This marks my debut at reading High Fantasy. I think it important to mention as it colors the review. I was pleased to learn that it, even being classified as High Fantasy, also had a streak of Contemporary, and the balance between the two is pretty cool.
In Chasing Sunrise we follow a young king, Sevon, and the tyrannical and power hungry Lord Dominic. Sevon has been reduced to a mere puppet and forced to aid Dominic in his thirst for power and destruction of Sevon’s father’s dream. Dominic even saw the decimation of the kingdom of Darkmore as a suitable means to get what he wants. In his most desperate moment, Sevon finds an inner strength and tried to fight the hold Dominic has on his throne, mind, and soul.
”When another tried to run, she clubbed him into submission with a severed leg. When the third held up his arms, begging, Cassandra snapped them off at the elbow.”
This is a taste of the well phrased battle of a vendetta hundreds of years old. Building the world of Darkmore, the myths and legends behind the reasons for the kingdom’s destruction, and the races who battle, Lex Chase has brought interesting ideas forth. The veil and the magic Dominic can wield are probably my favorite ideas of all.
This being High Fantasy, a genre new to me, I often felt like I fell behind and just didn’t get it. I was very focused on understanding this whole world and races, and I was boggled by contradictions and little details that weren’t explained to a point where I felt like I got it. Maybe others won’t have the same problem, and maybe it’s just because I’m so inexperienced with reading something so foreign to the world I know.
Being thrown into the world, little things like on page 34. “If he still had a stomach, he would have vomited”. At this point the aisa hadn’t been explained, but I later found out that they eat humans—blood, meat and bones. Why don’t they have a stomach then? And on page 136 this happens: Sevon vomits “blackened chunks of gore”. This isn’t the only contradiction, and they kind of pulled me from the story. I would have loved for the glossary to have been in the beginning of the book so I wouldn’t feel lost for more than half of it. Guess that’s a downside to e-books—flipping back and forth isn’t ease, especially when the TOC is in the back and I had no idea there was a glossary until I finished the book.
It doesn’t change the fact that Lex Chase is very good at describing both a broken mind and the mind of a true tyrant. She has a knack for throwing the raw and gritty to the forefront, and readers may find some of the violence disturbing. I love the grit, though! She also paces the story and character evolution well, describes battle so that the reader can almost smell the copperish hint of blood in the air, and the magic of her world satiates the pages to satisfaction. Sex (both the good and the bad) is character development, not just something stuffed in there to make it sexy or shock the reader. I liked that balance. I enjoyed it once I got over the few contradictory details.