Erik Eleodum is a simple man. He doesn’t want to be a hero. He doesn’t need fame or fortune. He is content farming his family’s homestead in northern Háthgolthane and raising a simple family, like his father, for the rest of his life. In fact, adventure is the last thing on his mind.
Befel, Erik’s brother, and Bryon, his cousin, can’t think of anything worse than farming for the rest of their lives. They want to be heroes. They want fame and fortune. They want to leave their families and go east, to the country of Golgolithul, where they are sure to find easy wealth and great adventure.
But when these three young men leave their farmstead, they quickly discover the world is not so simple, not so easy. Most fortune is laden with treachery, fame must be earned with blood, and adventures are rarely grand. Ideas of grandeur are crushed and the road east is hard. To get there, these men must ultimately sell their swords and become friends with thieves, dwarves, soldiers, and mercenaries well past their prime. They battle a band of ruthless slavers, slip past assassins, and experience the deadly consequences of black magic.
Will Erik ever be able to return to the simple life? Will he unwittingly become famous, become rich, become a hero? Or, will he even survive?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The first book in this trilogy does a great job of pulling the reader in. The author nicely gives all the background information needed as the story progresses. What starts as a story of two brothers and a cousin from a farming background who find themselves trying to scratch out a living and exist in a harsh environment rapidly turns. For the first third of the book I kept wondering where the Fantasy was and then like a shadow it slipped into the room and it was as if it had been there all along – very cleverly done.
This is an adventurous story of three relatives, two brothers and a cousin, that set out to find their riches in the east for they have heard tales of men who made their fortunes there. The three young men are farmers by birth and skill who have never been outside their homeland but the rumor of great Lords overtaking their family lands and killing or placing in servitude family members provides them with the motivation to leave on their journey. Discover the young men’s journey and enjoy the tale!
This novel starts with a bang! A very likeable freeholding farmer and his wife—descendants of the hero in the prologue—are murdered by a nobleman who wants to turn them into serfs. It’s a powerfully moving and absolutely shocking beginning that sets the reader up for an exciting tale of justice and vengeance. And that tale is probably going to happen over the course of this new fantasy trilogy, but it isn’t what this novel is about. A Chance Beginning focuses on the two sons and nephew of the murdered couple who have left the farm to seek their fortune only to discover difficulty and poverty greater than they have ever known. The change in pace is striking after the fast-moving opening, but Patterson takes the time to introduce you to these three young men and really bring them to life with distinctive personalities. Patterson writes a very good action scene—good enough that it makes you wish there was much more of it. He also deals very well with the aftermath of violence as the three young men are forced to begin growing up. This is common feature of fantasy and it’s a strength of the novel. The other big strength is the slowly developing international political situation. The political powers are searching for something and starting to make military moves. We don’t really understand this situation yet but it’s very clear our three young heroes-to-be are going to be in the middle of it. Overall, this is a nice start to what promises to be a very good trilogy.