Book Review: The Realmsic Conquest by A. Demethius Jackson

THUMBNAIL_IMAGETitle: The Realmsic Conquest
Author: A. Demethius Jackson
Genre: Poetry, Medieval Fantasy
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: July 22nd 2010
Rating: 3 stars
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Review copy provided by Pump Up Your Book Book Tours.

Throughout its history, the kingdom known as the Realm has never known peace. From its establishment, it has possessed the gift of magic, which is a treasure that exists no other place in the world! As a result, the Realm has endlessly defended itself against conquerors, but now faces its greatest peril. As our heroes battle the wicked and unlock mysteries, they must also face overwhelming circumstances as they are guided by ancient lore on a quest to find the greatest treasure their kingdom will ever know…peace.

I must say that this book is one of the most original books I’ve read all year. Reason number one for this is that the book is written entirely in verse, like those medieval stories of Reinhardt The Fox, Lancelot and his quest and Beowulf. On the other hand, it’s also one of the most difficult books I’ve ever had to review. The first reason for this is once again that this book is in verse, and I’m just not familiar with that genre enough to find a way to compare it with other books. That said, I can only begin to imagine how hard it must be to write an entire story in rhyme. I have trouble even writing a story, I don’t want to think about how awful it would be if everything had to rhyme. Ugh.

Author A. Demethius Jackson does a good job with the verse though. What he’s even better at however, is making a fantasy world that leaves a lasting impression with its readers, and that has more layers than we could even begin to grasp. I liked the way the adventure he laid out in The Realmsic Conquest was pretty straight forward: Saraya and her army attack the Kingdom and most importantly, the dying King, without realizing that the moment the King dies their entire world will die as well. Then our heroes must find a way to cure the King, but unfortunately they come upon Damian, the most evil sorcerer the Kingdoms have ever known while trying to complete their quest. What follows is a battle of epic proportions. So we have the necessary setting: medieval scenery, a bunch of heroes, a life-threatening quest and an epic battle.

And although I thought all of this was very enjoyable to say the least, it left me feeling awkward. Because on the one hand, I was happy with the story as it progressed, but on the other hand, I wanted to know so much more. The journey of our heroes passed by in a hurry, and because of the verse-format, we never actually got to see our heroes’ personalities, or find out why Saraya was suddenly feeling tired of conquering Kingdom after Kingdom. I mean, that’s a major personality change, and I would have liked to know why. Additionally, I would have liked to know why Damian decided to play the evil wizard in this book and why he wanted the Kingdom all for himself. I had the feeling that, by the end of the book, I didn’t know any of the characters except superficially. I didn’t know what drove them, what their ambitions, goals or passions were, and why they did what they did. It annoyed me without end. Although I understand that this is a very unlikely goal to achieve when writing in verse, I would have liked to see at least some more characterization.

A bit along the same lines, but I would have liked to see more about The Realm itself as well. How did it come to exist? How does it function? We see glimpses of the way it does here and there, and we know it’s a world stuck in the middle ages, but that’s about it. I have the feeling that the world of the realm has a lot more potential than it’s currently given credit for. Part of me would have preferred it if this book had been an actual fantasy novel, not written in verse, but in actual paragraphs. It would have made it all so much more intriguing.

I’m definitely willing to give the author points in the originality department, and I must admit that The Realmsic Conquest was a fun and entertaining, albeit short read. I have the feeling that this is a perfect book for teenage boys who enjoy Arthurian legends, swordfights and real-life knights, but I would have preferred it in a regular format. Recommended if you want something new.