Review: “The Apprentice” by M. L. Hall

aapprenticeThis is a pretty good book. Correction: this could have been a pretty good book. Here’s why.

The Apprentice is what you might call a Sword and Sorcery genre book. It involves three swashbucklers that belong to the Black Knights, elite fighters sort of like the Musketeers of Alexander Dumas fame. They are given the task of escorting the future queen of their kingdom to the royal palace across bandit-filled territory. The three main characters are Artamos, the apprentice Black Knight, who is the main character, Falita, a female fighter, and Adrian Rizzo, referred to as “Rizz,” who is the mentor to Artamos. Here’s what I liked about the book:

It is a plausible story with a well-defined storyline. The author doesn’t try to cover too much with the story, which allows time to develop the characters. That’s the other thing I like; believable, likeable characters. Each has their flaws and their strengths. Artamos is the naive, idealistic beginner. Rizz is the wise, quiet mentor. And Falita is a terrific fighter, who has a rough past and a weakness for trinkets.

The story is over before they arrive at the castle, and doesn’t end up where you suspect it will, although one twist I did figure out. The book is also really just an episode, clocking in at about 36,000 words. But it is the first in a series, that I look forward to reading.

So here’s the bad news: It truly, desperately, is in need of an editor. I caught numerous typos in here, including use of the wrong word, grammatical, punctuation and other issues. For many people it might not be a problem. But being an indie author myself, I know how sensitive readers of indie novels are to typos. Further, the beginning chapter is muddled. For a while I wondered if there were four knights, because at one point the author refers to Adrian, and in the next paragraph refers to Rizz. It’s pretty nigh impossible for an author to have the objectivity necessary to catch stuff like that, and I speak to myself as I say that, because when you’re a bare bones indie author, it’s hard to justify the bucks necessary to hire an editor. But here it was extremely necessary.

It’s a fun story, and once I got past the first chapter, I enjoyed reading it. At 36,000 words, it was a very fast read. And those who are interesting in checking it out will be pleased to note that the ebook is available on Amazon for FREE. The second book in this series is already out, so I will be reading it soon.

I give The Apprentice 3 out of 5 stars.