The Quest for Nobility by Debra L. Martin and David W. Small is the first book in the Rule of Otharia series. Though the book is tagged as science fiction, it is not hard science fiction. You won’t find overly technical explanations for the science behind things.
I have mixed feelings about the book. It is enjoyable and definitely well worth the money. The use of psychic or psionic powers throughout the book is one of the things I liked. The authors explain how the powers works and detail their use in a clear manner.
The background and both worlds (Earth and Otharia) are well thought out. The book is rich in detail that adds to the narrative. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a snippet of historal text and background material. Some might prefer to have this information come up during the course of events. I didn’t mind it but I will admit that it did take a little getting used to. The only downside to this format is that it made navigating the book slightly harder. You could not use the controller to skip to the next chapter or go back to the previous one. Even if you could, you would end up skipping the introductory text because the chapter heading appears after the text. There is also no table of contents.
The characters are fleshed out and came alive for me but there were a few who seemed one dimensional. As for the storyline, I found it interesting. As the book progressed, I was drawn deeper into the story. I was able to overlook the minor problems I had with the writing style. Sometimes, the story didn’t seem to flow and transition well from one scene to next. It might be because this is a collaboration which is understandable. Collaborating on a book is sometimes more difficult than writing it all by yourself. That said, I liked the book well enough to start reading the second book in the series. I plan on posting a review of The Crystal Fascade when I finish the book. From what I have read so far, the writing style and characterizations have greatly improved without losing any of the things I liked from the first book.
As I said before, the book is well worth the money.