+SSP Week+ Book Review: The Brotherhood of the Dwarves by D.A. Adams

Posted Tuesday, 11 February, 2014 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

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The Brotherhood of the Dwarves by D.A. Adams
Artwork Credit: Bonnie Wasson

D.A. Adams page for reviews of all the books in sequence.

Published By: Seventh Star Press, 7 February 2012 (softcover edition)
Official Editor Websites: Site | Twitter | Facebook
Converse on Twitter: #BrotherhoodofDwarves
Artist Page: Bonnie Wasson  @ Seventh Star Press
Available Formats: Softcover and E-Book
Page Count: 238


Acquired Book:

I am a regular blog book tour hostess for Tomorrow Comes Media, whereupon in conversations with Stephen Zimmer about enjoying high fantasy over other aspects of the genre, I was offered to receive a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review direct from the publisher Seventh Star Press. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Initial Thoughts:

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect whilst looking over my copy of The Brotherhood of the Dwarves, as I had revealed inside Mr. Adams’s Guest Post on writing the series that I had first thought the inspiration behind his creation was due to the dwarves in The Lord of the Rings. Although, I have started to pick up my interest into reading the realms of science fiction & fantasy late in 2013, previous to my wanderings thus far along I hadn’t actually delved into stories or authors who focused on dwarves! My entire knowledge going into reading this book is based mostly on my memories of Gimli! Therefore, this is my first example of dwarves in fiction as I entered the sage of Gimli through the motion pictures not the text! (the complete Histories of Middle Earth & Lord of the Rings are on my tCC TBR list!)


Author Biography:

D.A. Adams

D.A. Adams was born in Florida but was raised in East Tennessee. He received a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of Memphis in 1999 and has taught college English for over a decade. His first novel, The Brotherhood of Dwarves, was released in 2005 and has been described as a solid, honest work about camaraderie, bravery, and sacrifice, a very personal journey, more interested in the ways that a person is changed by life’s events than in epic battles and high magic. In 2008, the sequel, Red Sky at Dawn, was released to the exaltation that this novel thunders along, at times with dizzying speed. The action is visceral and imaginative without being gratuitous. Book three, The Fall of Dorkhun, came out in 2011, followed by book four, Between Dark and Light, in 2012.

In terms of writing style, Adams exhibits an effortless narrative voice and a masterful balance between richly detailed descriptions and tightly worded minimalism. The pacing of his stories is breathtaking, with relentless action and captivating plot twists that keep readers riveted page after page. But his true talent as a writer lies in character development. Readers find themselves empathizing with, fearing for, and cheering on the characters as they overcome their personal shortcomings and grow as fully rendered individuals.

Adams is also the father of two wonderful sons and, despite his professional accomplishments, maintains that they are his greatest achievement in life. He resides in East Tennessee.

 

Understanding the order of Dwarves:

Adams does a great job at introducing the reader to the world within The Brotherhood of the Dwarves by outlining the differences of each tribe therein. I appreciated seeing the slight differences in both appearance, personality, temperament, and tone of living. Being an artist and a writer myself, I was leaning towards Roskin’s kingdom of Kiredurk as they focused on art and beauty rather than savage battlements of war. I lit up a bit within the intricate descriptions of the underground city as the engineering feat it would take to create such a structure piqued my interest! (after having read The Race Underground recently for a Book Browse First Impressions selection)

The pace picks up a bit whilst understanding the rite of passage within the hierarchy of the dwarf system. I was reminding myself of the Amish who are allowed to choose whether or not to remove themselves from their Order whilst travelling in the world of the English, or if they choose to take their place within their own society. In this story, young Roskin believes his destiny is attached to not only sorting out the mysteries of his past, but in seeking a long forgotten relic of treasure which is the namesake of the book series! Quite clever when I realised this revelation!

My Review of the Brotherhood of the Dwarves:

The Brotherhood of the Dwarves is set within a well-envisioned world, where each of the individual tribes of dwarves adhere to their own rules and regulations of order. There are dwarves who consider bloodshed and battle the mark of a true dwarf and of strength of their people. Whereas there are other more peaceful dwarves who feel that the pursuit of battle completely is not the best plausible way to live. (I happen to agree with the latter sentiment!) It’s Roskin’s pursuit of unearthing his ancestral roots that interested me the most due to his status as half dwarf and half elf.

Torkdohn is a guiding force in aiding young Roskin in the opening bits of his journey, not only in the sage advice he imparts upon the lad but in the knowledge of the lands outside Roskin’s native Kingdom. Torkdohn is the type of character you wonder if you can trust. The journey Roskin is undergoing is a twist on coming-of age, where he will have to settle out his thoughts and beliefs as far as how he wants to live and the manner in which he applies the lessons he is gaining. He isn’t one to play the fool nor is he one to relish in ignorance. His strength lies in sorting out the middle ground between being a dwarf who can hunt and kill without conscience of the consequences and being a dwarf who embodies the principles of only killing what one needs for subsistence; or for self-defense if need be.

