Warriors of Understone
Durgan must struggle to overcome not only his common birth, but also the prejudices of a stagnant and isolated society to become one of the warriors of Understone. The sprawling dwarven city lies deep beneath the mountains, at the heart of a kingdom that has not changed its ways in centuries. Plagued by threats both within and without, life is a constant struggle to survive and furious battle is around every corner. Durgan may overcome opponents with axe and shield, but can he change the very values of his society with the same tools?
Praise for Warriors of Understone
"I was enthralled by the world that B.K. Bass created in this novella. From the history of this dwarven world to the intricate rules of the society within, B.K. created a delightfully rich and wonderful world in which to set this story. Every mention made of this world is expertly woven into the story. Though slowly revealed, you are never left "in the dust" about anything."
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I wasn't sure what to expect of this story when I got it. The previous work I've read and enjoyed by B.K. Bass, Night Shift, was set in a strikingly different futuristic world. As much as I love fantasy and hold it dear, my tastes in reading tend more towards contemporary and science fiction. I've always been picky when it comes to high fantasy and it takes two things to make me fall fully in love with a high-fantasy story: a richly developed world and intriguing characters that drive the plot forward.
Warriors of Understone does not fail to deliver on either of these aspects in great quantity.
I was enthralled by the world that B.K. Bass created in this novella. From the history of this dwarven world to the intricate rules of the society within, B.K. created a delightfully rich and wonderful world in which to set this story. Every mention made of this world is expertly woven into the story. Though slowly revealed, you are never left "in the dust" about anything.
I really could go on about the beautifully wrought tapestry that not only provides a stunning background to an already good story but is a large part of this tale itself. I cannot say enough about the world building skills displayed here nor how expertly B.K. Bass is at painting a picture for the reader with few words. It makes me want to know more, past this story, because this is a world that I could easily lose myself in. Although I shouldn't be left wanting in this regard since Warriors of Understone is the first of a series.
Of course, no matter beautiful and expertly wrought any world is, the plot and characters must equally reflect such attention. I found characters here that were beautifully developed and made real. B.K. created a sympathetic protagonist right from the start. He made you not only understand what was at stake but why you should even care in a very short amount of time. But he doesn't leave it there, as the story develops in this wonderfully character-driven plotline, you learn that what is at stake is more than you ever imagined.
In the end, you're not disappointed as B.K. Bass brought the story to a wonderful conclusion.
My biggest critique? I wanted more. I wish it wasn't a novella so that I could have stayed in that world and with those characters longer than I did. Unfortunately, I will have to wait for the next book in this series to be able to dive back in.
Crystal Kirkham, Author