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THE BROKEN LAND

Quality Fantasy Adventure

By Krako, member

Apr 10, 2018: The Broken Land is a fairly small-scale adventure set in a compelling fantasy world, featuring a magically mutated protagonist who mostly tries to live her life. The writing is quite professional in style, without any weird web-serialisms.

The titular "Broken Land" is a fairly conventional high-medieval fantasy setting. The Innovation is that the ambient magic outside of the boundaries that protect settlements acts a bit like radioactive fallout, mutating flora and fauna. Plants and beasts can become dangerous monsters, and humans too can become "Changed," although they generally keep their sanity.

The protagonist is Sif, a young war refugee who starts the story working as the barmaid in the only inn of a backwater village. Sif is chock-full of depth, with traumas and vulnerabilities aplenty, but also with a set of smarts and a ruthless streak. She’s also a Changed, and the author does a great job portraying her condition. She has certain advantages over normal humans but also many quality of life issues stemming from her physiology, and the people around her react to her in a variety of ways, from fascination to disgust.

The plot begins when an imperial survey team visits Sif’s village for mysterious reasons. The story is more small-scale (so far) in that there’s no big villain and no world ending threat. Sif really just tries to live happily and peacefully, although events tend to conspire against her.

As aforementioned, the writing is quality, as might be found in a published novel, and the grammar and mechanics are flawless. One kick I do have is that first arc, set in a tiny struggling village, has a somewhat grey and depressing tone. I don’t think that’s necessarily bad, and I believe it’s done on purpose, but it’s a strange way to start off your serial. The plot does move on from the village though, and it gets considerably more colourful.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
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