"Adventure is the lure of fools, and excitement glamour to the gullible. The siren song of the world is as music to the wanderer's feet, but that dance leads only to the soul-less grave." So Jekaran's uncle has warned him. But that doesn't stop him from leaping at the exhilarating chance to single-handedly rescue a beautiful woman from a gang of lecherous thieves. But the bored farm boy quickly finds that he is no match for the group of angry street thugs, and only escapes death by bonding a magical sword that grants him the strength and skill of a master swordsman. Unfortunately, a peasant wielding such magic is forbidden and punishable by death. Thus Jekaran finds himself a fugitive with his fate tied to that of the exotic and mysterious, Kairah; a fey woman who must deliver a dire warning to the king that, if heeded, could prevent the very extinction of humanity.
The Lure of Fools (The Age of the Infinite #1)by Jason King
Inciting curiosity in just the first chapter, The Lure of Fools (The Age of the Infinite #1) by Jason King, provokes readers' excitement by opening with a dark scene and a murderous character. Though the theme may not be new to fantasy novels – a farm boy who craves adventure – the characters read as precise individuals and as their paths cross their harrowing journey is anything but ordinary.
The book has a number of characters that readers can choose to love or hate; the main protagonists are Jakaran, a teenage farm hand, and Kairah, an elfin-like creature. Told through third person, readers get to observe the story through various perspectives as minor characters also get an opportunity to express themselves every few chapters.
It is hard to believe that the author, Jason King, is a rookie writer, as he does an excellent job of assimilating readers into the fantasy world he has created. His description and writing skills are excellent and really capture readers' attention. The transitions, though smooth in the beginning, break up near the end of the book and are only noticeable because the opening chapters are so impeccably arranged. A minor quip readers may have is that there is no map! As a reader, especially with fantasy novels, I like the author to provide a map of their fabricated land so I can better grasp the world that is being described and where all the action is taking place.
This is a book that teens, both male and female can enjoy, as there is a lot of action and a dose of romance that is not overwhelming. For those that have an interest in The Hobbit or Eragon, but are off-put by their girth, this may be a good starting point for you, but be warned, this novel might just lure you in and hook you with its sequel, The Soulless Grave (The Age of the Infinite #2).
Profanity/Language: 31 mild obscenities; 9 derogatory names; 4 scatological words; 1 anatomical term. Note: The word whore is used on a few occasions and wench once; these were not tallied.
Violence/Gore: Male character recalls female thwarting his sexual advances causing him to become violent with her; character admits to killing in the past; townspeople become violent with character when they learn of his/her misconduct, blood mentioned; extended scene (about 1 page) character uses magic power to kill a whole town and set it on fire (non-descriptive); character it tied and threatened with being burned alive; extended scene (about ½ page) characters wrestle for fun; character kicks and punches character hard, but in a playful manner; character kicks object in anger causing injury to self; character skins and slaughters animal for meat; character admits to burning him/herself; character fears he/she may be killed; fire explosion causes house to burn; implication that character killed another character's lover; character admits to torturing and killing another character; character threatens to kill another character; character kicks at debris causing it to hit another character; comment on different races being violent/killing one another; character accidentally hits another character causing injury and bleeding; character falls inflicting wound; extended scene (about 2 pages) characters fight with weapons, blood mentioned; threat of murder; report of character injuring an attacker; character is lightly wounded; threat of gang rape; character is pushed down and threatened with being beaten, robbed, and killed; extended scene (about 2 pages) characters fight physically and with weapons, exchanging threats, brief mention of blood and gore when character cuts off other character's extremities killing them; character fears he/she will be hanged; character is threatened with castration; extended scene (about 1 paragraph) character is attacked and bitten by fantasy creature, character kicks at fantasy creature, blood mentioned; secondhand report of killing fantasy creatures for sport; secondhand report of death in a war; character sees individual dead in a pool of her/his own blood; character relishes in the panic he/she created in starting fires; character uses magic to kill other characters (non-descriptive), blood mentioned; character plans to kill another character; character remembers being beaten as a child by a parent and later killing that parent; character uses magic to forcefully push another character away; character accidentally injures his/herself; report of violent threat; character is kicked; character threatens to kill another character; extended scene (about 2 pages) character fights off multiple attackers inflicting injuries; character hits another character; extended scene (about 2 pages) report of previous wars and violent conflict; character playfully elbows another character; explosions causing some individuals to be consumed with fire (non-descriptive); character voices his/her desire to kill another character; extended scene (about 2 pages) fire explosions cause injuries and non-descriptive deaths; character accidentally knocks down another individual; character voices plan to kill another character; character briefly recalls killing another character (non-descriptive); extended scene (about 2 pages) characters fight with swords and magic, non-detailed and brief character cuts off other character's head; extended scene (about 2 pages) character fights magical object; brief non-detailed recollection of parents' murder.
Sex/Nudity: Male character recalls female thwarting his sexual advances causing him to become violent with her; a few mentions of character's deceased parent being a former prostitute; report of former prostitute receiving unwelcome advances from males; a few mentions of “whores” and “whore houses”; report of hiring a male prostitute as a joke; character mentions having a “lover”; character admits to taking character's former lover as his/her own; comment on male character spreading his seed around, possibly fathering many children, and bedding many women; character inquires about receiving companionship, implying prostitution; threat of gang rape; character admits to watching characters of the opposite sex undress and getting aroused (mentioned a few times), this character is categorized as pervert; male character mentions bedding many maidens; character is said to be a “womanizer”; character is threatened with castration; implication of previous sexual activity; implication of masturbation; mention of contracting a sexual disease; character makes a joke implying homosexual behavior of another character; character makes a brief inquiry about the sexual activity of fantasy creatures; inquiry of menstrual cycle; brief remark on nudity; characters engage in a friendly embrace; character briefly jokes about bedding a female; mention of non-sexual nudity.
Mature Subject Matter:
Killing/murder, war/annihilation, prostitution, gang activity, death of loved one(s)/orphan.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Character suspects individuals of spending time drinking and smoking; mention of “poppy den”; character suspects another character of wanting to buy cannabis; character reports to being drunk.
Reviewed By MaryLou