Book Review: The Summoned Ones by Darryl A. Woods

The short and sweet: This book isn’t a stand out fantasy novel.

The Bericean army was in Malabrim for the ninth straight fighting season. Over the past 9 years, Zybaro, the leader of a small band of unknowns, had evolved from his days as a minor usurper of a tiny kingdom. Now, almost the entire country of Malabrim was under Zybaro’s control, and his army was large enough to easily challenge Bericea’s army. Still, Bericea continued its raids into Malabrim, hoping to stem Zybaro’s methodical progress and thwart his tyrannical means of control. Zybaro had seized village after village, forcing anyone capable of joining his army and enslaving all who remained in deplorable working conditions to supply his army.

This latest conflict with Zybaro had pushed General Darnon to a decision, one he had resisted making for over a year. Though he still held grave reservations about the Prophecies, he was willing to support the clerics who would attempt the summoning. The details of the ritual had recently been discovered in an ancient tome. The clerics were confident they could bring forth the Summoned Ones of Prophecy, those mysterious beings who would aid Bericea in its time of greatest need.

Darnon also had concerns about the location of the summoning. It would have to take place farther into Malabrim than they had ventured in many years. And even if the ritual was effective, it would be a great challenge to get the Summoned Ones safely back to Bericea, in addition to the soldiers sent to protect them. However, Darnon felt that morale was so low, if they survived this battle, he owed his troops the hope the summoning ritual could bring.

Join the soldiers of Bericea and the Summoned Ones through a life-or-death struggle. The Summoned Ones was made up of a small college aged group of friends from a small Kentucky town near the Daniel Boone National Forrest, who find themselves somehow brought to a chaotic world through magic. Their epic journey will push the Summoned beyond the limits of their endurance. This unlikely group will discover many truths about themselves and experience another world beyond their imagination.

(Description from Amazon)

Much like this description, the book is incredibly long winded. The author describes everything in such painstaking detail that it feels like he doesn’t trust his readers to understand anything. Everything is broken down into such meticulous detail that it feels like the tone is overly slow and the plot is underdeveloped. It’s hard to keep interested when you have to read such large chunks of description.

This authors greatest skill is also his downfall. The descriptions themselves are great, but they’re just too long. I’d love to see this author cut this book down by 100 pages. That’s the main downfall for fantasy novels, they tend to be too damn long. If you can write like George R. R. Martin and weave a mega long fantasy together while keeping a productive pace, by all means do it. But, if you aren’t confident that the plot is carrying and that the pace is fast enough then you’re probably over writing. It’s a huge sin that a lot of fantasy writers commit, myself included.

I didn’t feel a closeness with any of the characters. They all felt like they were archetypes that the author was trying to add depth to, but they all continued to feel like the archetypes they’re based on. You have a jock, an annoying pretty girl, a strategic/smart character, etc., they were just too basic. I need there to be more depth and more reason to love them.

The plot was a genuinely interesting idea. The description above doesn’t explain that The Summoned Ones are modern day characters sucked into a fantasy conflict. I like that idea and the mystery that surrounds it, it made me want to know why these people were chosen as Summoned Ones. Unfortunately, the book is a slog to get through and it would’ve been a DNF if this wasn’t for a book tour.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I give The Summoned Ones a 2/5, I loved the concept but didn’t like the execution.

Don’t just take my word for it. There are other reviews for this book out there. I recommend you check some others out, or if it so pleases you, you can purchase a copy by following this link.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Published by

Savannah Worman

My name is Savannah, you can call me Sav. I am a recent Oregon State graduate, Siletz tribal member, and aspiring book critic. Join me on this exploration of the literary world around us. You’re sure to find something you like. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments feel free to hit me up on the contact page! I live in the Pacific Northwest with my boyfriend, my Havanese/Aussie Shepard Stark, my Jack Russell/Shih Tzu Daenerys, and my son Finn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s