Broken Banners Mark Gelineau and Joe King
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Short Story (114 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
Slaughtered and left for crows, soldiers of the King’s Army lay dead in a field. A grim reminder: the king’s law ends at the gates of the capital.
Elinor fought for what she believed and now she is an outcast. No soldier will follow her. No officer will stand with her. Yet when she finds her brothers and sisters slaughtered, she cannot turn her back on them.
Long ago, they swore an oath. Not to the king, but to each other.
And woe to those who break that bond.
Justice doesn’t always happen automatically. Sometimes it needs human intervention to have any chance of actually coming to pass.
One of the things I admire the most about Mr. Gelineau and Mr. King’s writing styles is how much attention they pay to the small details when they’re describing the worlds their characters inhabit. Both of these writers are so skilled at painting a three-dimensional picture of a setting that I always feel like I’m watching a movie when I read one of their tales. The descriptions are simply that vivid and memorable, and this story is no exception to that rule. I spent the entire one hundred and fourteen pages of it feeling like I was riding a horse and fighting in battle alongside Elinor and her soldiers.
I would have really liked to see more character development. While Elinor’s personality was described thoroughly, she didn’t seem to change or grow as a result of what happened to her during the course of the plot. Given how intelligent and resourceful she was, this was surprising. I definitely would have expected her to quickly adjust to these things based on how she reacted to everything else that was happening. She didn’t come across to me as the kind of person that allows these kinds of experiences to pass her by without learning something from them.
The fight scenes made my heart race. Even when I knew they were coming ahead of time, I still wondered how they would play out. There was so much at stake for everyone involved that I couldn’t wait to see if the good guys would prevail and how they would pull certain maneuvers off if they did manage to win after all. It was a lot of fun to see the action unfold.
This book is part of a series, but it can be read out of order or on its own.
Broken Banners should be read by anyone who is in the mood for some fantasy and adventure.