Review of “The Coming Storm” by Valerie Douglas

First off, I don’t read a lot of fantasy. This is a work of epic fantasy. Does that disqualify me as a reviewer? I don’t think so. You might disagree. I know good writing, good plotting, and good characters when I see them, no matter what genre the writer might be writing in.

Because these things sometimes appear to weigh in the review (though never for me, in my own opinion), I’d like to say that I was NOT given a copy of this book. I had a copy which I’d bought a couple of years ago. I’d started it but hadn’t finished.  Nobody owes me anything, and no one has asked me to give a good review, only an honest one.

Okay, now that all those housekeeping bits are out of the way, what did I think? I enjoyed “The Coming Storm” quite a lot. Valerie always creates great characters (yes, I’ve read a number of her other books). A strong female generally centres the book – and this one is no exception. Ailith, the Heir of Riverford, is a very strong character, indeed. She faces tragedy, adversity, and obstacles of all sorts, and she triumphs. She grows, changes, discovers talents she never dreamed she could possess.

I don’t usually discuss plots very much in reviews. Let’s say there is a lot of action in this book, battles against all sorts of fantastical beasts. There is a terrible threat from the past that reaches into the present, taking the very souls of those it touches.

The cast of characters includes Elves, Humans, Dwarves, and Wizards. Each of these races is clearly differentiated with characteristics, lore, philosophy that differ from the others’. 

There’s also some foreshadowing of events which will take place in the next book, “Convocation of Kings.”

Valerie often writes in third-person omniscient point-of-view. This means that the narration can dip from the perspective of one character to another quickly. I have to say I don’t care for this POV. Why? I find it distracting and impersonal. The reader never gets deeply into any one character’s perspective before being taken to another’s. (Again, this is my opinion. That’s what a review is: opinion.) “The Coming Storm” is written in third-person omniscient.

One other slight negative. I am a bit of a grammar obsessive. Comma splices (joining two sentences with a comma instead of dividing them with a period) bother me a great deal more than they might bother you. There are quite a few comma splices in this book.

Do I recommend “The Coming Storm” – especially for fans of epic fantasy? Oh, yes. There is a sweep and grandeur in this book. Passion. Adventure. Danger. Thrills. Loss and triumph. Any negative things I have to say are minor and matter mostly only to grammar nuts like me.

Now here’s a link to the e-book at Amazon: The Coming Storm Go pick up a copy. If you like epic fantasy, I think you’ll enjoy this one immensely.

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