Title: The Shackled Scribes
Author: Lars Teeney
Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Futharkia is a city built upon the layout of an ancient rune shape, and a foundation of slavery. The Broxanians have been enslaved by the Olgoikhorkian Masters to exploit the Broxanian talent for rune-scribing. In exchange, the rune-scribes are compensated with the sweet, golden liquid, Ichor, that the giant worm-like Olgoikhorkians secrete from their glands. The Ichor also happens to be highly addictive and psychoactive. The system has worked for millennia.
However, the Great Fern Jungle that surrounds Futharkia is dying, being bleached white by some unseen force. Coupled with the fact that the simian-like Fern Lice have been hunted to near extinction to provide for Futharkia’s ever-increasing demand for food, Futharkia’s ecosystem is near collapse. It is amid this setting that Cyesko Limariar, an aging rune-scribe makes one last attempt at greatness to lift himself out of poverty, even if by fraudulent means.
A craftily created reality of four kinds of creatures living an inter-related existence. My first thought was that is just like Avatar. I strongly feel that every person who ever saw that movie needs to buy and read this book. It will captivate the Avatar fan to the max! Very highly recommended to that kind of fantasy fan.
The book didn’t work for me personally for a number of reasons. The biggest flaw, in my view, were the transitions from chapter to chapter. I was left lost nearly every time…flipping back to the end of the last chapter to see if I had missed a page. That got very frustrating by the 15th chapter. The final section was a bit hurried in presentation and a lot of the story that needed to be told was simply summed up in a paragraph or two.
The time spent in detailing the historic battle of Broxys and Ferns vs. Imps and Worms could have been shortened to allow for more space in the last part. I really feel the end needed more development and better explanations to fulfill the readers’ needs.
My Rating: 3 stars
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Lars Teeney was born in Montana. After going to an art school in San Francisco, and working for years as a freelance designer for the start-up culture, he became burnt out. He abandoned the Bay Area for the Pacific North-west, where he could hike and bike to his heart’s content. He has worked for a variety of technology companies and has a keen passion for politics, history, science and art.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N
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