Friday, January 3, 2014

Book Review: Crusader Volume 4: Sanctuary by Robert J. Crane

Title: Crusader
Series: The Sanctuary Series volume 4
Author: Robert J. Crane
Publisher: Reikonos Press
Publication Date:July 26, 2013
Source: Kindle, 824 pages, received from author for honest opinion of it.

Goodreads Summary:
The world of Arkaria is a dangerous place, filled with dragons, titans, goblins and other dangers. Those who live in this world are faced with two choices: live an ordinary life or become an adventurer and seek the extraordinary. Cyrus Davidon finds himself far from his home in Sanctuary, in the land of Luukessia, a place divided and deep in turmoil. With his allies at his side, Cyrus finds himself facing off against an implacable foe in a war that will challenge all his convictions - and one he may not be able to win

My Thoughts:

I found myself being torn trying to pen my thoughts down to Crusader.  It was a great book, very detailed, and gave us a true insight into the actual man, Cyrus Davidson, not just the warrior.  There were places in the story that gave me utter chills and I knew I could feel the characters as if they were right in the same room with me.  The prologue was one of those places.  I can just feel the despair Cyrus is portraying even in those few pages; as well as throughout the rest of the story.  Mr. Crane has an exceptional way of describing emotions and feelings in this book without making it overly sappy (though I do like some sappy lol).
There is a sense of magic to the writing style of Crane that really captures the essence of a true adventure.  Crusader didn't disappoint in this area at all.  

We really see a different side to Cyrus in this installment.  Cyrus is for all extent and purposes, a broken man.  He has confessed his love to the one he adores and she has shunned him.  Of course we know it was because she was in love with him too but....isn't that how all the tragic couples do it?  Deny your love, break their heart, realize your love and then demand it in return.   Or something to that degree...
But back to Cyrus.  He just seems like a shell of what he formerly was in the beginning.  Everyone tends to stay away from him except those that are truly close to him and yet even they are unsure of his nature right now.  I found that Crusader was in part a soul searching novel for Cyrus; and maybe a tad for Vara as well.  But I really seen Cyrus at rock bottom and then slowly lift up throughout the story to really find himself in the end.  
I also thought Crusader was much darker than the previous books.  It just had this dark  hopeless feeling to it in many areas.  But that was  probably because of the setting, Luukessia, which I really didn't like at all.  I mean this area was just not my cup of tea.   And I know there is probably a bunch of readers out there that loved the baroness -but not this reader.  She just irritated me to no end!  Yes, she put up with hell from her husband {jerk} and was very brave for what she does towards the the middleish -end; but I still don't like her.  I just didn't.  Maybe I was jealous, I don't know what it was I just did not like this woman at all.

Oh and there was a lot of sex in Crusader.  I mean a lot of it.  Of course, Mr. Crane does the sexual scenes in very tasteful measures which is always cool with me.  But I tended to find Cyrus seemed more like a teenage boy with his libido.  It just seemed like a lot of the pages tended to focus just on Cyrus' thoughts on ending his dry spell as well as staring at certain women with a longing.  It was funny but started to draw on my nerves a little as well.  But still funny when the other characters would pick on him.  

 And yes the dark elves still tend to be my favorite of the species right now.  Is that wrong?  Don't really care.  They are just that damn awesome.  Aisling comes to mind right away.  I did like her but this book has really made me appreciate her even more and showed me how loyal she is even though she is a dark elf.  So I guess I am Team Aisling right now.  To me, she has showed the most promise in the ....well you know.   {Trying not to give anything away right now} 

But besides the hopeless fighting, the broken Cyrus, the sex craved Cyrus, and the witty commentary from Vaste whenever we are taken back to Sanctuary in certain chapters, we do deal with some major issues that definitely bring tension between close friends and allies.

All in all, Crusader is definitely a thinking novel.  It has the high action fight scenes that we have come to expect from a Robert J. Crane novel; but it also has this deep thought provoking sense to it as well.  We learn from Cyrus that all events have consequences and everyone makes sacrifices.  I feel like this was Cryus' aha moment where he was truly tested through the betrayals that he discovered along the way.  
I truly hope that the next book will be Cyrus' road to understanding, if not happiness.  Although, I don't know if he will get his happily ever after at all.  

I gave Crusader:

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