Review: Broken Banners (A Reaper of Stone, #2) by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

Broken Banners (A Reaper of Stone  #2)Broken Banners by Mark Gelineau

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Gelineau and King via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Broken Banners’ caught me up immediately. It starts months after the end of ‘A Reaper of Stone’. It is the second novella in the ‘A Reaper of Stone’ series and the fifth in the ‘Echoes of the Ascended’. ‘A Reaper of Stone’ series follows the adventures of Elinor, a soldier in the King’s army. The ‘Echoes of the Ascended’ series is the banner series that takes place in the world of Aedaron. It encompasses the following series: ‘A Reaper of Stone’, ‘Rend the Dark’, ‘Best Left in the Shadows’ and ‘Faith and Moonlight’. They follow Elinor, Ferran, Alys, Roan and Kay, respectively.
The novella is told in third person narration by three main-characters: Aldis, Elinor and Conbert. Aldis is an old friend of Elinor, from her youth at the Academy – a school for fighters – who has always been kind to her when others rejected her for her orphanhood. Conbert is her other friend from school days, but one who has stood beside her through their lives in the Academy and later as part of the King’s Army.
Many diverse characters were in this novella; all were dynamic and unique. Great character development occurred despite the short length of the novella and I found all heroines completely realistic and loveable. They weren’t too perfect or stilted, instead each had vitality and depth to them that made reading about them an absolute pleasure. Villains were also portrayed cleverly and in great detail by the authors. They made great enemies; ones a reader can easily dislike. It added to the story and made it that much more exciting.
The setting was breathtaking, too! The authors wrote with such vivid imagery that I would often get so caught up that tearing my eyes away from the page was like torture. I would FEEL like I was right there; I could hear, see, touch and smell EVERYTHING that Aldis, Elinor and Conbert experieced. The world these authors created is unbelievably tangible.
There was also great chemistry between Elinor and Aldis. Unspoken truth about feelings hung in the air between them and created an irresistible tension that enhanced the potency of the story. Conbert’s affections for Elinor also proved dramatic. I sensed a love triangle between the three but, shockingly, I enjoyed reading about it rather than dislike it as I so often do. I’ll have to see what develops between the three in later novellas.
Please, do not let the length of this novella put you off! It is too good to be ignored and if you’re a reluctant reader of just plain reluctant, don’t be. This novella is like a short epic, full of hope and victory where none can be found. To simply put it: It is a MASTERPIECE.
Beautiful writing and prose once again; I really couldn’t expect less from the wonderful authors duo, Joe King and Mark Gelineau. It was atmospheric and captivating. Emotionally charged, there was no way that I could put it down.
Congratulations to Joe King and Mark Gelineau on the successful publication of their fifth novella! I’m on the edge of my seat for more!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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