Review: Deepwoods Trilogy by Honor Raconteur
In a land where guilds rule all, war is unimaginable, unbelievable. Until it arrives. From the desk of Honor Raconteur comes the tale of one guild, who believes in the impossible, and fight with everything they have to prevent the war they see coming.
Contains all three books in the trilogy “Deepwoods,” “Blackstone,” and “Fallen Ward,” as well as “Origins,” the collection of short stories.
I got the book on Kindle Unlimited.
Dear Honor Raconteur,
I wanted to clarify that I have read the three books in this edition, but skipped the short stories which may or may not add to characterization, but do not develop the main plot of the story. They seem like a collection of mini prequels, basically how the guild and its initial members have come to be together in this world, if I understood it correctly, because the author surely did not bother with long explanations. The governments all fell at once. Why? Probably after some catastrophe, but the word described in the book certainly did not seem dystopian or post-dystopian. I think this world reverted to the middle-age like existence and barter exchanges but I could be wrong. There are many guilds in different cities (some cities have bigger and smaller ones – our heroes share their city with at least one big guild – again if I understood correctly) and they do all kinds of jobs in those cities, they do jobs and they do trade, although once again, confusingly enough, villages and just land in between seemed like more dangerous, free for all zones?
Now read the paragraph I wrote again and disregard it please, or at least disregard it as far as the importance of the settings in these stories. All that matters as far as I could discern is that our main characters live and work together. There are nine of them as the book begins and couple more guild members are added under interesting circumstances as the story progresses.
This is basically a story of good people, good friends, trying to save their world from the seemingly unexpected or maybe very expected threat. There are NO internal conflicts between the main characters whatsoever. There is an external conflict developing over the second and third books – threat of war and actual war, BUT the book is very (I am not sure the right word to choose) maybe naïve about it?
The dear friend who recommended this story to me suggested that the book is maybe young adult? But even with my limited YA reading I have read YA books which were way way more violent and/or sexually explicit. Here is the good example, and since the blurb mentions war I don’t think it will be a big spoiler. We see couple of battles between the army of good guys and bad guys. During/after those battles there are wounded shown, but it is as if no one died. Do not get me wrong, I am quite happy with absence of gruesome descriptions of dead fighters. But not to mention it at all – that for example people were not just treating their wounded but burying many of their dead? So that’s what I mean. I am not really complaining, I am just trying to explain what I meant when I called the book naïve.
One bad guy is executed at the end of the book three, which seemed to be the only death in this war. At least the only death mentioned on the page.
I said earlier that there is no conflict between main characters, however their everyday interactions were very appealing for this reader. There were no major fights between them, but them doing their work and helping each other and people around them was nice to read about. Also the new guild members that show up during the course of the trilogy come to them from some dark places and the best I can say without spoilers is that they undergo some rehabilitation which I thought was nicely done within the constraints of this world. I guess the kindness to other human beings shown through on almost every page to me when the characters interacted with each other and with those they were trying to help.
There was a child in book three, who was presumably ten years old when he showed up. Sorry, but even with all the issues he had, he sounded older than ten years, I would not think he was younger than sixteen based on how he talked. I liked his storyline a lot, but I thought he sounded much older than his on page age.
There was also the beginning of some romances, and realization of some feelings deeply held already, all once again very inexplicit, but very sweet in the best way. B
Someone I know recommended this author, so I’ve been curious about these books. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity. I may try them but it’s not a priority.
@Janine: She is very prolific apparently, you will have gazillions of books to choose from if you ever decide to try it.
@Sirius: Yes, a lot of self-published authors are. It’s actually a deterrent for me; I don’t want to do the work of keeping up with them.
She also writes as AJ Sherwood. In a recent newsletter, she listed all of her pen names. I’d had suspicions because after reading a variety of her work some writing tics have started jumping out at me. Unfortunately, once I notice that kind of thing, I can’t ignore it, and I haven’t read much of her work lately.
IMO, she’s become too prolific, and her writing is suffering. Her character voices are starting to bleed together and there’s a lot of repetitive phrases.
I really enjoyed her Henri Davenforth Casefiles, but even the last one of those had voice problems. That series has two distinct characters, one from our world and one from a fantasy world loosely based on our early 20th century, and the stories alternate between the two POVs. In the last one I read, I had to double check a few times to see whose head we were in.
PS – Having no internal conflict seems to be a hallmark across all her books. I’m not really a fan of internal conflict but sometimes a little internal tension doesn’t come amiss.
@MaryK: Thanks, that’s good to know. From what you say I don’t think she’s for me.
@MaryK: Yes, I know she writes as Aj Sherwood, my friend mentioned it to me. It depends re: internal conflict. I usually really like it when we have one book or two books, but when we have the whole series about one couple, few books later – not so much, because it is hard to sustain tension that way IMO. I will check put Henry Davenforth thanks@Janine: I suspect she is not for you either.