Reviews Comments: Made to be praised by this site
Made to be praised by this site
In terms of plot it sounds standard: 'normal guy is whisked away to a fantasy world and faces off against an evil empire' but a reader will quickly see deviations. The first of which is that while Ben is The Protagonist, he is not The Hero. That role belongs to Daniar, a warrior princess of the kingdom that he appears in. The second is that Ben stays normal through this adventure. Its Dainar and Kalak who do all the fighting; Ben just stays out of the way and tries to keep up. The role of Supporting Protagonist shifts the story's center of gravity that you won't see in many fantasy novels. All the characters have depth to them: Team Good is made of contrasting characters who put each other into sharp relief. For instance, Dainar is a Thou Shall Not Kill type of hero while Kalak is a Blood Knight who only joined her team for a better shot at revenge. Team Evil gets entire chapters to themselves so Wright can give them the same depth. Only one of them is truly evil. The mooks themselves get development. Wright never lets his readers forget that the endless soldiers of the Evil Emperor are people with their own lives and do not exist just so the hero can look cool beating them up or killing them. There is one scene where a pair of prison guards small talk about this and that. There many shout-outs and discussed tropes. Most promiently the Fantasy Kitchen Sink that Ben looks for but doesn't find despite finding himself in a traditional 'other world fantasy' setting.
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