The Light of Epertase, book one in the Legends Reborn series by Douglas R. Brown is due to be released in September 2011. This will be Mr. Brown's first book. His Debut into the fantasy world. I have just finished the ARC and I am excited to share with you what I experienced. I won't follow the storyline. I think you'll find that in both other reviews and in the book itself, so I see it pointless to repeat that or expose you to spoilers.
This is how I felt about the story.
The story: It was fun to read with interesting characters and an ever-evolving cast. The story is a grand adventure with historic heroes imbued with fantastic powers, strength and endurance. Vicious battles in epic scale take place without distracting from the individual character development. This story is definitely about the characters, not about how bloody a battle scene can get, however, be warned it is graphic and I would suggest not having youth read it. That is true with both violence and romantic elements.
Scale: The story is nice that it does span many different viewpoints. However, that being said I found it inconsistent. The story begins following Rasi and feels like a book about just him, then well into the book, a quarter I'm going to guess, it switches to other viewpoints. It becomes a broader book about many characters and seems to jump from an adventure story about one tortured character to a whole nations struggle later on at least half way through the story. I feel this should have been done earlier to integrate all the plot lines and establish at the beginning what type of story this is. Epic Fantasy.
Similar to some Jason Borne (Robert Ludlum) novels Mr. Brown just decimates his main characters. Now as this may be more realistic, the types of damage they sustain is just crazy, especially since they take what seems like mortal wounds and pick up minutes/hours later and carry on. I found it hard to read over those sections, not for the violence, but for the same reason I find it hard to watch Rocky films. I am pleased to report that Mr. Brown's characters earn their triumphs using their established skills. No last second miracles.
I kept tripping over modern words that didn't have a place in the established world that had been built. Example: bone names 'clavicle' and advanced medicine like antibiotics and technology names once the techs come. Also the novel changed genre's half way through going from fantasy to steam punk. It works, but it just made for a speed bump in the reading, as it was such a stretch from the groundwork laid at the beginning.
I think you'll find the Light of Eperase a fun fantasy read and worthy of lightening your wallet a little to do so.