Book Review: Salinor – The Beginnings by Samuel Alexander

Salinor – The Beginnings is a fantasy based fiction by Samuel Alexander. The book begins with a boy, named Atora, approaching the goddess Salinor to save his dying mother, Ronilas. In exchange for granting her life, Atora offers that he will ask his seamstress mother to make an extraordinary dress for the goddess. As part of the deal, on being saved, Atora’s mother makes a dress for Salinor that she is bewitched by the beauty of it. She blesses Ronilas and her children the power to resist magic. This was the time when there was a war going on between magicians and non-magicians. The blessing that Ronilas received allowed Atoraths (the generation named after Atora) to sign a treaty of equal treatment as the magicians. After several years, however, the balance shifts toward the magicians and non-magicians, once again, found themselves at the lower end of the bargain. This time, an alliance is on the verge of the formation. This alliance is to be created with the help of a few selected talented people and the aim of this alliance would be to bring back the balance. Danais is one of those selected gems. He has no knowledge of his parents. He has been living with his uncle and has not been allowed to go to the city unless an opportunity presents itself. He has been struggling with is identity and his place in the world. There are many things happening around him, strange things, which are beyond his understanding. On the other side, Leo, an adopted son of a very influential person (Lord Vardon), is struggling to find his own identity. He is a magician and can feel some magic working against him around all the time. His protective spells are protecting his so far, but for how long can he rely on this protective wall is unknown to him. The plot gets interesting when Leo is drawn to Danais like a moth to a flame and, against his nature, he is willing to protect him from any dark magic regardless of his own life.

The plot moves slowly from one event to another. The author’s writing style is quite descriptive. The dialogues are written very tastefully and one cannot help but be engaged to all these conversations. He has breathed life to his fantasy world. This is clearly not a make-believe world to him. The author’s narration of Atoraths, Mironians, Keldonians, and others is so vivid that I, as a reader, felt drawn to know more about them — and the author did not fail in providing as many facts as he could. The characters are well-defined. By describing their insecurities, he has helped readers in making a connection with these characters. By the end of the book, I felt as if I have known all the characters all my life.

The book is slow for my taste, though. The magical presence of something that everyone feared was mentioned from the beginning; however, it took a lot of time for it to surface. After a few chapters, I really lost patience and had to force myself to re-engage my brain to the book. The author’s excellent writing style helped me a lot with this process. I would have loved the book if it had not taken this long to come to the conclusion or the events would have taken place at a better pace. The twists were there but, again, they took a while to appear.

Having said that, the book would take you on a journey in a magical land. The conversations are amusing and the characters are diverse. I would recommend it to the readers who have patience for a long and slow-paced book that promises to pay their patience by taking them on a journey to a fantasy land full of magical creatures.

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