The Realms of Animarby Owen Black
Life is Cruel for the Hunted
Animar is a fascinating yet perilous medieval world unlike any that has ever been imagined. Setting Animar apart is the curious fact that all of the inhabitants of this world have two forms that they can change between at will - one human and one animal. Unfortunately this incredible ability comes with a painful price, a price most often… See more details below
Life is Cruel for the Hunted
Animar is a fascinating yet perilous medieval world unlike any that has ever been imagined. Setting Animar apart is the curious fact that all of the inhabitants of this world have two forms that they can change between at will - one human and one animal. Unfortunately this incredible ability comes with a painful price, a price most often felt by the weaker inhabitants of the world.
Although the ability to transform (referred to as "morphing") is commonplace, magic itself, at least in the form of spells and supernatural abilities, is not something known to exist on Animar, at least not initially. The people of Animar live in a world where homes are built by hand and wars are fought with the most primitive of weaponry. The rules that bind them are few but one that is most critical is that they cannot morph when in contact with anything metallic in nature. Other materials such as cloth and wood can shift with them but if bound by shackles or adorned in jewelry they are blocked from the transformation process. This rule plays a huge role in times of battle and only the most skilled of warriors are able to combine weaponry with their animal forms effectively.
The people of Animar have naturally divided into "realms" known as the Herbivore, Carnivore, Avian, Aquan and Reptilian. The existence of these realms, and the allies they offer, are keys to survival, necessities in a world where life is dominated by the strong and cruel for the hunted. Understanding the nature of the various realms is important in order to grasp the conflicts woven throughout this book.
In a world with no true animals the thirst for blood is the central conflict that connects all others. The craving for meat means murder to some and to others is simply a natural way of life - an excuse to enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Who to love, where to live and, most importantly, what to eat are all common issues that shape the lives of the characte
- Outskirts Press, Inc.
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)
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Writing this review is such a dilemma for me. I absolutely loved the story and the creative ideas Black has come up with. But as in many other indie novels I’ve read and reviewed, I have issues with the writing. So I’m giving The Realms of Animar four stars for the story, the pacing, and the incredible world Owen Black has created, but not for the writing. Animar is a wonderful creation, where “polymorphs” are divided into four main realms of life: Avian, Aquan, Carnic, and Herbic. Every person in Animar is able to change into an animal form at will. The story focuses on the settlement of Avryndale, a gathering of herbivores who live peacefully within a walled city that keeps out the dangerous carnivores. Thane is a fifteen-year-old boy whose animal form is a horse, and he wants nothing more than to run in the forests outside the walls. But when he and his friend Javan sneak out one day, they witness the terrible deaths of several members of the community by a vulture spy and a pack of hyenas that have been sent by the leader of the carnivores, an evil creature named Fatalis. Fatalis wants to rule all of Animar, and in order to do so he must locate the other realms and kill every creature that is not a carnivore. In order to prepare for the fight, Avryn sends his most trusted people to contact other factions in Animar to join them, including the elusive and dangerous Aquans. Guderian, the herbivore sent to convince the Aquans to join forces with them, manages to make contact and is taken to the Aquan realm in one of my favorite parts of the book. The story is filled with many imaginative details that make the world of Animar unique. Wearing or holding metal objects makes it impossible to change forms, and Fatalis gleefully uses this to his advantage by shoeing horses to keep them in animal form. The descriptions of the different realms were very well done, especially the Aquan realm where Guderian is taken underwater to speak to the leader. I also loved the Avians, who live at the tops of trees on wooden platforms, where those too young or old to fly live in fear of falling to the forest below. But unfortunately, all of this creative world-building gets lost under unpolished writing, and much of the magic of the story loses its impact. The style Black has chosen is formal and overwritten, with a gothic feel that may have been intentional, but would have worked better if the writing had been stronger. Strange word usage throughout pulled me out of the story. Phrases like “Thane’s eyes bolted to life” and “smells meandering” struck me as funny, and left me wondering why Black chose to use certain words. Black gives his characters emotional and engaging back-stories, but fails in the dialog department, where many of them come across as juvenile. In the end it all comes down to a serious lack of editing and proofreading, which is one of the worst pitfalls of self-publishing. The Realms of Animar is a truly unique fantasy that gives the reader a fully realized world that is easy to get lost in, but clumsy writing and editing detracts from the reading experience. Black leaves us with a delightfully frustrating cliff-hanger of an ending, which implies that he is setting us up for a sequel, and I’m hoping he takes the time to work on some of his writing mistakes before releasing the next book. If he can, I will certainly be in line to read it. Many thanks to the author for supplying a review copy.
My favorite kind of fiction novels are ones like these. I love shape shifting, and transforming. As soon as I read that this book was about a place where people also had an animal form, I was extremely excited. I wish I had an animal form in real life. I really enjoyed my time reading this awesome book; it is fun, entertaining, creative and very unique. I highly recommend it to any fiction lovers out there!
The Realms of Animar is an enjoyable read, one that will appeal to teens who are fans of fantasy and science fiction. Set in a world where people have two forms, one human and one animal, this is the story of Thane, a teenage boy whose life is suddenly turned upside down when his animal form unexpectedly transforms into something never seen before. Filled with immense power, he now holds the key to the future of Animar and to saving his people from struggle and oppression. But Fatalis, the evil force who plans to rule Animar, learns about Thane and creates an army to destroy him and anybody who gets in the way of his plan. In order to fight Fatalis, Thane seeks the help of other beings, the Avians and Aquans. In a twist of fate, the hunters and the hunted must get together to save their world. Though the beginning was kind of slow, with a lot of information being presented by dialogue, I was intrigued with the story enough to keep reading. The author does a fairly good job in creating his medieval world--which, by the way, doesn't have dragons, elves or magic like so many other books in this genre nowadays--and dividing it into five realms: Herbivore, Carnic, Avian, Aquan and Reptilian. I enjoyed the action, battle scenes, and watching Thane grow into a brave, fearless warrior and hero. Though it has some violence, the language and other aspects make this book appropriate for the lower young adult crowd and even for middle graders. Recommended for readers 11 & up.
This book was great! The author, Black, paints a vibrant world with five distinctive realms with original and engaging character attributes. I read this book in just over two days, I just couldn't put this book down! If you liked the Lord of the Rings, the Hunger Games, or the Game of Thrones, you'll love this book. The Realms of Animar is a welcomed addition to the fantasy genre and certain to thrill and engage you! I can't wait for book two! If you love the fantasy genre, this book is a must read.
A buddy recommended this and although it took a few chapters to get me hooked, I am definitely a fan. i am going to hate waiting for the next one, hopefully it is coming soon.
Original fantasy story, loved the twists. Easy to read and not overly wordy. Very unique setting so definitely recommend.