Long Live Freedom by Elizabeth Hunt

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Kindle Price: $6.99

Official Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis:

“When Karter, banished and alone, stumbles across the Kingdom of Conquistado, he finds himself recruited to the Pantasmas -the rebel group living in the forest just outside town. From there, they do their best to thwart Derex Fallon, a man who stole the crown ten years ago and has kept a strangling hold on the populace ever since. When a crazy tradition gives the Pantasma’s leader, Alick, the chance of a lifetime, Karter and Alick embark on a journey to the mountains beyond to find help of a most unusual kind. In this stunning story of a handful of teenagers struggling to fight the injustice of a nation there is mystery, romance, and adventure of all kinds. The Battle for Libre commences and the reign of Derex Fallon balances on the edge of a blade.”

My Review:

Fantasy. A genre that allows us to pretend, if but for a moment, that dragons, unicorns, and weres (oh my!) exist. There are only about one hundred and fifty pages, so Hunt didn’t have a large amount of space (of course, that was by design), but a short book is never an excuse for poor execution.

There was almost nothing wrong with the plot. I did see a couple of holes, a few circumstances and (convenient) outcomes that made me roll my eyes, and unnecessary death(s), but it honestly was a fairly solid plot. I think it could have really bloomed into a fantasy story that I would have loved to visit if some of the issues I’ll mention are addressed.

The characters could have been great. I liked the name “Alick,” it was different and “Karter,” which is (obviously) spelled with a ‘k’. The only issue is that cardboard has more depth than them. Don’t get me wrong, they have tragic backstories, but I wasn’t sold on them. I read them and thought, “Aw.” but that was as far as I felt. There was no conviction in the information they told and therefore I felt none. I knew their cause, what they had been through, but they all fell flat. All of them, Alick and Karter include, lacked character development altogether. If none of your other/side characters have any form of mental or personality or decision-making growth, at the very least, you owe it to the reader, (with few exceptions), to have your main characters grow. It’s the right thing to do. In addition to that, one character is singled out and undermined whenever it’s possible. Alick even said to herself that “It [ignoring them] made it easier to undermine [them].” The character in question was given such a bad attitude that I was/am convinced that they were a villain. Why do such a thing? It didn’t make much sense to me. A leader should never allow, encourage, or participate in the ridiculing of someone who follows them or anyone in general. That is bad form and doesn’t demonstrate leadership skills.

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