This historical fantasy tells the story of Ashtandukht, a star- reckoner, who travels across Sassanian Iran to hunt mythical creatures. She must face many obstacles on her path to retribution.
Without a doubt, A Star- Reckoner’s Lot is a perfect read for fans of combat and adventure. The fight scenes are realistic, and the surprises Ashtandukht meets on her way would satisfy every adventure’s enthusiast. Furthermore, the pace of the story is fast and makes the reader keep turning the pages.
Ashtandukht is brave and strong woman. Her life is not easy, she suffers after loss of her beloved husband. Her cousin Tirdad, who accompanies her during the journey, is fully devoted to her. No matter what happens, Ashtandukht can always rely on him. The third character, Waray- half- div, is minor character who is supposed to serve to complement the main characters. However, for me she is the most intriguing one. She is eccentric and mysterious creature. Actually, Waray does not talk too much. Most of the time she says “maybe”, but still she is the most compelling character.
There is not gratuitous amount of sex in the book, which I really appreciate. Few sex scenes do not take the reader aback and do not ruin the story.
The book cover catches the eye and attracts to read the synopsis. It is beautiful, looks like a billboard that definitely will help to sell the book.
The book has several flaws. First and foremost, I expected more detailed picture of the creatures. Description might not be so important in other genres but it is fundamental element for successful fantasy book. Memorable and fascinating description is a key to make readers feel the story.
In my opinion, the author did not exploit the potential of Iran. Historical background for fantasy book is a great idea but I expected to read more about the remarkable places and extremely rich culture of the country. Moreover, the author focuses on Nowruz holiday, while there is much more to explore in Iranian legends.
Darrell Drake has very specific writing style. His vocabulary is very rich and often he uses “big” words when actually simple ones would be more suitable. I am afraid that some readers might find the language a bit too heavy.
In summary, A Star Reckoner’s Lot is a decent fantasy read with historical background. I recommend it for combat and adventure enthusiasts.
Overall rating: 3.5/5.0
I received the book from the author in exchange for honest review. A Star Reckoner’s Lot will be published in October.