Title: The Land of the Beasts
Author: S. F. Claymore
Rating: Three stars
** I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **
** Spoilers ahead! **
“Psykoria is on the brink of civil war. King Breetor knows he must do something to appease the unrest. He decides that the only way he can win peace is by impressing the other lords with a feat so grand it will win their undying respect.
There is a legend of a land where all the greatest beasts in the continent reside. In a war past, men bore witness as dragons appeared in their realm to help end the conflicts. Breetor has decided to follow their trail and find this land. If he can bring back proof of its existence, perhaps he can end the unrest in his realm once and for all…”
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The Land of the Beasts is one of those fantasy books that has been born from a colourful, creative idea but hasn’t been executed as well as it could have.
King Breetor finds that his noblemen subjects are turning against him and taking on their own “colours” and disowning the colours of the crown in an attempt to rebel. Fearing war, King Breetor announces he will go on a quest to prove himself a King worthy of their loyalty.
The King takes a crew and a ship to a land where mythical creatures such as griffins, manticores and dragons dwell. After losing his crew and befriending a local tribe, the King goes into the wilds and befriends a green dragon and learns all about the world of dragons. Eventually, the King returns home after three years because he misses his home on the back of the green dragon, who then makes his home in the mountains overlooking Psykoria.
The story was really interesting but it hit a pretty big snag at the end: the journey made absolutely no difference to the outcome. OK, maybe it made a tiny bit of difference because one of the noblemen changed their minds and joined the King’s colours again. That was a bit of a disappointment because after all the hardship, struggles and being apart from the Queen meant virtually nothing in the end.
The world was an interesting place and the creatures in it were fascinating but the imagery didn’t do them justice. As readers we were told everything rather than shown and it made for a much less immersive experience and that’s even more noticeable in a fantasy novel.
All in all, it was an enjoyable read until the end and just feel as though it could be really good with more imagery and an alternative ending.
Thanks for reading!