Sunday, April 17, 2011

One Land, One King by Y.S. Hassan

After their grisly battle for supremacy over the One Land, the king and his five knights anticipate peaceful times ahead of them. Then, almost before they can rest their bloody swords on the ground, angels and demons—masquerading as humans—begin to carouse the Earth, vying for human souls before their very eyes, powerless to stop it. While the king and his knights are without equal on the battlefield, this war is different from all the others they have had to face. It takes place in the heart of their cities and of their people. A secret war of influence has started with the rise of the One King, and the outcome, the doom or salvation of their world, is to be determined by Yan, a boy with unimaginable powers chosen to be the scale on which the actions of men shall be weighed.

What a quirky, quirky, book. I just finished it and I’m still circling it like an animal, not quite sure what to make of it. This is not a bad thing. Books that make you think are never a bad thing.

Let’s begin with the good: the story is unique, with vivid action scenes, that while detailed, were not boring or clich├ęd. The characters were interesting and tightly crafted, and the storyline well thought out. The ending was pleasant, with a nice amount of tension to make us doubt about how it would all resolve.

I had a problem with the adverbs. This is a pet-peeve of mine, so if it doesn’t bother you, please ignore these sentences. For me, they are unnecessary and they hinder the “showing” of the story. Unfortunately, there are lots of those pesky creatures in this book’s pages, which made me grit my teeth a bit. Again, this might not bother another reader, so take it as you will.
Another thing that irked me a bit was the amount of names thrown at the reader in the first few pages. They were hard to keep straight. As the story progresses and we get to know these characters better, the confusion dissipates, but it’s quite a shock at the very beginning.

I did enjoy reading this novel, one of the more unique stories I’ve read in a bit, so I can recommend it without problem to anyone who likes things a bit on the unusual side.

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