THE SEAL by M.A.  Al-Sadah


The Five Metals
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In this Tolkien-inspired world, elves, men and dwarves battle an evil prince intent on world domination.

In the beginning of Al-Sadah’s action-packed but uneven debut fantasy, a “shooting star-like thing” breaks apart, raining five pieces of metal with strange powers onto the lands of elves and men. Acula, the brother of the last King of Men, commits fratricide in order to acquire two of the pieces. Over the next four decades, as Acula attempts to find the additional three pieces, he gathers an army of orcs, trolls, dark magicians and other assorted evildoers. On the side of good: a coalition of elves, men and dwarves. The final outcome awaits a future installment. The last 30-plus pages include maps, descriptions of weapons and armor and a list that defines the book’s characters, places and such things as life-extending “Vitality Objects.” The book’s High Elves speak Tolkien’s Elvish; the author invented Noorian for his Light-Elves; and he calls his invented “language of elven magic” Eldamalda and provides in-depth guides to pronunciation, grammar and written appearance. Unfortunately, the author’s painstaking framework unravels amid page after page of errors and awkward dialogue: “ ‘What happened?’ asked Foxen concernedly.’ ‘We are going on an adventure,’ said Alex suspensefully.” Characters speak “superiorly” and “sillily.” An uncle refers to Ariel, a girl, as his “nephew.” Tenses disagree (“Just as the troops had started marching in the morning, Dallas has sent half a dozen riders to scout ahead of them”), and confusing sentence structure abounds: “One of them had short, brown hair and Alex, and the other was black-haired named Foxen.”

A complex fantasy of elves, men, dwarves and orcs that needs more editing.

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-1466930483
Page count: 172pp
Publisher: Trafford
Program: Kirkus Indie
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