Comrades We by A. Louise Olsen

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Hellllllo readers – today I have a bit of an apology before I throw us into the review. A few of you will have seen that I have closed my review requests box until I can catch up with the books I already have waiting to be read/written/posted. Unfortunately because I’ve been so swamped a few have been lost in the depths of my email inbox but I’m getting to them all one at a time. Today’s is one that ended up being a reviewed a little later than promise so big apologies and a slapped wrist, but I hope the review more than makes up for it (maybe.)

Comrades We is the story of the adventures of six friends as they grow up together, learn magic, encounter bad stuff, and try to fight their way out of trouble.

This is a fantasy novel. There is magic. There are swords. There are mysterious and cryptic gods. There are some really bad guys and there are good guys who are mostly ordinary and trying to do their best with what they’ve got. And if needed, there is always tea

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First thing to mention is I really like the blurb for this book it doesn’t really give anything away and I like that – I think it’s because  I recently went into a bookshop for the first time in a long time and I looked at the blurb and thought what do I really want to read about. I just couldn’t decide, but here it was kind of made for me.

As the blurb states that’s kind of what the book entails; a number of characters learning, living, and casually battling magic with swords – you know just the day job. The author manages to weave a lot of energy into the different characters despite there being six of them which you may worry lacks a little detail but it works here. I did feel like each of them was give specific characteristics which helped you to keep an eye on them and keep up with their story. I did feel that each of the characters could have been delved into more but that’s just me, I think the author could have built the profiles more strongly and created a more intensive character profiling. Saying this Gilli and Tomas were my favourites; I liked seeing their relationship grow and develop. I would profile in all our characters but there is just too much to write – go and discover for yourselves.

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There is a good mix of the fantasy writing, landscape descriptions and the warfare that is described as we follow the characters as they battle their way through the different dangers they are placed in. As I mentioned earlier I liked learning about the characters as they improved their magic skills and the descriptions and adventures of them at school and then moving that into the real world and the danger that added. The plot definitely moves with pace and at times I did wish the plot would slow a little and allow us to look at the characters a little more for me although the plot is important it needs strong characters to hang from and become a complete storyline. For me I thought that could have been more description of the landscapes, it has more of a YA feel which I like but I thought with the fantasy genre a little more description of the landscape would have helped draw the reader in more.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think if your favourite genre is fantasy with a YA feel this is definitely one to get a hold of. For me I think I could have done with a couple less characters as I worked more into the story I did feel a little lost and had to flick back. Reading on a computer does make that more difficult but I think with strong character profiling this could have drawn me in more and made each more memorable. I thought the amount of ‘magic’ was perfect for me and I enjoyed watching the different relationships. The ending was also strong and definitely had me wanting to find out more too.  A really lovely self-published book from a lovely author and one I definitely want to read more from in the future.

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