Storm Approaching: Part One of Mercenaries, by Brian Libby
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: AuthorHouse (April 29, 2009)
Rating (1 to 5 *): ****
Storm Approaching Book Review
Andiriel received a good home and education in the Empire-sponsored Institute for the Homeless, but when her time comes to leave, she longs for excitement. She makes friends with a knight of the illustrious Sovereign Order, which leads to a job with the Order's auxiliary services. Before she knows what's happening, she finds herself on a ship to the Isles, on a strange mission that seems to change daily. Things start out pretty well, including making friends with an adorable sand fox, but the mission goes south fast. Finally, she becomes fed up with the deceit and danger and tenders her resignation.
While trying to find a way to get home without getting robbed or worse, Andiriel meets a member of a band of mercenaries that is camped nearby. Within a few days, she manages to get elected as the colonel of the band, and she must quickly learn how to lead a band of rough men, keep order in camp, and run a battle.
Meanwhile, back at the Empire, the abuses of power and incompetence that led to Andiriel's strange mission are discovered, the Empire and a plan is set to defy all traditions of succession for the emperor. Since Storm Approaching is the first book of three in the Mercenaries, this is only the beginning of the story. It does not stand on its own, so there are no nice and tidy endings. No, the reader will have to read the whole series to get those (I hope!).
I found some dichotomies in my reaction Storm Approaching. I thought it was well written, but in need of editing from someone experienced in publishing (sorry, I know I'm picky--what bothers me might not bother many readers at all). I thought the story well crafted, exciting, and interesting, but Andiriel takes some actions without much thought that I thought she should have struggled with. I won't name them, because I don't want to give away too much. Despite these, I really enjoyed the book and hope I get the chance to read the next two. The characters are enjoyable, with fun interactions, and there is just enough adventure and suspense. A fun read!
Tune in next week, when I'll post an interview with Brian Libby!