The Gift – The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield by Tegon Maus

The Gift – The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield by Tegon Maus
Publisher: Neither World Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (285 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Transformed by a primitive magic beyond a civilized man’s understanding, I was given a horrible gift that no man should possess… It held me, twisted me, turning me at its bidding. I was enslaved by its power, compelled to devour the souls of the dead until I became the monster of my fears. I have seen things I wish never to see again. I have done things of which I wish never to speak. Yet I must if I am to find the answers to fulfill my hope. I have walked upon blue ribbons of molten stone to peer into the depth of a man’s soul. I watched as a promise made at birth brought my friend Enon to sacrifice everything to become whole again – all in an effort to save the life of his child. I have cried without shame for the loss of all I hold dear and for fear that the future will hold more than I can bear. I am Tucker Littlefield. Know all that I say now is true-spoken.

Some promises are much easier to keep than others.

Everything I’ve read from this author so far has had a premise that leapt out at me right away, and this story was no exception to that rule. Mr. Maus has a strong sense of what should and should not be mentioned ahead of time. He knows just when to dangle a juicy glimpse of what’s to come in front of his audience. What makes The Gift – The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield even more compelling, though, is everything he holds back.

It would have been helpful to have more character development. While this tale is definitely plot-centered, so much time was spent describing all of the exciting things that happen to Tucker on his quest that I never felt like I got to know him as well as I should have in a full-length novel. I got the impression that Tucker tends to be a quiet and thoughtful guy, but that was the extent of what I figured out about his demeanor. The secondary characters lead interesting lives, but I learned even less about their personalities or how they changed as a result of everything that happens.

The world-building in this book was strong. It took me a chapter or two to figure out the identities of the most important characters, but once I had that sorted out I was impressed by how much time the author spent developing Enon’s culture and backstory. This is the kind of work that asks its audience to pay close attention to the details early on, but it’s well worth the investment once the plot picks up speed.

The Gift – The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield is a good choice for anyone who likes high fantasy.

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