The Flaming Wrath of Arelor by Richard Falken
unknown pages (would estimate a novella)
Published September 2015
Spanish edition published January 2013
“Wasn’t it ironic that he, the son of an alleged heretic, had sworn vengeance against the followers of Àrelor, Lord of Revenge?”
How Long Are You Willing to Wait…
How Much Are You Willing to Sacrifice …
Would You Give All Your Life Up…
… for Revenge?
The Glorious Empire is ruled with an iron fist by the Clergy of Árelor, Lord of Rage and Revenge. Crime, heresy, anything that goes against the Clergy is punishable by death. Citizens live in fear of their rulers. But what the citizens don’t know is that those in the Clergy are being murdered one by one. There’s a man who seeks to eliminate them all, and any who support their cause. This man leaves no trace, only death and notes.
When Bérinen is named Captain of an army and asked to stop the murderer, they realize that this assassin is far more powerful than they believed him to be. It seems impossible to stop a man so bent on taking down the rulers. But what will happen when Captain Bérinen faces this man for real? Could someone committing such wrongdoings against the Glorious Empire actually be in the right?
There are two thoughts that crossed my mind upon reading and finishing this book.
- This is one of those books in which I’m glad I went into without reading the synopsis or seeing the cover because I likely would have turned away from it.
- I really wish I had more followers so I could get more word spread about books such as this. These small gems truly make reading requests worth it.
In the last few weeks, I was asked by the author to review this book. This is not something I tend to do, but the request was a sincere one, and it’s always nice discovering new authors. I was provided with the genre and a one sentence summary of the story. That was it. Given that, I went into this book with zero expectations. When I finished the story, I was very content with what I had read.
I was immediately hooked from the beginning. It starts off with a strong prologue that gives the exact scene that causes the rest of the story, and the characterization it gave to one of our characters made it easy to sympathize for him.
The story was a bit on the predictable side most times, but I didn’t feel it took away from the story. The story was also originally published in Spanish and later translated to English, so there are sentences that can seem a little awkwardly phrased at times, but I didn’t see it often enough to deter me from reading. The pace wasn’t too slow or too fast, and it was maintained throughout. The settings and items were descriptive enough to imagine everything. There were little moments of humor that made me smile, and it worked well, even in places in which humor wouldn’t be expected. Reactions and conversations were believable, and the characters each had their part to play.
In fact, I grew to really like the characters in the book. This doesn’t happen often when I’m reading, but I started out rather disliking all of the main characters in this book, except for Àldalar. Though the reason I disliked Bérinen was mostly because I was upset we started following him as the lead character instead of Àldalar, so I warmed up to him after a few minutes of reading. As for the rest of the characters, it took me awhile before I could appreciate them. I realized later in the book it was because I wasn’t fully understanding them. I could pinpoint this exactly later in the book when we got a few paragraphs about Erinárix when she was by herself. Though there was more I’d of like to learn about her, such as more about her mother or past, I started to appreciate her character and feelings. I would have liked switching being characters like this a bit more.
My least favorite character ended up being Gérifor. I’m not sure why, but he seemed to give off a very distrustful vibe, and I just couldn’t get over that. My favorite character was Edge. Just kidding, but I was glad for a horse that had it’s on importance and wasn’t just left as some steed to go into battle on. My real favorite character, by far, ended up being Frízinfer. His personality and growth spoke so many volumes, and his way of thinking is something so relatable to real, everyday life.
Can I also mention that it it was great reading this book during a thunderstorm. There are battle scenes in this book, and reading them alongside to thunder and lightning made them that much more enjoyable to me. Also to mention that even though fighting and death appear frequently in this book, it’s in depth, but not overly descriptive and gory. I was so thankful for this. Many authors seem to love detailing gore in fantasy writing, but I for one don’t enjoy such things. I would rather focus on the bigger scene of the battlefield than each death or strike, and this book does a good job at that.
Two things I would have loved to see with this book would have been a better worked out magic system and some sort of glossary at the end to list or explain spells, pronunciation, and each god and goddess (reading Árelor, Lord of Rage and Revenge every time his name was mentioned was very repetitive). As far as the magic system, I would have enjoyed reading more about how one went about studying to increase their magical abilities, and what exactly it took to be able to study this. At times I felt the magic was just kind of used but not really built on any foundation. It didn’t even appear to tire out the person who was casting it.
Overall, I found this book entertaining and the themes of “right vs. wrong”, “justice and revenge” and “thinking for yourself, even if it could be dangerous” were very prominent and well done. It was a short, quick read, and I wish it had of lasted just a little longer. I would enjoy being immersed in this world again and maybe even learning about the other lands. The ending was satisfying, and I would love to know what happened to each character after the last page, as well as the fate of the Glorious Empire.
Unfortunately, I was informed that the English publication of this book is no longer commercially available, but if you can read the original Spanish translation, I recommend giving it a chance!
4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Flaming Wrath of Arelor”
I am glad you liked the book!
Poor Gérifor is hated by everybody. I think I have only found a single reader that liked him. He is probably too calm and cold to be relatable. Fortunately, there are many distinct characters, so it is easy to find one to root for. By the way, Edge is based on a horse that was boarded in a nearby riding school by the time I started writing the book.
I keep getting complaints about the cover and the synopsis. I must just be too bad at marketing. The problem with being a writer is that you can’t just be a writer, you need to be a salesman too. This also applies when you intend to have your book released by a traditional publisher, because you need to sell the novel to them. You write your story like a loving father, but then have to market it like a salesman who sells dishwashers.
There is a sequel to this book, and it would ease your concerns regarding the nature of magic. It follows the last days of the civil war that purged radical Clerics from the Empire. It is a conspiracy story about a secret artifact from the Library of the Golden Book. It brings up some interesting bits about the past of Bérinen, Áldalar and Úrbelond, and the campaign in the Bletan Islands. The best thing of that book is that Edge makes a comeback! Sadly, it has not been translated to English.
It is a miracle the English version of this story turned out so well as it did. My English was not very good back then, and I could not afford a professional translation. I had to translate the book myself, then gather a team of volunteers over IRC in order to fix translation mistakes. The whole process was very hard because volunteers are not reliable. They may promise you to proofread a chapter, then they disappear, and when somebody does not deliver, the whole team suffers. Thankfully, a publisher took interest in the book by the time half of the translation had been proofread by the volunteers. They did a nice job mending the rest of the text. They did an awful job marketing the novel, though.
Thank you very much for writing such an honest review. May Árelor concede you a glorious death in battle against heretics! 🙂
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Thank you for so much commenting!
I know not everyone thinks it, but I’ve found that covers and the synopsis are among the hardest part of writing a novel. Though we’re told not to judge a book on its cover, it can be so hard. I love covers that are pleasing to look at, but I’ve definitely read some really bad books with beautiful covers. That said, I know a lot of amazing books that have very simple or less pleasing covers. Sometimes with enough playing around with editing programs (or finding people who can!) you can get a great design that’s simple yet appealing.
On top of that, I’ve heard so many stories about marketing. If there’s ever anything that makes me worried about getting a book out there, it’s that. I wish you the best of luck in marketing in the future. Hopefully you’ll find a way that works for you! Even if marketing wasn’t the best, with what you’ve said, I’m thankful for the publisher who picked the book up. I hope sometime in the future others will be able to find and read this story and enjoy it as much as I did!
May Árelor grant you the same fate 🙂