Reboot (read: author’s definitive edition) of a fantasy first published in 2011, pointing the way to an upcoming sequel.
A magical Veil separates the good guys of the Eastlands from the evil Westlands. A members of a sect called the Leiholan dedicate themselves to maintaining the Veil by singing the Song of Suffering. Still, for reasons unclear, the Veil is weakening, so the good guys need to pull an army together (historically, this has been a problem) and also organize a heroes’ quest, though it’s far from certain what the heroes hope to accomplish. In concept and approach, then, it’s a mashup of such favorite (or least favorite, depending) epic-fantasy authors as Stephen R. Donaldson, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan. The questers are types rather than personalities and consist of: Vendanj, a Sheason (wizard) prone to regrets and gnomic musings; young bowman Tahn Junell, who wants to recover the lost memories of his childhood; Braethen Posian, of a warrior-scholar brotherhood sworn to protect Sheason; farmer and adventure-seeker Sutter, providing comic relief while learning that he sees dead people before they die; Tahn’s abused sister, Wendra, furnishing moments of real pathos when she howls out her pain and discovers she can work magic through the power of her song; fleet, sexy Mira, with a life expectancy of just 18 years; and good-hearted criminal exile Grant. Along their meandering way, they’ll deal with obstacles that test their resolve while being harassed by opposition in the form of Velle (evil wizards), Bar’dyn (sort of knobbly giants), zombies and the like. Orullian writes with facility and a confidence that too often veers into overblown description and obscure, rambling philosophical conversations: further evidence, should any be required, that fantasy fans like what they like regardless of rational considerations. Indications that he can or will address these problems in the sequel are few.
In sum, a lumbering, gnarled behemoth that seeks to crush readers beneath its sheer mass.