"Breath of the Titans: Little Black Stormcloud by Riley A. Westbrook and Sara L. Westbrook is a story that centers around a half elf, half dragon boy who just turned 16, named Lovonian. The story begins with Lov and his uncle Nord taking their annual hunting trip. On their return to Elvenhom, they find that the city’s population has been slaughtered by an army of Titans, except for those taken as slaves, when they see the collection of ears that were chopped off. With Amon dead and his mother captured, Lov and Nord begin their quest to find his mother by seeking out Nord’s old friend Jaxon. After acquiring weapons and knowledge of their enemy, they set out to rescue Lov’s mother with the help of a fairy sent by Lov’s grandfather. From there, they encounter all kinds of adventures and creatures, while in desperate pursuit."
Thank you to the author, Riley Westbrook, for gifting me with a copy of The False Titanbringer in exchange for an honest review!
First off, a little background knowledge for ya'll (by the way, I always thought ya'll was such a southern thing but I actually really like using it and I'm not southern at all!) about this book/series. The author kindly contacted me and offered to gift me the complete trilogy which has been published as a box set and in ebook form as well as separate books. This is a review on the series as a whole as I read them one after the other without pausing in between (so they kind of run together for me). Now onto the review!
1. The plot. I actually really liked the plot all throughout the trilogy. There was always a clear goal that drove the characters and kept me from feeling lost. The goal also drove most of the subplots that spun off which I really enjoyed as well. They kept the story from getting too dragged out with the mail goal of avenging Lov's parents. Things like new mechanical developments and Lov dealing with loss and a developing romantic interest (albeit a bit on the platonic side). A couple of questionable plot points occur later in the trilogy, one of which I found a little strange: the existence of paperwork that has to be completed for the army. In one scene, Lov is griping in his head about having to do all of this paperwork and I couldn't help but wonder 'what paperwork do you need for an army that is operating in a type of Lord of the Rings world?' Another point of confusion for me occurred in the first book when Lov goes through some 'training' but I don't think he actually learned anything significant there. But quite honestly, these instances didn't really take away from the enjoyment, just tripped me up a bit. The plot was my favorite part of this trilogy!
2. The characters. The characters were interesting and diverse to say the least. However, I do wish that their physical attributes and bloodlines were more clearly explained or made more clear. There were more than a couple instances where the author could have incorporated more of an image of the character. For example, at one point a unicorn comes into play and from what I understand was an actuall horse (not just a unicorn powered being in another form). However, when it held something, it was described as holding the thing with it's hands and not it's hooves. This may seem really nitpicky (trust me, I'm questioning myself right here) but it actually really helps with character and world development to have the little things in there. Other than those small details, the characters are all nicely developed and have distinct personalities. One of the things I really liked is the author's ability to maintain the characters between the books. One of the reasons I was able to just blend the three books together is because of that smoothness and the consistency of the characters.
3. The writing. The author definitely has a more matter-of-fact writing style and isn't very lyrical or descriptive when it comes to the world or the physical attributes. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing as it allows the reader to focus on the storyline. For me personally, I like more descriptive writing but others may find the opposite more attractive.
The Final Verdict:
Overall, a wonderful trilogy with an array of characters that interact quite nicely to form a well-rounded plot. However, I wish there was more development of the world and imagery and there were a couple of plot holes that confused me.