Author: Madisyn Carlin
Genre: Christian Fantasy
Series: Redwyn Chronicles #1
Release Date: September 28, 2022
Publisher: Maplebrook Publishing
Enforcing justice comes with a price.
Detective Redwyn “Red” Deathan will stop at nothing to uncover those behind the ruthless kidnappings of multiple children. But things are not as they seem, and Red’s efforts are thwarted at every turn. With each discovery the danger grows, putting Red and the lives of those she cares about at risk. Can she reveal the mastermind’s identity before she herself becomes a target?
Reviewer: Rick Norris
Iron, The Redwyn Chronicles by Madisyn Carlin, is a joy to read. I can’t think of any novel I have read lately that wholistically incorporates powerful female characters, action and adventure, strong moral (Christian) values, fantasy, social issues, and romance. Effectively incorporating all of that is a pretty tall order. Ms. Carlin tackles it effectively! She is an effective storyteller.
The story takes place in a monarchal or feudal society, complete with horses, kings, queens, and lords. Detective Redwyn “Red” Deathan is hired as an adopted member of the royal family and is tasked with solving the kingdom’s most pressing issue: the disappearance of the kidnapped kingdom children. Red does an admirable job of investigating the crimes, but while doing so, she puts herself in mortal danger.
Ms. Carlin weaves all the various aspects of the story while developing characters and romantic relationships. I like her word usage, and at times it is surprising as well as excellent. My favorite is when she refers to a character as “foppish lice.” (I must confess that I had to look up “fop”).
This has the bones of a great book, but it still needs copy editing, line editing, and proofreading. The book begins on “a good foot” on its way to a five-star review. However, the pdf copy I read duplicated chapter 19 in the middle of chapter 18. I was alerted to this error when I read “Chapter 19” in a slightly larger print, but not as a chapter heading, in the middle of page 207. A proofreader should have caught that, in addition to other typos and grammatical errors.
In addition, a copy editor should have refined this 478-page document down to about 300 pages. The excessive length is in large part due to over-explaining. For example, the author effectively develops the characteristics of low self-esteem and guilt in some characters. Yet instead of explaining this with two or three examples, the author belabors the point, thereby slowing down the book’s momentum. The book was effective at the beginning because it developed the characters in a good rhythm. But, continuing this pattern for the remainder of the book only dampened its energy.
An effective copy editor could have also cut chapters that followed the climax. Books usually wind down after the climax because once the main questions are resolved, the energy dissipates, and the characters’ motivation is lost. Usually, one more brief chapter (or an epilogue) ties things together. A good example of this is in the movie Star Wars. After Luke blows up the Death Star, there is just one scene where the heroes are honored. Likewise, I think most of the chapters following the climax should be eliminated and incorporated into book 2 of the Chronicles.
I received this book for free, for a balanced and honest review, and I look forward to seeing more from this great storyteller.
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