House of Blades by Will Wight
House of Blades (The Traveler’s Gate Trilogy #1) by Will Wight Eight year old Simon had heard stories of The Travelers from his mother, but did not know what to actually believe about them. While on a trip, Simon and his parents have a run-in with a couple of them. Simon watches as his father is killed and his mother is badly hurt. Another Traveler comes along and fights the two killers off and tells Simon to return to him in the future if he wishes to learn his ways.
Flash forward to Simon’s village where he has spent the last eight years caring for his mother who is mad and violent. Simon’s village is attacked and Simon’s friend Leah and other villagers are kidnapped, to be used as a sacrifice for the realm. Leah reveals herself as a princess to her kidnappers, but continues to portray a kidnapped victim to all others. Also during the attacks, Alin, another boy who grew up in the village, is revealed to himself and others to have Traveler powers. As the remaining villagers try to figure out what to do, Simon must make a decision about how to carry on with his life. He chooses to look for the strange Traveler to learn how to fight and defend the people he loves.
The story then goes to three POVs, Simon, Leah and Alin. This is where my attention started to wain.
Simon does not find the Traveler who offered to train him but he does go through training at the hands of another stranger. He must fend off constant threats to his life while bathing, eating and sleeping. Alin is taken to the realm of Enosh and taught to use his powers in order to fulfill the prophecy as their savior. Leah is taken to Damascus and continues to be held captive but is really under some sort of protection while the other kidnapped villagers are offered one by one as a sacrifice. Simon and Alin converge and battle a bad guy in an effort to rescue Leah.
The book skips through time to the point where I wondered if I missed reading something more than once. I liked Simon but I was pretty ambivalent about Alin’s and Leah’s stories. It’s not a tightly woven story and offers nothing as a stand alone book. A large percentage of books are now part of a trilogy or in some cases a never ending series. Writers need to concentrate on a completed storyline for each installment in a series. I don’t feel like this book offers that but the entire trilogy may have the potential to.