The Subtle Beauty (Crowns of the Twelve Book 1) by Ann Hunter came with promise of being a lovely story set in a fantasy realm written by a multi-award winning author. Even the cover enticed me. However, quite quickly after beginning it, I realized it wasn’t a story for me. The author’s writing style leaves, for me, a lot to desire with the multitude of fragment sentences strewn together to make up short, lackluster paragraphs. She focuses clearly on a noun/adjective/action style. While I’m not against reading paragraphs in this format, it becomes exhausting to the eyes. I have a B.A. in English, but I am in no way certifying I know what’s best when it comes to writing. Merely, I suggest with the typing errors, presentation of misused words, and the drastic inclination of one reading level to another with randomly introduced ‘advanced’ words, this book can be rather tedious of a read. If you’re the type of reader to become vexed by foreign words placed without any indication of what it might mean — this book also isn’t for you. I found navigating from the foreign phrases, by way of the Kindle option to press and see, ill placed. It became difficult to navigate back and forth from one linked phrase to another.
All the editing aside, the story itself lacked dynamics. Each character was highly motivated by the need to achieve a selfish objective. In their arduous journey for their Object Of Interest they continued to remain very static. None of the characters I came across had any depth in which to fully immerse me into the story. They lacked an emotional appeal/connection with their narrow focused point of view causing my to disdain them rather than relate on any level.
We have a man who married a princess, comes to expect a son because the Gods have told her such, and the news of it drives him to provide for his son’s future by acquiring himself land. He makes a promise with an unsavory fellow in exchange for a sword that thirsts for death. What could possibly go wrong there? Needless to say, the entire situation plummets as he goes on a rampage to do precisely what he set out for: the acquisition of land for his son to inherit because what’s a prince without land? He loses himself to the madness of the sword’s demand for death, slaughtering and expanding his territory. The princess is told by the Gods of all the violence and mayhem her husband is responsible for. They become cursed because of Xander’s bloodthirsty nature brought on by the sword. As a result she sacrifices herself to absolve his sins and we are told the child is cursed. Eventually, we come to realize the son is another incarnation of The Beast and we’ll come across a vain Beauty shortly.
More characters are introduced with the same narrow focus: they get themselves into a problem, problem comes to head, and the problem is solved. It’s all very predictable.
If it weren’t for some of the words and the rampant use of foreign phrases to make the story appear exotic, this would be a story best suited to a very young reader. The plot is simplistic enough, word structure none too complicated, and a breeze for them to plow through at their pace. With several books available in the story line, it’ll keep a young reader occupied.
To be absolutely frank, this plot line appeared like a rashly written overview of what the author wanted to write.