I was quite surprised that I could settle into the narrative as the context dips between the psychological and emotional imagery of the life of dwarves to where the reader is front-row center to the action. There is a necessity of caution between the Kingdoms as distrust and broken alliances are clearly evident. What kept me in the story was Roskin himself who was very much a seeker on an adventure to discover more about himself as much as what it meant to be caught between worlds of the dwarves and elves. As the skirmishes evolve in the story, a few of the sequences were a bit much for me, but given the wager between the incidents was life or death, it stood to reason the battle would be heroic bloodshed or the grave! At one point I was wondering if most of the story was going to be hinged to battle, as although I respect warfare and enbattlements; there are times where I prefer more dialogue and narrative of the back-story or forward motion of the characters.

One of my favourite sections of the novel is when Red and Roskin are sent into exile with a hermit in the mountains named Kwarck. I eased into this section because I appreciated the interactions of the land with the labouring of the characters attempting to pay retribution and gratitude to their host. The inner demons of their conscience hearts were on trial throughout the story as each man had to learn how they would best wrangle out a resolution for their haunted memories. It was here in these passages that I felt were the strength of The Brotherhood of the Dwarves, as it laid the groundwork for why friendship, loyalty, and forgiveness are so very important to grab a hold of.

A sociological conscience is threaded throughout the narrative:

One of the things I appreciated the most about the writing style of Adams is that he lights the undertone of the novel The Brotherhood of Dwarves with a sociological conscious. Where for every cause and effect there is a conscience desire to sort through the internal strife of battlefield emotions tempered with the clarity of seeking a way to avoid confrontation. The way he interweaves the history of the dwarves themselves with the network of experience each dwarf must tackle is a way of endearing the race to the reader. Giving you a window into the reasoning for their differences but also empathy for why they make the choices they do. I think for those who appreciate high fantasy strong in warfare and survival based on hand-to-hand combat action will thrive in this setting because Roskin and his friends give a lot towards that end. For me the violent exchanges bordered on the excessive but another reader might feel they were more mild in nature. I think it depends on your personal levels of acceptance.

Fly in the Ointment:

Despite my own surprise of finding a niche in the story, The Brotherhood of the Dwarves bends a bit too much towards bloodshed for my own heart’s sensitivity. I readily enjoyed the engaging dialogue between the secondary characters and the main protagonists but I quickly surmised that what I enjoyed within the story itself was countered by another battle right around the corner. I think I could have fared better if  those who were hunting Roskin had taken different paths to find him, allowing him the flexibility to travel on his journey without as many incidents of mayhem and death. Afterall, there is only so much one can stomach back-to-back.


This Seventh Star Press focus week was brought together with the help of Tomorrow Comes Media, of which I am a blog tour hostess and book reviewer. To keep up to speed with which authors and books I will be featuring on Jorie Loves A Story in the near future via Tomorrow Comes Media, please check out my Bookish Events!

This marks my sixth post in contribution of:

2014 SciFi Experience
(“Strength and Honor” by Stephan Martiniere, used with the artist’s permission)

You can follow along on the official Sci-Fi Experience site!

Cross-listed on: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays via On Starships & Dragonwings

{SOURCES: The 2014 Sci-Fi Experience was granted permission to use the artwork by Stephen Martiniere in their official badge for all participants to show their solidarity during the event! The Brotherhood of the Dwarves cover art, D.A. Adams photograph & biography provided by Tomorrow Comes Media and used with permission. Post dividers were provided by Shabby Blogs, who give bloggers free resources to add personality to their blogs. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Tuesday, 11 February, 2014 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Coming-Of Age, Debut Novel, Excessive Violence in Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Seventh Star Press, Seventh Star Press Week, The Sci-Fi Experience, Tomorrow Comes Media, YA Fantasy




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4 responses to “+SSP Week+ Book Review: The Brotherhood of the Dwarves by D.A. Adams

  1. Thank you so much for the in-depth review. It’s wonderful when someone sees the intricacies of thought layered into the narrative. Many miss the sociology angle. My apologies for so much warfare and bloodshed. I realize not everyone enjoys the action as much as I do :-)

    • Mr. Adams,

      Thank you for understanding why I mentioned the bloodshed in my review as my most difficult part of the book! I appreciate this because in all honestly I loved the heart of the central characters & the fact that you did instill the sociological angle into the narrative! I find that in order to understand a person’s motives we always have to look at sociological influences and inclinations therein. Yes, I very much appreciated all the hidden layers and for that, I was thankful I read this novel! :)

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