Guardians of Evion: Destiny
by Evelinn Enoksen (Kristell Ink)
The author of this book is not merely a writer but also an artist and it shows: I very much appreciated the unshaded, gothic-gray illustration; it was quaint, precisely-detailed and lovely.
The book was not a bad read and is, I think, a story well worth checking out for both its own merits and to see if it may build upon some of its promise. But like a lot of recent fantasy, it did seem to mesh ideas from a variety of popular media into a new book.
Much of it was just a little too clichéd; including the parts I enjoyed. The telepath who controlled people (including a main character), like puppets, reminded me of various mind control story-lines and even the blood benders from The Last AirBender. The dragons seemed a little underdeveloped as characters save for their mental bond with humans and this concept seemed very similar to other fantasy incarnations; Eragon, Pern, James Cameron’s Avatar.
But the overall reach and ambition of the piece struck me. The second half of the tale, with the race of creator aliens who revealed at the final junction that they watched over humanity and all other life forms till lay ready to spread their fledgling wings and survive without an overarching eye, was a good ending. However, this conclusion almost seemed incongruent with earlier parts of the story which (except for the prologue) were very much genre medieval fantasy.
The book is in third person and follows closely, multiple character perspectives.
The sister of one of the male protagonists, a strong telepath who inadvertently killed people with her telepathic powers, was an intriguing character. But the protagonist himself was a little sheepish and obsessed with women, and he did not always hold my interest. I preferred the other main characters arcs to his.
Having an ability so powerful that it harms those around you is always exciting, but does not set a book apart as it is a common theme. The world itself was well-described and immersive enough but not always unusual or compelling enough. The war scenes were gritty. Some of the flash-backs and characters’ reflections on their love and lives were emotional, well-realized and quite haunting. Sometimes the imagery had a certain gold peak to it and sometimes the storyline came together fascinatingly and beautifully. At other times I wished to skip ahead wearily.
Medieval fantasy is in general hard to pull off as it has been overdone, and in this book sometimes the lines about destiny were a little too predictable. The author has talent; she simply needs to develop her own world and ideas more strongly and not rely too heavily on the crutch of earlier, successful works.
– Alice Cradle