“Once Lost Lords” by Stephan Morse

If length and complexity are any criteria, “Once Lost Lords” is certainly an epic work. Stephan Morse has created highly involved society of humans, wolves, elves and vampires, with each race having a distinct set of rules, often in conflict with those of the others.

The power of the story resides in our sympathy for the main character, a beautifully flawed human who gradually discovers that he isn’t quite what he started out to be. Everyone, including his vampire love, seems to want something from him that he isn’t sure he owns. The plot strand that holds it all together is his gradual discovery of the real nature of his existence. This makes for an enjoyable read, as the character we empathize with works his way towards self-awareness.

However, this mass of information and the intricacy of the plot require a lot of telling. There are long stretches in between the action scenes that seem to get the main character nowhere. There’s a whole lot of stuff going on, but nothing is happening.

The writing is mainly straightforward, although once in a while there is a line that is difficult to understand, a sentence that is repeated verbatim in successive paragraphs, or passive voice in the middle of action, sure signs of lack of an editor.

This book is worth reading, but if it was trimmed down and honed up by a good editor, it would be far better.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)




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