Book Reviews

Book Review: Schism by Michael Phillip Cash

Schism by Michael Phillip Cash

Publication Date: December 5th, 2013

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Genre(s): Science Fiction

Series Status: The Battle for Darracia Saga #1

Pages: 204

Format and Source: Paperback, Sent from author in exchange for honest review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V’sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior’s heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen’s lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia?

What is probably my favourite thing about this book is the diversity of the species. Instead of making them all similar with just different shapes ears and different coloured eyes – like most authors tend to do – Cash actually gave each species different coloured skin, hair, some had tails, others had webbed hands, some had star-shaped eyes. I love this diversity, as it makes it seem more real somehow.

This transferred quite well into V’sair’s development as a character, because he a half-breed, meaning he is only half Darracian, as his mother is a different species to his father. This obviously causes some turmoil and sets him apart from the rest of the Darracian’s, as he looks entirely different and he is also a lot smaller. He was groomed so his intellect was his strength, but due to the fact that most Darracian’s were mostly brawn, this means that there was an ever-widening gap between himself and his fellow Darracian’s. V’sair spent most of the book fighting to be like them, before realising – quite suddenly and slightly overdramatically – that he was fine the way he was.

‘Suddenly’ and ‘overdramatically’ are both words I would use to describe most of the aspects of this book. The entire book was short and fast-paced, sometimes too fast-paced. Conclusions were found too quickly in my opinion, and if this was another hundred pages longer I think it would have been a lot better. The only part that I think was the perfect length, was the beginning where introductions were made explaining this world. In comparison to the rest of the book it was slow, but I think that really it was the rest of the book that was too fast.

This ‘pacing error’ transcended into a lot of the realisations that V’sair, and other characters, had to make to conclude the book, making them seem rather sudden, as if they come out of nowhere. One of these realisations was the romance between V’sair and Tulani, which literally appeared out of thin air. It wasn’t until that day that V’sair had even noticed Tulani, but soon he was saying he loves her, and I really don’t understand how that could happen out of the few conversations that they had had.

But I did like the fact that equality between all species is the aim of probably the entire trilogy – and that’s a very important message. I also did like the characters, particularly Zayden and V’sair’s mother, who were both interest – the latter is rather cunning and I like that. Another appeal this book had to me was the action. You should know by now that I love action books and films, so the fact that there was fighting, and swords, and blood really appealed to me.

Overall this is definitely not a bad book. I will continue to read the rest of the trilogy in hope that the pacing is a lot better the next two books.

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