Sven is a war veteran who cannot yet lay down his arms because he still has to protect his family and friends from the evil forces in the Deluge lands. For a while, he has little to do and lives quietly with his youngest son, Fren but soon, chaos erupts and our war hero and his loved ones become the target of an evil tyrant Roland who wishes to absorb the essence of the evil night gods and take over the world for them. Now Sven and Fren must rise to protect their friends, battle mind-numbing sorcery, find Dason, Sven’s eldest son and leave the unsafe lands to a new location. But will all this prove to be too daunting? Will the forces of darkness prevail over the forces of light? Will our hero finally lay down his arms and find rest?
The Young by Nicholas Powter is an epic fantasy novel detailing the adventures of a brave war hero and his equally courageous son. The events in the book are set in medieval times in an imaginary land called The Deluge where fantastic beasts reign and cities within mountains prevail. And while Powter doesn’t spend much time giving intricate details of the surroundings, he makes sure to provide vital vivid images that still help us perceive man’s crude habits in those times. These images help set a perfect stage for the characters’ thrilling adventures.
Powter’s proficiency doesn’t end at setting a solid stage for his story, it also extends to his description of the characters in his book. He strikes a balance between showing us who the characters are through their actions and also having them tell us themselves and this helps to move the story along at a decent pace.
As the story moves along, Powter strings together events that pass few but very clear messages – you can’t miss them. We see ideas like the strength of the bonds of family and friendship and the power of courage as shown in Sven’s resolve to save his son and his friend’s wife. We also glean the themes of the continuous war between good and evil and man’s role in choosing which of these sides to submit to. Apart from these themes, two others also stand out. One relates to the categories of people most susceptible to deceit – the young or naïve, the overly curious, and the covetous – and the other is a soothing message that good will ultimately prevail if there are still people who believe in it and are ready to fight for it.
Powter might not be Tolkien or C.S Lewis but he surely did some things that caught my fancy. The story is kept simple and has no pointless detours. On top of this I found the story to be fairly imaginative. These two factors made the book a decent read on the whole even though I felt the narration could have been more engaging.