The Crystals of Empire is an immersive fantasy tale with a steep learning curve.
In time, the pieces fall into place, but the beginning eased me in with a recognizable setting steeped in mythological undertones and relatable character interaction. While I did not get on with the dialects, the dialogue was functional offering a good balance of explication from an omniscient viewpoint and close third-person perspective. The imagery was the crowning achievement of this book in my opinion. Through an accumulation of details, the author constructs a convincing world, allowing for suspension of disbelief and participation in a grand narrative.
Overall, the pacing was one of its strongest aspects. When conflicts weren’t taking place on the page, they were building in the background, amid scenes of character development. The reader is given access to a sincere and genuine experience of human nature. The main character is not the typical hero, though he does rise to power in his own way. Very little about this book will fulfill reader expectations. Rather, surprises await around the bend, and the imaginative writing style, while it stumbles in a few quirks leading to ambiguity, is like a warm blanket for fantasy fans, feeding us figurative language at a steady rate, while piquing our pulse with action scenes and twists.
I was intrigued by the main character, who at first appeared passive but grew into something more and unexpected. The creative background information and character motivations lent a uniqueness to the story I did not see coming. While it has many ups and downs, the Crystals of Empire is a dependable series, offering no end of wonder, escapism, and palpable world building.