There's something about reading a book when you personally know the author, and it's a little strange. Yesterday I finished Jason King's The Lure of Fools: The Age of the Infinite, Book I, and some of that strangeness returned.
I'm so glad I finally got to finish one of Jason's books. I've had one of his ebooks on my Kindle for several months. I still plan on reading it, but this was a real life, paper and ink copy (which I like so much better...).
The Lure of Fools starts us on a journey into a land of magic, alien species and waring factions. Jak (short for Jakaran...), a teenager is given charge over a magic sword. In this world--unless I totally misunderstood--many common items can contain magic. Magic weapons, however, are the most prized and most dangerous. In the beginning we don't know the extent of the sword's magical properties, but as it gets used, we find out quickly just how powerful it is. Jak finds himself in dangerous situations where not only his life, but the lives of others are on the line, and somehow the boy escapes. It's a testament to the author's imagination and storytelling that the perils are overcome in such a convincing way.
Equally impressive is King's introduction of several alien species. From a beast of burden to a reptilian race that humans despise, mostly because they're not understood, and ultimately to a people who lived before humans arrived, who humans hunted and almost destroyed completely, the complexity and uniqueness of each entity shines forth.
I loved the magic system in this book. The magical items, and the people with magical abilities, were not all-powerful. They hold charges and when called upon some of that magical energy is expelled. The weapons, items, and people need to be re-charged in order to keep going and to function. With this in mind, the situations the characters find themselves become even more dire.
So, why was it weird reading a book written by someone I know? We get to know people a certain way. I know Jason from conventions. I know Convention Jason. He's a great guy, a talented guy. As I read his words, sometimes Writer Jason and Convention Jason are slightly different.
Book II of the Age of the Infinite is out. I'd better get my hands on a copy. The first one just wasn't enough! Well done, Jason (both Writer and Convention...)!