Author: Fabio Scallini
Published: June 1st 2014 by RAMPART (First Published November 20th 2012)
Dunwich, the eldest son of an Aelian and a Khartian, is the legendary and respected Lance of Cambria, extremely talented in both chanting and strategy. He’d willingly left home for a chance at being someone great.
Mordraud, the second son, is the target of his father’s hatred, driving him to kill his father for the sake of saving his brother and weakening mother. Striving to live in Eld, Mordraud found himself filled with a strong will and urgency to join the rebels and the revolt against Cambria. Like Dunwich, he makes a name for himself as a terrifying beast in war, fighting and butchering Cambria’s soldiers.
Gwern, the youngest, was born in an extremely bad time and was weak with frequent fits. He admires Dunwich but only remembered him as a childhood hero. But as his world collapses around him, he follows Mordraud to begin a new life in Eld. Bubbly and innocent, he caught the attention of an infamous chanter who decided to take Gwern in as his pupil, but for reasons unknown.
Eld and Cambria are in the middle of a long war and Mordraud’s hatred at Dunwich and Dunwich’s anger and sorrow at Mordraud are soon intertwined with the eagerness to defeat one of the two empires at war. At last, Eld gained the upper hand and works to gather all their troops in a final large attempt at defeating the kingdom of Cambria. Cambria will not only be the battleground for both parties but also the final battleground for Mordraud and Dunwich, is death the end or will the bond between brothers prevail?
Set in an alternate reality, Mordraud is really an awesome book for fantasy lovers. The vivid description of Cambria and Eld and the surrounding places caught and held my attention from beginning to end. The intricate design of the story really brought my imagination to life, even to the point where I wouldn’t even know where I was and what I was doing before I started to read this book. The scenes and characters remain stuck in my mind long after I’ve stopped reading. The battle scenes and the struggles at the battlefield are so real that I felt as if I were a part of it, watching everything unfold around me.
I’d likened the first book of this series to that of the Old Kingdom series, by author Garth Nix. Both books use music as a medium to create and release power, a medium which I seldom come across. The way the author explains the concept of using harmonies in chanting and to create resonances actually made sense in certain aspects and reminded my of my Physics lessons in sound and vibration. Mordraud is a fantasy book in a realistic manner.
Of all the characters in the book, I love Gwern the most. I love his tenacity at life; even though he was born sickly and weak, he remains bright and bubbly. His cheerfulness and innocence is something to be admired and followed. Another reason I love him is because I can relate to his love for books (as all book lovers can) and his thirst for knowledge. He continued to work hard in learning chanting even though he was already on the brink of giving up. I think that it was his personality that dragged him through that time of his life, as when he was young and beaten up by his father.
The writing style is captivating, changing from the one viewpoint of one character to another, taking into account what is happening in Eld and Cambria at the same time and telling the readers what is going in the minds of certain key characters such as Mordraud, Gwern, Dunwich, Asaeld, Adraman and Deanna. I especially liked reading about the plight of the rebels during the Long Winter. The author managed to capture the pain and suffering so perfectly that it made me feel their sorrow in my heart. Even the descent of Deanna into madness, torn between Adraman and Mordraud affected me too.
The series Mordraud is actually written in Italian and translated into English by Helen Caludia Doyle. As stated in the official website, Mordraud Book One was released on the international market at Comic Con Internation in 2014 at San Diego. For your information, this first book is completely free and can be downloaded at it’s official website.
Thank you very much to the author, Fabio Scalini and Matteo from Rampart, the publisher of Mordraud for sending this copy to me.