Omens of Fury by Sean Hinn
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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Omens of Fury is Sean Hinn’s debut fantasy novel. The second book in the Days of Ash and Fury series, Tremors of Fury, is due out in September. Additionally, there is a short story available for free on Amazon called Strife: The Tale of Captain Neral Evanti, Hero of the Elven Cavalry.
This review is spoiler free.
Omens of Fury is set in the fantasy world of Tahr. The book follows four main characters listed by order of appearance: Aria, Shyla, Lucan, and J’arn. They are, respectively, an elf, a gnome, a human, and a dwarf. Each begin their tale in four different locations and throughout the book find their way to each other. Presumably, the second book is focused on their exploits together.
There are various antagonistic characters within the story, though none directly oppose our heroes in this novel. Instead, our main antagonist is not a person, but the very world itself. Tahr is falling apart around them. Vents are opening in the world’s crust, fires are igniting randomly, earthquakes rock the world, fissures are opened, and a mighty volcano erupts.
Our heroes are on a race against time to find a solution and save their lives and the entire world.
Omens of Fury is a character-driven story. Much care and thought has been put into the development of these characters. Over the course of the novel, I grew attached to each one of them and watched as their personalities developed and grew.
My favorite of the four main characters is Shyla. I really connected with her more than any other as we see her, literally, uprooted from everything she has ever known and forced into a world of adventure.
Of the secondary characters, an elf named Barris would be at the top of my list. Level-headed and with a noble heart, Barris not only provides our heroes with protection and guidance, but he is set to have a story of his own as he battles internally with his feelings.
The storyline surrounding one of the antagonists, Sartean D’Avers, is both interesting and riveting. He is a plotter and a master chess player, planning and preparing his moves years in advance so that all the stars align for him.
Hinn has created an intriguing world in Tahr. His descriptions of the world are vivid and help you paint a picture in your mind. There is a map toward the front of the book, but it’s not really needed as Hinn consistently gives the reader points of reference relative to known areas throughout the world.
Each of the areas are cleverly named from the Maw, a giant valley between mountain ranges, to the Boiler, a raging rapid that bubbles as if boiling.
The plot for Omens of Fury is unlike most books that you read. This is no tale of hero versus villain. It’s not an unknown hero that sets out for revenge upon his enemies. No, Omens of Fury is a fight for survival itself. It’s a refreshing twist from the cliches of the genre.
The plot line does not resolve itself at the end of Omens of Fury, but continues on throughout the series. Instead, Omens of Fury is about the epic journey of our four heroes to find a solution to the crisis beset on their beloved world.
There are bumps in the road, fraught with dangers. There are personal struggles and deceptions. Multiple threads for romance abound, but very few take place in this novel. I anticipate, though, that Hinn will explore these threads in the remainder of the series.
The last chapter of the novel is the shortest in the bunch, but it ties in so beautifully with the beginning. It left me saying “Oh, wow, I can’t wait for the next book.”
Overall, I enjoyed Omens of Fury for all the reasons listed above. I only gave it a four star review because of a few minor grievances. The first is that it takes a little while to get to know our heroes. Each chapter has the reader jumping between characters. So just as you have got a grasp on one character, you’re ripped to another and have to learn them all over again.
With main characters and secondary characters, there’s a lot of name-dropping in the first few chapters and it’s difficult to keep them straight. Once I got them all down, though, I appreciated the constant change of pace throughout the novel. The chapter breaks provided excellent cliffhangers leaving me wanting more.
Along with the chapter changes, there’s a lot of “head-hopping” going on. The story is written in third person omniscient. This means that we don’t follow one particular character, but rather the scene. Within a given scene, Hinn jumps between the thoughts of several characters. Some people enjoy this style. It is not my favorite. It did not detract from the overall story, but it did create moments of confusion at times until I sorted it out.
Be sure to check out Sean Hinn’s website and Facebook page to keep up to date with the Days of Ash and Fury series.
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