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Masters of Deception by J. C. Kang

Masters of Deception by J. C. Kang
4
Book Name: Masters of Deception
Author: J. C. Kang
Publisher(s): Self-Published
Formatt: Paperback / Ebook
Genre(s): Epic Fantasy
Release Date: September 11, 2018

I would like to start with a confession, I haven’t read any of J.C. Kang’s previous novels and know nothing about the world in which this story takes place. I jumped in totally blind, went with the smooth pace of the book and was captivated with the wonderful world that the author created. While I was a bit out of the loop and a bit confused with some of the races and places I really loved the exuberant cast of characters and their enjoyable adventure.

One my favorite structures is when an author follows different viewpoints to tell the story. And Kang does this quite brilliantly, giving each of his main characters a unique voice with their respective flavors adding to the overall worldbuilding quite nicely. Despite being unfamiliar with the world, and having no apparent attempt at hand holding, his style really did ease me into his richly imagined world and its various factions.

I loved the varied world created by the author. The different races having unique characteristics, society, culture and the magic systems were created very imaginatively and made me want to know more about them as I read on. The collision of the ways of the matriarchal Aksumi with the rest of the world was fascinatingly portrayed through the eyes of Brehane. The concept of a male only line for the Bovyans was a unique touch that I can’t remember to have experienced previously. The other races were also intriguing and it is apparent that the author has more to tell about each of them.

But the characters were the main driving force of the story. Each and every one of the viewpoint characters got their time to shine and were created with love. I really loved the half-elf spy Jie and the honorable Paladin Sameer. Cassius was also a fine addition with his sense of humor and attitude. And the way Brehane gets confused with a male dominated society is rather amusing. Although I would have loved if the negative characters had a bit more focus (specially De Lucca, who I loved), yet they are as developed as many other epic fantasies I have read.

The story was pleasantly fast paced and I never found myself bogged down with over explanation or meaningless descriptions. And the banter between the characters was another thing I enjoyed. The dialogue gave the overall plot another infusion of energy that kept me turning the pages. The appendices were a nice touch and made things much simpler for a first time reader of this universe.

However, there were a few flaws that I can’t help mentioning. The first gripe I have is with the map, while it was quite detailed and crisp, I really got lost trying to find the places mentioned in the text. Also, the action could have been more engaging, and often I didn’t feel the tension in certain sequences. Lastly, the twists, while enjoyable and crucially placed in the plot, were rather predictable to someone who has read a lot of fiction.

While I devoured this book and would definitely read more with these characters, some of the problematic issues I mentioned did deduct a bit from my overall enjoyment. All in all, this eastern influenced fantasy is a breath of fresh air, a nice change from the typical fantasy fiction fare.

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