Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Review: 'Legend of the 3 Wizards' by Yamil Amed Abud

Author Yamil Amed Abud appears to be making a literary debt with this science fiction fantasy novel. There is no information about the author to share, either in the book or on the Internet, except for the face of a young bearded male on Facebook.

New books in the science fiction fantasy realm cal for close scrutiny – can the author make us suspend belief, and if not entirely suspend it, then invite us into a place we want to discover? Yamil manages to set his scene well in the Prologue: ‘In medieval times, as this story starts, a small kingdom emerged and became known as Rothamnar. Small villages started to develop into big cities; the kingdom itself expanded exponentially as its army fought against other civilizations claiming new lands under its reign. The priority was to nurture the biggest army to slake an aching thirst for power. This world was like nothing ever seen before. The life of a single man was too short to travel through these lands and witness all regions. It appeared to be a world of no extremes; seas, jungles, and mountains that no living man has ever explored or perceived. People only knew as much as their eyes could see and as much as their ears could hear. Brotherhood and peace embraced men together within the kingdom as they lived by the teachings of their Gods. It’s just one more civilization through growth by conflict and overall prosperity. But once, a peculiar baby boy was born late one night; people thought him dead at first since he didn’t cry. But in fact, when his mother was in labor, she was the one who died. However, the newborn appeared to be just fine; he was just another baby among the pile, but there was something unusual about him on second sight. Every time the baby cried, the surroundings would tremble, making people feel endangered. If he ever laughed, joy grasped all people at once. Whenever anger overtook him imprisoned, people nearby argued without reason. If he moved his arms, hands or eyes; objects around would crash, jiggle or fly. Many believers felt that he was a demon who came to rule this world; they wanted him dead. Others were amazed by his gift and skills, so they learned to accept him for whatever he was and lived beside him. The first wizard was then born.’

And so Alabus is here and while we are in a different world, Yami makes sure we can relate - ‘Alabus was desperately walking through the crowd as he looked for his mother. It was very hard for a skinny boy of just fifteen years old to push people around as he tried to move past the crowd, especially while walking in the dirt with mud all over his feet. His mother wouldn’t be able to hear him as he called her; people were talking and yelling from all sides. To the right, some woman argued with two men about money; they didn’t pay the full price for the fish they bought. To the left, a poor bastard was mugged by four men in front of everybody passing by; nobody did anything to help the victim. As he walked ahead, some prostitutes were doing business with a prospect client on the right-hand side of the street. Although their prospect didn’t have enough money to offer to the ladies, he could trade a piece of his wife’s jewelry for a thirty-minute fantasy. Even though it was noon, the clouds were dense and blocked the sun. A very light mist enclosed the environment; it was hard to recognize faces from a distance. The lad did not know where he was going. Alabus had straight white hair that covered his ears; that of a kind which usually jiggles very easily when running. The very tips of his hair curled slightly. Alabus liked wearing old green shorts that reached right above his knees; its appearance acknowledged that he didn’t have that many options to wear. Like white Alabus, most people in the city used to walk around with sandals made at home or found at the local market.
The latter were of higher quality and made from rope, wood, and leather.’

The brief synopsis indicates where the story will lead – ‘Immerse yourself in a medieval world as the first Wizard is born and the future of three kingdoms is set on a course to be unknown. Blood, romance, suspense, death, grief and wizardly battling techniques; this is a tale of three uniquely well-trained wizards whose future is unsure. As the last three wizards are born, an evil rises against the world, which they must now confront. Although, as the legend is told by some, will the three distinguished Wizards use their strength for good? The answer... only this story would unfold.’

Likely this will be a series, and for an opener it holds our interest, despite the flaws that mar the flow. Grady Harp, April 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right

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