Oct 7, 2013: The About page promised a story of magic, cliche, and adventure, but so far I’ve only found two of the three. Undestined may be full of magic and adventure, but anytime it edges near a cliche it subverts, deconstructs, or reconstructs it, creating a new and interesting take on fantasy fiction. The story follows Silay, a girl who, in a world where everyone seems to have a predestined fate, has no destiny at all. While the writing is somewhat sparse, it also makes for quick and easy reading, and a story that rapidly engages the reader.
Heavy readers of fantasy will chuckle at the metafictional references sprinkled throughout; from the chapter notes and the story itself, it is clear that the author is very familiar with the heroic monomyth and the more common fantasy tropes. While many parts of Undestined could be seen as a stab at the fantasy genre itself (people with heroic destinies are quite blatantly called Heroes, for instance), other parts are played straight. It’s not your typical magical adventure but neither is it a gritty subversion; it falls somewhere in the middle, a reconstruction of high fantasy.
The style of the prose lends itself to the story: it is sparse and unadorned (sometimes, a little too much so- the chapters tend towards the short side and have difficulty developing atmosphere and imagery, although Undestined has improved at that as it has progressed). The cast is well within reasonable size, and while fantasy worlds like these can very quickly become embroiled in their own settings, the author does a fine job of keeping the prose clear and concise. Realism is apparent in the writing; blisters and arduous walks are brought to the fore where in more conventional pieces they would be ignored. The downsides of this style are that, at times, the characters and settings feel undeveloped. The author provides character profiles and setting descriptions around the site, but I feel there are more elegant ways of conveying these things than a dossier.
A quick note: while, from the archives, the update schedule seems a little inconsistent, it does seem that currently the author is trying to improve her pace and keep updates regular.
Undestined is not without faults- the pacing is off at times and there are just enough typos to be noticeable- but it is interesting and addictive at the same time and I am eager to read more. People who’re looking for new takes on fantasy will enjoy this, and even those looking for a more straightforward read will appreciate it. I’ll admit it is skewed towards my own personal tastes, but all the same I’d give a general recommendation to anyone looking for an enjoyable light read.
4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
Help us improve!
log in to rate this review.