Trysmoon Book 1: Ascension (The Trysmoon Saga)
Wow. I have never read anything from Fuller before but he knows how to spin a story. The first novel is somewhat formulaic but he fills in all the variables of the formula brilliantly. You know the one: boy from small woodcutting village has something traumatic happen to him that puts him in the cross-hairs of glory. He goes through a training montage that is followed by his first opportunity to prove his training in a very public way. This leads to a career that narrows the glory target to the center of the forehead. Oh yeah, and there’s a prophecy out there that involves him indirectly at first but more directly as we progress.
The formula is not very new but there is a reason why this formula is used in the first place. It let’s the reader grow with the protagonist in the way that makes you think ‘yeah, I would have done it that way’ and let’s you live in another’s boots for a while.
The nice thing about Fuller’s adaptation of the formula is that he turns it gritty and painful right out of the gate. This seems to be the trend of good fantasy these days. This was made popular by George R.R. Martin way back in the Game of Thrones days well before HBO took it to non fantasy nerds. It’s a good trend. No major character is invincible from the the author’s ability to make a point. Fuller wields the butcher’s pen well in the first book of Ascension.
The only way characters grow in any novel is when they are faced with real pain. The main character Gen gets massive doses of it as soon as the starting whistle is blown. This pain molds him into a weapon. Thanks to his pre-weapon days as a bard, our young hero values intelligence over brawn. This background, coupled with some mystical training turns Gen into a force to reckon with.
You get to experience that reckoning in a public contest of arms when Gen gets to compete for the right to join the Dark Guard. The Dark Guard protect the major players of the prophecy, who are meant to save mankind from the apocalypse on the horizon. In the contest Gen kicks the crap out of the competition even though the odds seemed stacked against him. This lands him a spot close to the prophecy and all the intrigue that comes with it.
I’m looking forward to continuing the series. My only concern at this point is that the main character gets too one-dimensional. Gen grows so quickly in the first book that there is a risk that he will have nothing else to grow into. That always leads to disaster – can’t wait to see how Fuller handles it.