“exciting, intriguing and well written” – review of Reimar Breaking on RisingShadow

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

Seregil of Rhiminee has posted a review on the RisingShadow.net website of Reimar Breaking: The Prelude to the Iberan War, the first book in The Iberan War series by Jonathan Rivalland. He starts by saying that it’s a “welcome addition to fantasy fiction, because it’s an entertaining and well-told story with a promise of more greatness to come in the next instalments”. Although it is Jonathan’s debut novel, Seregil says that it “feels satisfyingly rich and robust”, the story is “intriguing” and “well-written” and Jonathan’s “enthusiasm to tell stories shines through the text”.

One of the aspects of this novel that Seregil singles out for comment, is the world-building which he says “works well” because Jonathan provides detailed information about certain areas but leaves plenty of room for further world-building. Seregil says this is to his liking because not everything is revealed in the first novel. He also liked the fact that there is a detailed map as well as a useful appendix with information about Reimar. He observes that Jonathan “manages to lay a good foundation for further stories” by introducing the world and characters to the reader, but the “story moves swiftly forward, because there’s a nice balance between characterisation, worldbuilding, politics and action scenes”. The characterisation is “fluent and entertaining”, as is the handling of military issues, and the “political matters are fascinating in this novel”.

Seregil likes the way that Jonathan uses both humour and action, at which he succeeds well. He says that the humorous elements “lighten the story in a nice way” while the action scenes “keep readers entertained”. Jonathan is, he says “quite adept at adding a bit of humour into the dialogues without making it seem superficial”. Seregil also enjoyed the surprises that Jonathan delivers, especially the “unexpected act of violence” which acts as the catalyst to the rest of the story and pushed everything into motion.

Seregil concludes by saying that Reimar Breaking is a promising start to The Iberan War which he hopes will be a long series, and he is looking forward to reading the next novel. “It’s an exciting, intriguing and well written novel” he says, which he recommends to anyone who enjoys adult fantasy novels “because the author shows lots of promise for creating complex stories”.

You should read Seregil’s full review on RisingShadow.net here