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THE SELECT'S BODYGUARD

An excellent threshold into a promising series

By KC Shi, member

Nov 7, 2013: The novella-length first entry in Children of the Wells is fast-paced and action-packed. The opening is immediate and engaging, as the reader is thrust into the head of the eponymous bodyguard as he searches a city that is crashing and burning around him. I say "thrust into the head" because the style of the prose is incredibly immersive; I didn’t notice the blunt, simple sentence structure of Bron’s passages until after the first POV switch, but once I did I realized just how much it contributed to the reader’s ability to see the city of Jalseion through the eyes of such a single-minded man.

The two principal characters, Bron and Calea, aren’t what I’d call immediately likeable characters, but they are certainly engaging and interesting. Both of them are strong, forceful personalities; other characters are mentioned in passing, but the focus of the story is squarely on these two and their relationship. The story’s chronology is slightly nonlinear, following the past from Calea’s perspective and the present from Bron’s, and both angles shed new light on Jalseion and the world it inhabits. (As it happens, the setting of Children of the Wells is far from standard sword-and-sorcery: magic-powered automobiles and prosthetics give it a distinctly magitech feel.)

The plot itself is somewhat sparse, a simple tale that reads as the first arc of a greater epic, more than a complete story in itself, and there are many tantalizing details sprinkled throughout that have yet to see resolution in the first book. As it is, The Select’s Bodyguard opens the rest of the series beautifully: not too complex or wrapped up in its own conceits, but with a depth that begs for exploration and two characters the reader can’t help but pay attention to. Definitely worth a read for any fans of epic fantasy, and strong enough to warrant a general recommendation as well.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
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