Science Fiction and to a lesser degree Fantasy novels can sometimes be hard for me to follow and I sometimes feel like I might be better off reading Chinese instead of trying to understand the plot of one of these stories, however The Brimstone Chronicles: End of the Last Great Kingdom by Victor Rose had me sprinting through the pages with notes of the Harry Potter series and a twisting yet easy to follow plot. My biggest disappointment was that this is a series and as such I am going to have to wait for the next book to continue Brimstone’s adventure.
Brimstone is a mage in a world where orcs, goblins, elves, and other assorted magical creatures live. Mages must awaken at a certain point in their schooling by proving they are able to control an element of some kind. Brimstone, who begins the novel as Leaf, had been unsuccessful in completing the challenges of the test to become a mage until he passes the most difficult test, a mage duel, and becomes the first Mage to complete the test alive in over a century. Thus begins his adventures in a world not for the faint of heart resulting in a tragedy during Brimstone’s first battle challenge at school that eventually leads to a very real world with the 11 year old Brimstone at the heart of it.
The plot itself is magnificent! The author easily moves through the time period the book is set in and transitions to action scene after action scene with ease. There are plenty of twists and surprises as Brimstone and his friends grow up while fighting in a war that has completely devastated all the magical creatures in the entire kingdom. The fight scenes while somewhat graphic don’t make the reader feel queasy which is very welcomed. The only plot hole I’m having is that a boy is kidnapped and made a slave in the beginning of the book and I’m unsure if this ended up being Brick, one of Brimstone’s companions, or if this will factor in later in the story but it has me scratching my head. The author also gives a nod towards J.K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter series with a different take on horcruxes. I won’t give anymore away on that so as to not spoil the book but it was quite clever and leads Brimstone into more adventure; a definite win.
The characters are unforgettable as well. I think Heat is my favorite. She is a team mate, best friend, and as one of the only girls in the main character department eventual love interest of Brimstone. She can control the element of fire and it fits her personality completely in that she is a sassy and fiery personality. While still showing her loving and feminine side, Heat is always up for whatever needs done with no fussing allowing her brave and bold character to come through. Brimstone himself is another excellent character in that the readers meet him as a boy who is the picked on kid in school, seemingly not very smart, and although kind appears to be not significant or destined for much only to make a complete transition becoming a mage and then stepping into a very adult role as a preteen. The progression is not contrived and easily makes the reader fall that much more in love with the main character.
Even if you aren’t a science fiction/fantasy person I suggest you give this one a read. I eagerly await for the next installment.