Witchwood and Seabound


Not for me 😔

The book didn't deliver as well as I would have liked. I wanted a lot more from the storytelling than the book could offer.

As much as I wanted to enjoy the novel and found the plot intriguing, the narrative was cliched at best and dulled what was good about the story. Generic, long descriptions left me longing for deeper detail with more meaning, and the cliched relationship between the Sheriff and the witch left me wanting a bit more drama from the story.

As someone who enjoys both the western and fantasy genre, I was instantly put off when the author couldn’t even detail the horses beyond “Chestnut hair” and “large, draft horse”. As a horse lover, I know there are many variants of draft horses, large horses and brown horses. The generic descriptions left me feeling as if the author either wasn’t familiar with horses or was too lazy to do simple research.

The poor descriptions lasted throughout the entire book, from the characters to animals that were important to the story. Detailing nothing more than color, size and occasionally feelings left the characters feeling more two dimensional and flat – made worse only by the generic dialogue and actions of the characters. In fact, I found that after reading several chapters of the book, I couldn’t recall what the characters looked like or what their names were. Nothing about the book was memorable. I found it impossible to place the characters and imagine the scene I was reading. I was constantly outside of the narrative instead of being drawn into the story. The author spent time describing the land and the scenes, but with such basic detail, most of it was pointless and didn’t deliver the enthralling narrative the author was looking for.

Yet, when explaining to a friend why description was so important to a book, I was able to recall a book I’d read ten years ago: the name of the characters, the name of the horses in the book, the breed of the horse and the fact that the horse had the personality of an old lady. Now, these were not all important facts to the plot itself, but contributed to the author's level of world building. It added a level of realism that made the book more enjoyable and memorable.

The narrative continued through the book with dialogue tags like, “Ruckstead snorted derisively” and “Artemisia lilted” dotting the majority of the dialogue; the language of the narrative was stiff and unnatural. In one scene, the sheriff was declaring that magic isn’t real, and in the next breath of a sentence, was ready to go hunting werewolves. It made the dialogue feel awkward and confusing.

Because of all the things mentioned above, I never actually entered the story. I constantly felt distant from the narrative, and it was difficult staying attentive to the very end, even though the plot was interesting in itself. If the author had only worked on adding a bit more detail and made the dialogue more natural, it would have been a fascinating read. I mean, how can cowboys and pirates not be interesting?

Because of the errors mentioned above, I’d have to rate the book a 2 out of 5. I don’t think I would remember the narrative well enough to recommend it to someone. Though I do think it will find a small readership among western fantasy lovers and that it would be a good entry novel to get someone into reading, but it was, by far, not my favorite storytelling as an advanced reader. I just wanted so much more from the narrative that it clearly couldn't deliver.

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About the author

Ethan Proud was raised in Pinedale, Wyoming and that is where he fell in love with reading, writing, and the outdoors. He published his first series the Rebellion Trilogy with his older brother, Lincoln. His favorite past-times are snowboarding, rock climbing, and backpacking. view profile

Published on September 02, 2019

Published by

100000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Fantasy

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