Book Review: RuneScape – Legacy of Blood / Author: T. S. Church / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now
Tenebra, a vampire and leader of the undead, is attempting to put his son, Gar’rth, on the throne of Misthalin. The only problem is that Gar’rth has yet to embrace his destiny and is torn between his friendship with Kara Meir, Theodore and Castimir, all of whom would be subject to a painful death should Gar’rth help Tenebra. Add to this the fact that Vanescula, the vampire daughter of Lord Draken, has other plans for Gar’rth and you have the makings of a deep and engrossing fantasy novel with some political intrigue.
The problem with Legacy of Blood is that it doesn’t live up to the hype. Sure, there are some interesting characters, none more so than Vanescula (her frequent manipulations do much to throw a spanner in the works), yet the vast majority are so obviously vehicles to advance the plot that it’s often difficult to care what happens to them. This same paper thin approach to character development is evident across the narrative. The plot is so rushed that any revelations and surprises (yes there are some along the way) are limited to a page before moving on to the next event. It all helps create a palpable sense of a writer at work and takes you right out of the story, reminding you that you are in fact reading a book.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the highlights of Legacy of Blood. The chapters with Gar’rth, Tenebra and Vanescula really stand out as Gar’rth tries to resist being a pawn in Tenebra and Vanescula’s attempts to take over Misthalin. The final confrontation at the end between Tenebra and King Roald was exactly what the book should have been throughout, an epic, in-your-face struggle between Mankind and the forces of the undead. All in all you can’t help but feel that Legacy of Bloody is a missed opportunity, Church barely scrapes the surface of the RuneScape universe and the rich variety of locations and characters at his disposal.