Legend of the Azure

The Legend of Azure Book 1

It’s rare that I get a hefty novel to review, but finally I do! Today we take a look at Book 1: The Sapphire Blade.

It’s not your standard fantasy faire, though it has a lot of repetitive elements you’ve seen in other works. Seeing the same monster set is getting a bit old, plus the whole ‘demon lord is bad’ thing is becoming a bit worn-out. And yet, I don’t think this story is worn out.  Instead, I saw some clever innovations the writer made.

Azure is a young adult who wants to become a renowned hunter and restore the honor lost to his family. Almost typical fantasy stuff, I know. But there’s a twist: A year before he’s born, his father slew a dangerous demon but the castle blew up and Azure’s older brother managed to rescue their pregnant mother. The magic blade blew up in the battle but Oswald found it again, somehow. Armed with this magic blade, Azure must travel to Yath city and join a hunting party. Unfortunately, his taking of the blade alerts the demon lord’s followers and they want the blade for themselves. Can Azure find a hunting team and learn enough about the mysteries of the blade to prepare himself for the coming war?

While some of the plot seemed overdone the characters and minor characters showed potential. They weren’t “obsessed’ with fighting for the hero but they weren’t super-reluctant either. With Epic Fantasy, you get the extremes more often than a cleverly written middle ground and I think we got that here. In the limited time for character building the story had, we learn a bit about the party and some of the reasons why they’re in a party. With a comic it’s a bit hard to build backstory because you’ve got action you need to draw. In the 4 chapters that compose the book, the writer made just enough of an introduction to make the reader want to see how they develop and interact with the hero.

And now… we must talk about the art. In some scenes it’s thrilling. In other scenes, not so much. I mean, there was only Mr. Easley doing everything so he didn’t have any help or guidance. I think with a proper art team, he could have made the art much better and polished. In some ways, it reminds me of a highly polished webcomic rather than a shop comic. The framing was very good and certainly better than a webcomic so at least he got that skill right. I didn’t like the way he drew many of the faces. They lacked detail and definition.

I just think about fantasy comics in terms of Niobe/She is Life these days and anything not as polished as that doesn’t attract me as much. The fantasy market’s saturated and if you can’t be as good as Niobe’s art, then you can be at least as good as Niobe’s story. I think Mr. Easley’s laid the foundation for that. Let’s hope the art can keep up. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Look for Legend of Azure here on Indyplanet.

Shout out to my fans in Chicago and St. George Utah!