The Path of Man by Matt Moss
At the time of writing this review, The Path of Man is available free on Amazon.
“Arkin’s world is changed forever when a stranger rides into town looking for an artifact that Arkin’s father would trade his own life to protect — a book that holds the secrets of the past and possibly the fate of the future. Suddenly, Arkin is thrown into an age old war between the Order and the Dark Society. The kingdom is already in turmoil over the scarcity of jobs and the rationing of food, and now the church is trying to convert the people from their faith of old to a new and less holy religion.
Arkin will need all the help he can get to save the people he loves and the land he calls home. Somewhere out there lies the Garden of Stones, a place of myth and magic that Arkin and his new band of friends and warriors are hoping will be the miracle they need to turn the tides of war. Choices made in the past ripple through time as Arkin puts the pieces together. His choices will determine the future of all as he follows The Path of Man.” – From Amazon
Story – Good
Beginning as something of a classic quest, The Path of Man evolves into a work that is commendable. Mister Moss takes this more traditional story line, gives it some twists, and turns it into something all of his own. While we do not want to give anything away, The Path of Man is an interesting a new take on a story that lovers of the genre will know all too well. The only issue is that it lacks cohesion at times, though it does little to diminish what Mister Moss has put forward here.
“The Whistlestop, the general goods store in The Crossing, could accommodate the needs of any traveler. It was Levi’s, and he had been running it solely for many years. He bought, sold, and traded in rare goods and antiques; always keeping an appreciative eye out for anything of value.”
Style and Formatting – Good
On top of an intriguing story, the writing is solid. Mister Moss has little trouble pushing his narrative along; he has clearly practiced his craft, though there is room for improvement. The dialogue feels a little stilted at times, though it is not too distracting. As well, the novel is formatted well, though not quite perfectly. Overall, Mister Moss’ style is the greatest strength of this novel.
“Walking back to his bunk in the barracks, feeling broke down and a little light headed, Arkin replayed the dance over in his mind. He had been searching for a look – a moment in time where her eyes had met his. He had wanted a moment that they would share together.”
Literary Value – Slightly Above Average
A quest. Friendship. A world in danger. While lacking in depth, it is still a fun story, though it is little more than fun. Similar to a roller coaster, it has highs and lows, but you are merely along for the ride, and while the pacing is good, it feels a little light at times, a little shallower than we would like to see when combined with such a classic story. Though Mister Moss has made it his own, it could be deeper, especially given the journey we felt we were promised from the outset.
“Entering the Prophet’s room, Torin shut the door behind him. He went to the shelf – the one that held the wood carvings Levi made when he was a child. Moving those aside, Torin removed the false plank of wood. After pulling a soft leather pouch from within, he returned to the desk.”
Overall – 3.75, A Decent Read
What else can we say? We liked it. Mister Moss has developed a fascinating and beautiful world and has filled it with characters with life all their own. Though lacking in true cerebral depth, the story has some nice twists and if this is the beginning of a series, it shows real promise for what we can expect from the future.
Do you want to read The Path of Man? It is available on Amazon.