About the Author:
Mitchell Graham was born in New York and has represented his country as a member of the US National Fencing Squad. He lives in Miami and works as an attourney
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
3 out of 5
The Fifth Ring
This book is about a group of young rural folk who are unwillingly cast out of their simple country lives and start a grand adventure. A shocking new plot direction for a fantasy novel, I'm sure you'll agree.
There's a hint of sci-fi about the story too, as the 'magical' items, including the ring of the title, are actually technological artifacts from a fallen civilisation, but sadly Graham doesn't explore the concept adequately. In fact, the tale of someone having seen a magical carriage that moved on strange black wheels without the aid of horses actually made me roll my eyes a bit.
When I was reading this book, everything felt really familiar to me and after a few chapters it hit me; it reads almost exactly like Robert Jordan's 'The Eye Of The World'. Graham does have an advantage over Jordan in that he is capable of getting to the point, but if you've read the Wheel of Time books then this one'll hold no surprises for you. Also, the Orlocks are a VERY shallow rip-off of H. G. Wells' Morlocks (live underground, cannibals etc).
There is one major element that Graham brings in that is unique and that is the fencing element. The author is clearly an authority on fencing and the fact that he manages to bring that into the story (the country folk in question are all part of a fencing team) adds a personal touch that actually improves the feeling of the book as whole. Ultimately, however, the fencing just isn't enough to offset the fact that I'd read it all before.
3 out of 5