Whiskey Creek Press
I love graphic novels and Bow and Blade by Daniel Calhoun would make a great one. That said, it also sets aside what is a novel. It is what I also would call a ‘proposal’ book. Meaning, the ending is left not only wide open, but deliberate lines of story not resolved. The epilogue itself is an advertisement for book number two.
I get it that the publishing industry is cutthroat; you must sell a minimum number of books to get the next one published and so on and so forth. This new trend however, really bugs the reader in me. Now, warning, SPOILER ALERTS ahead. What about the story? What is it, and what is it about?
It is not a quest like so many formula fantasy novels tend to be. Adventures such as this are usually more broad in that there is war or something to defeat some enemy in some manner or other. It is about a ragtag group of old friends, and one new one who is an enemy of humans. Half demon, half human, she is called a Cambion, and her name is Stasciana Darkblade. The flawless hero is named Danel Blackwalker, a Highlander. His people were dispersed by the demons and lost their land. So, many of his people hire themselves out as Mercenaries, but with high honor, power that comes from their connections to the Spirits, and their beliefs in the myths of old.
This is basically a love story between two very unlikely people that are apparently destined to be together. I have no problem with that, but other than Danel being honorable, respectful, and nice to Stasciana, I have a hard time believing that a half-demon, tortured into becoming an assassin, would be so easily turned by kindness. I realized the goal of the book is to entertain and it certainly does that. The fight scenes, and descriptions of the environment is superlative.
Descriptions of the characters emotions became a bit too mundane and repetitive in descriptions, especially Stasciana’s tears. If she is an assassin, I would imagine tears for her would have stopped long ago. So to have her crying on and off through out the story seemingly at the drop of the hat, makes it too contrived. Perhaps I am being too harsh, but then as a writer I demand a lot from the stories I read. Over all, Bow and Blade is a nice simple fun read, and if that is all you are looking for, this is the one for you.
Reviewed By Nancy Louise
© August 2009