Friday, September 13, 2019

TRINIAN- A Book Review

The self-published author of this book, Elizabeth Russell, reached out to me and asked me to review
 her fantasy novel, Trinian. She came across my homeschool blog and noticed my youngest son has 
self-published a novel. Her email to me said: 
“I believe many of your readers would be interested in this book, since it is something that they can
 give their kids without worrying about witchcraft overtones, anti-Christian themes, sensuality, etc,
 and yet it does not come across as preachy or blatantly pushing a Bible agenda. It is clean, exciting, 
and appropriate for ages fifth grade and up. “ 
It is, however, mostly meant for adults, and will remind the reader of the Lord of the Rings, without
 feeling like a copy of it” 
With that introduction, I agreed to review a print copy of her novel. The copy I received seems to be
 a “preview” copy as there were typos, misspelled words, stray letters, etc. I have communicated with 
Elizabeth about this and she should have corrections completed for later editions. When helping my son 
with his editing, we discovered that you cannot edit too much. The more eyes you have helping you
 catch mistakes, the better. Also, it is very beneficial to have a print version to edit before publishing 
 Epic• a long film, book, or other work portraying heroic deeds and
 adventures or covering an extended period of time 
The book is definitely ‘epic’ in length- over 700 pages. It does have heroic deeds and adventures. 
I was a little confused about the length of time covered in the book, possibly several years. I base this
 estimate on the fact that one woman had two babies during the length of the story. 
The Prologue was a little confusing to me, but came into focus as I progressed through 
the book. The demi-gods have names like Power, Solidarity, Greed, etc. Their names 
basically give a clue as to how they will behave and influence people. 
I don’t usually choose to read fantasy novels, but I did read this one to the end. There 
were some character decisions that didn’t make sense to me. For instance, the king 
chooses to send his family away with just a couple guards instead of keeping them in the
 walled city with an army. I understand that created more adventures, but it didn’t seem 
logical to me. 
There is plenty of adventure and swashbuckling in this epic fantasy. Some scenes did remind
 me of a mash-up of C.S. Lewis novels, especially the last battle scene. 
The author has an uncanny understanding of human relationships. Some passages
 portrayed a depth of understanding that many people never acquire. 
The story does have magic and a wizard or two. The author says, “I consider the use of 
magic in the book to be like Lord of the Rings and not witchcraft, since there are no spells 
and the characters have the power within them - they are not calling on external spirits to 
make the magic possible.” There is no sensuality, as promised, which seems to be rare in 
books lately. Some analogies could be made between some characters and Biblical 
characters, but it is not overtly obvious. 
The sheer length of this novel as well as the plot twists and turns are a testament to the 
author’s creative mind. (Could it be shorter and not lose any of the story? Yes, and I will 
address that in a different post) 
Every author has to start somewhere and I applaud Elizabeth Russell for finishing an epic
 fantasy novel. We have had great discussions on improving her work, but for those who
 like fantasy novels, give this one a try and let Elizabeth know what you think. If I was giving
 an Amazon review, it would probably be 3 stars. Not the best thing I’ve ever read,
 but certainly not the worst. 
I think the reading level is probably 7th grade and up. 
Some 5th graders might read it, but most probably wouldn’t.

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