Tales of Nezura: Book 1: The Zevolra

The skeleton that was polishing with a brush stopped and waved.

“Hello! You must be Maximilian! Your uncle here is delighted to be hosting you.” The teeth on the skull curved up. “The name’s Conner, in case you were wondering.”

“They can talk?” I whispered to my uncle.

A more or less standard medieval fantasy world with one exception: necromancy is well known and fairly widely practiced; although at least recently they’re hated and discriminated against, to the point of mostly living in their own section of the kingdom. It’s straight forward enough worldbuilding, and I like the basic idea. Necromancers are almost always the bad guys, so turning it around and having them being a decent bunch of people being suppressed is an interesting way to do it.

Other than that, there’s one really odd bit of worldbuilding: one main character who happens to have the ability to control fire and wind. Who’s apparently only born once a generation (or less) and doesn’t fit at all with the rest of the world. In my opinion, it just doesn’t fit.

Characterwise, having a down on his luck, always failing at everything–until suddenly he’s the best at everything–is common enough. He’s a bit depressing, but I think it works. The mentor figure is pretty solid (and having them die off but not really is pretty much a trope, but that’s not a problem).

The bad guy is… pretty over the top. He feels ‘real’ enough, twisted by his upbringing into an almost comically evil baddie who makes use of the forbidden magic . It’s not new, but it works.

I think the main weakness of the book is that it’s self published and from time to time it shows. There are a number of things that a solid editor would probably have toned down:

It was a major port center for the Poro Sea. I remember reading that it had a population of 60% Necromancers, 30% witches, and 10% humans. The city that was calling my name was Nezura. A society with 95% Necromancers and 5% witches. It was located at the end of the dog-leg, practically on the opposite side of Orbavue.

Worldbuilding with too specific of numbers.

I don’t have all vlarking night!

Random new swear words just for the sake of being different (especially when most other things don’t have new names) feels really weird.

“Wait.” Megan grabbed my arm. “Before you leave, I just wanted to say it’s been great to know you. Here, take this slip; it’s my address. I can’t promise I’ll always be home because I’m on the road a lot, but feel free to drop by whenever you’d like. I know how hard it can be starting on your own like this.”

“Thank you!” I jumped in her arms and squeezed so tightly that I thought I was never going to let go.

People don’t talk like that, especially when you just meet them.

Also a few very sudden changes of scope. 1/3 of the way through the book, sudden dinosaur for free . Training montage in a paragraph. Etc.

It’s not the end of the world, just something to know going in.

Overall, for self published it’s pretty good. I’ll keep an eye out for a sequel.