Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Review: 'The Paths of Cormanor' by Jim Breyfogle

    I was very lucky and was able to get a review copy of Jim Breyfogle's book Paths of Cormanor last week. I read it as an ebook formatted for iBooks.

The Technical and Such: The ebook layout was far superior to the majority with good, crisp fonts and text, a nice layout, proper use of various textual cues, and top-notch editing. If there was a spelling or grammar error, I missed it. The team of writer-copyeditor-editor-layout did a fine job and I was actually impressed with an ebook's composition!

The Plot and Such: Breyfogle did a fine job by keeping the plot very simple and straightforward. This does not mean the characters don't face mysteries or quandaries, it does not mean it is predictable, and it does not mean it is not entertaining. he just understands that a simple plot combined with good pacing and good writing makes a great story.

  The characters were well-drawn and engaging and had a verisimilitude that I find lacking in a lot of contemporary fiction. There were even understandable motivations driving the errors made by the various characters, another thing that seems rare these days. Even minor characters were well-defined.

  The setting was well-crafted and built by hints and implications rather than a data dump. The magic within the book was very, very far from World of Warcraft and retained a sense of wonder rather than a sense of level grinding.

  The worldbuilding was subtle rather than ham-handed and very engaging. I liked the strong sense of a German/Polish/Russian culture that was not intrusive.

The Review: The book is quite good and I heartily recommend it. Although Breyfogle's writing style is different the setting and story reminded me of Vance and Lyonesse while the action was akin to Burroughs in A Fighting Man of Mars. It has been some time since I enjoyed a fantasy novel as much as I did this one, and that book was over 50 years old!

  I can't wait to read his next book.


  1. Were there any maps? If so, were they useful, if not, would they have been?

    I read on a Kindle and one weakness is the maps are not manipulatable.

  2. Thanks for the review!

    Pre-orders will go live on the 7th of July!