One of the most unique indie books I have recently read is the The Realmsic Conquest, written by indie author A. Demethius Jackson. This is most definitely a book no major publisher would touch, because it is completely written in prose, committing that most heinous of crimes loudly decried in any modern writing group—that of telling the story. Not only does he tell and not show, he does it in rhyme, four stanzas to a paragraph, each numbered 1 through 4. I discovered this most unusual book by accident, through Twitter.
First the Blurb:
Throughout its history, the kingdom known as the Realm has never known peace. From its establishment, it has possessed the gift of magic, which is a treasure that exists no other place in the world! As a result, the Realm has endlessly defended itself against conquerors, but now faces its greatest peril.
As our heroes battle the wicked and unlock mysteries, they must also face overwhelming circumstances as they are guided by ancient lore on a quest to find the greatest treasure their kingdom will ever know... peace.
The characters Leoden and Kelm open the story, speaking in verse, discussing the problem and what to do about it. I’m not going to detail the story. Instead I will give you my impressions.
This book written completely in verse that young people can understand, but with a style that holds interest for the adult readers also. The author states in his foreword that he initially conceived it to be in the style of The Canterbury Tales or Beowulf, but in modern simple verse:
1. It was our fate, a fall from grace
2. that led us here this time and place.
3. I pondered deeply inside of my mind
4. the questions for answers too hard to find.
Because it is written in verse, the reader is an observer, and does not become an immersed part of the tale as one does in typical narrative-style tales. But this is not a bad thing, if the reader is in love with poetry and words that rhyme. The story is good, the characters are interesting and their deeds are large and bold.
The Author does not use words that are hard to understand or obscure, and his telling of the tale is like that of a bard, or a shaman around a campfire. It is mysterious and captivating in an almost foreign way.
My background is in Anglo-Saxon studies and Old English literature so I found the concept of an epic tale told in modern rhyme refreshing. I think any young person who, as I most certainly did, loves popular music as much for the lyrics as the music might be attracted to this book, as will people who enjoy poetry for the sake of the words.
When we modern, civilized people were roving tribes, we told epic tales about the fire at night. Now we are no longer tribal, no longer in harmony with our environment. But in our digital world we feel the need to remember that fundamental part of us, which is why we read books detailing epic fantasy and go to the movies. All in all, I am giving it 4 stars for telling a good tale, for originality, and for keeping an essential traditional part of our global human culture alive.