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The Cry of Justice: 02/23/09

The Cry of Justice by Jason Pratt is the first book of an epic fantasy trilogy that traces events in the aftermath of a huge international war. The novel has an ensemble cast of main characters: Gaekwar, Othon, Dagon, Pooralay, and Bornas with Commander Portunista trying to keep this group of refugees together.

The novel is ambitious and emotionally charged. There are hints of a well thought out world and a good understanding of the war that comes before the book. There are cultures and languages but none of these things really come into focus the way they should.

Likewise Portunista and her crew should be vibrant characters but the dust jacket has to provide a cheat sheet listening their roles and personalities. Epic fiction comes with a large cast, it's part of the genre. The best examples of the form, for example, The Lord of the Rings, will have dozens of characters all taking their part in the adventure and they will all contribute in memorable ways. I don't need a list of characters in Tolkien's books, but I found myself constantly flipping back to keep track of the different characters in Cry of Justice.

Breaking up the core story are lengthy journal entries by a character named Seifas. While his insights are often interesting, the text is printed in about a nine point type face. It's hard on the eyes and slows down the pacing of the book. I hope in the future books these entries will be curtailed.

I think there is potential for this trilogy but the first book in the series doesn't hit the mark.
Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Tuesday, February, 24, 2009 at 11:11:55

Jason Pratt

It's Bomas, by the way. {g}

(For those who don't know, Bomas is one of the three main villains of the book, and doesn't get quite as much screentime as the other two. But his name is admittedly easier to spell. Sort of, I guess. {g} Portunista only meets him once, and isn't trying to keep him together with other refugees.)

Also, I provided the character list on the jacket-flaps to give potential buyers an idea of the characters beforehand. I can see how it would be useful as a cheat sheet for remembering the characters, I guess; but I didn't provide it for that reason.

I suppose I should add that there are also lengthy journal entries by Portunista as well as Seifas (and a few lengthy asides from a third subauthor researching the story from 30 years in the future). So in that regard, things could be considered _worse_ than Sarah reported... {lopsided g} (I thought I ought to extend her complaint for fair critical warning sake.)

Yes, the subauthor text is printed one size smaller (10 point, close to 9). I tried to get the printer to just use another font altogether for visual distinction, but alas. I hope to correct this matter in future printings and sequels. (Other readers have complained about the reduced size, too. To be fair to my printer, they did good in other regards on a difficult typesetting job.)

Yes, in future entries the direct excerpts from journals are more curtailed. In fact, I haven't even had time or plot-opportunity to put more than one new such entry into Book 3 (Song of Justice), although that one is admittedly at the beginning. (Seifas gives a brief entry later in Book 3, but it's only showing exactly when he writes his last shown entry from Book 2.)

Thanks for the review anyway!--I appreciated the critical pro-and-cons.

Comment #2: Friday, February 27, 2009 at 13:41:14


Sorry for getting the name wrong. Thank you for the added info. I'm sure it will be of interest to readers.

Comment #3: Saturday, February, 28, 2009 at 10:14:58


Well, I for one enjoyed seeing a pro and con review together (of sorts). It sounds interesting.

Comment #4: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 19:49:25


Thank you for the feedback.

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