The Knights of Soil
Outskirts Press (2013)
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (1/14)
“The Knights of Soil” by Justin Kruse is labeled a Science Fiction/Adventure novel. In the land of The Great Island, barbarians have set out to win the fortress Thiven Seax. Theadus, the leader of the barbarians, and his right hand man Sayven, find themselves searching for greatness. The story, for me, is better labeled as fantasy. The language used and the characters represent a more fantasy-like presentation.
As the barbarians submit to war, characters come and go pretty fast. This conquest leads the main characters to realize that they were not high and mighty and that there was something greater than they were. Theadus was a hot-headed character that took the life of a man just to steal his wife, because he wanted her. Later he finds himself understanding, although not necessarily admitting, his selfishness. Breaking a woman down for no good reason crept into his conscience. I did not feel connected to Theadus nor did I feel like I knew anything about him. It was a jump right in and figure it out for myself kind of thing that I do not really favor.
“The Knight of Soil” did not hold my attention. I found myself going back and trying to figure out what was going on. Deep down, the moral of this story was finding greatness and the triumph of conquering land. I probably was not the best suited person to review this novel. I could not relate and I could not bring myself to love it. Characters appeared and left just as fast. I was confused and there was no prologue to help understand the history of The Great Island. I read and re-read the synopsis on the back of the book and that was confusing to me as well.
I have to give praise where praise is due. I think the cover is amazing and truly reflects the authors love for the arts. The editor did a great job with this book as I did not find anything that was distracting.
Overall, I feel like being lead to believe that this was a Science Fiction story really put a damper on my enjoyment level. I would not have taken this title for review had I known that it was more fantasy. In the end, I feel like “The Knights of Soil” might be better suited for a man who likes the intrigue of war and the search that this story line possessed.