don't judge a book by the cover, but I thought the back cover was a safe haven from that counsel.
The back cover says:
An Emperor Hunts Them. (That's true)
A Dark Prophecy Betrays Them. (I must have missed that)
An Epic Journey Awaits Them. (Agree to disagree)
Six friends embark on a quest against insurmountable odds. (That's mostly true)
Only love and friendship can save them (Yet to be proven true or false)
The back cover gave me a politicians answer. Kind of true, somewhat true, some truth in it, but not 100% true.
A Tale of Light and Shadow was a disappointment and I don't imagine I'll continue with the series.
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