The Silver Portal
The Silver Portal is the story of five young people from different cultures who find a magical weapon. Each of them are pulled into a quest to save the kingdom from an invading army of mages and dragons.
We liked the world building via each of the weapon bearers coming from different places with distinct cultures and their own experiences. It made it easy to visualize the world and made us have an interest in each of the characters.
We also liked David J. Normoyle’s character building through experience and internal thought. Here’s a quote about a street urchin that we thought was a powerful way to explain the danger in her life: A warm bed and two hot meals a day were nice, but Twig knew them to be as dangerous as a slippery roof. She couldn’t let herself go soft.
One thing we noticed that slowed the reading was some awkward phrasing the popped up throughout the book. Here’s an example: “And you must remain bound in case you do something stupid.” We’re guessing that the author meant: “to prevent you from doing something stupid”.
The thing we disliked most about the book is that it ends right in the middle of the climax with no setup for the next book. It appears that the author wanted a big cliffhanger. Unfortunately for him, we hate cliffhangers and had to dock a point from the story category (because he didn’t finish the story) and several points from the series plot category because he didn’t set up expectations for the next book. This book would have scored much higher had the author given us a satisfying ending, wrapped up a few loose ends, and then pointing us to the plot of the next book.
The Silver portal is an enjoyable read right up until the end. It has distinct characters, solid world building, and lots of humor. Unfortunately, David J. Normoyle left us with a cliffhanger that spoiled the ending and made the book less satisfying than it could have been.
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