Empire Zero Act 1: Tinder and Tear


Read from January 10 to 12, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Synopsis: Magic is a near-forgotten memory, its appearance primarily relegated to embellished bar room tales and children’s bedtime stories. The world’s dragon population has been obliterated, long ago driven into extinction by the heroes of yesteryear. Yet, even without dragons, the world still remains one of danger, hardship, and oppression.Dwarves have taken the highest seat in the social hierarchy, exploiting ogres and gremlins in their prosperous industrial cities as a cheap source of menial labor—a necessity that ensures their world-spanning empire’s continued stability. Most elves now live in exile, banished from civilized lands for their abuse of the arcane arts. Even the orcs are scarcely seen, their race doomed to a slow decline after the eradication of their dragon masters. For the wealthy bureaucrats that now rule the Dwarven Empire, the world is nearly the idyllic paradise envisioned ages ago.

Recently, however, human settlements have begun to appear inside dwarven territory. Many speculate a dwarven invasion of these settlements would have already begun if not for the threat of rare human women, nicknamed “flamedancers,” who inherently command the primal force of fire. It is rumored, though, that the dwarven factory-city of Rosary has developed a solution to this obstacle, and soon nothing—not even the flamedancers—will be able save humankind from destruction.

Bookish things: 196 pages. I like the cover, even though I don’t really know how it ties into the story. It catches the eye.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $0.96 or Smashwords for $0.99 in various other formats.

My review: 

Bookshelves: indie-authorindie-review-copies4-star-reviewfantasy

Recommended for: fantasy fans. Fans of solid plots and interesting, interwoven stories.

I enjoyed Act 1: Tinder and Tear. The fantasy story came with a few twists that I’d not come across before.

I enjoyed most of all, the story of the ogres. Grim and Tonn made a great team and I thoroughly enjoyed going along with them for the ride through their daily struggles, the brotherly bickering and love.

The plot was intricate, you followed a number of stories throughout the course of the book, always wondering when they’d cross paths. I liked the change in character point of view, it gave the reader a number of chances to bond with the characters. Some will prefer reading about Castor and his trek for medicine for his sister, while others, will enjoy reading about the dwarves. Others will bond most with young Raine and her strong will, independence and quick wits.

I enjoyed reading about Doc, he was a really likable character, one that I wanted to know more about. Actually that can be said for a number of the characters, but being book 1 in a series, I’m assuming we’ll learn more about them as the books progress.

I didn’t really like Castor very much. I’m not sure why. His reasons for travelling are realistic, he seems genuinely nice as a character, perhaps a little innocent, but certainly a decent person. I just didn’t connect with him. Perhaps I need to know more about him and his sister.

Pacing wise, this book was just about perfect. Having plenty of action to keep the story flowing, and a few quieter moments to allow the reader (and the characters) to catch their breaths.

I didn’t see any editing issues in this book – something that doesn’t happen very often with independently published books!

I was left wondering about the elves and how they may or may not come into play down the track. I felt that death seemed to be brushed over a little quickly in a few places, which was a little weird – specifically one scene that should have been fairly gut-wrenching but it wasn’t…(way to be cryptic!).

I want to know what happens, there’s a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of stories that are going to be fused together in the coming story, I can just feel it. I just don’t know how.

Also what was with that old woman!? I thought I’d stumbled into a weird paranormal/fantasy mixed genre… more information please!! Oh wait…

If I had to point out one bad thing about this book, it’d be that I now have to wait an undetermined amount of time for the next book in the series to be released.

If you like fantasy, good pacing and interwoven stories from a number of characters then you should pick this one up!

**NOTE: I was provided with an electronic copy of this story in return for an honest review**


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