#BookReview: Serang by Craig Boyack @virgilante
Hi everyone. Today, it gives me great pleasure to share my review for fellow author and friend, Craig Boyack, and his latest book, Serang.
I have to say, I adore the cover for this one.
About the Book:
Monastic life is all about duty, service, and harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.
When political upheaval brings chaos throughout the land, Serang again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive. She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her training. Thus begin her adventures through strange lands and her trials to become a confident, capable, independent adult.
This is a coming of age story set in fantasy world. It’s filled with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious situations preclude the story from the levity of it’s predecessor, Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most fascinating characters.
After thoroughly enjoying Serang’s character in Craig Boyack’s earlier book, Voyage of the Lanternfish, I looked forward to reading all about her in her very own story.
It was great fun to read about Serang as a wilful child who had to learn to adapt to change and find a whole new way of living after family tragedy struck, and to see her grow into a formidable y0ung woman.
This is a fun fantasy read filled with a strong sense of humour as well as more serious moments. The writer has done a great job with world building and characterisation, and has obviously done his research on the subject matter.
Although this is a spin-off from a character from Voyage of the Lantern Fish, it works well as a standalone novel. Having read the first book, it’s wonderful to learn where Serang’s propensity for Huangjiu came from! Equally as fascinating is reading about her trials and tribulations set within the vast upheavals that beset the China of the day with an emperor bent on war and total domination.
A number of spelling issues, missing words, and missing or misplaced quote marks let down what was otherwise a brilliant read. However, for entertainment value and a rip-roaring read that will grab you by the throat and pull you right in, I can’t recommend Serang highly enough. It gets a wonderful, solid 4 stars from me. And I’m eagerly awaiting the next book, Grinders, from this author.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
© Harmony Kent 2020