Nominee, Audie Awards - Fantasy, 2018
Minalan gave up a promising career as a professional warmage to live the quiet life of a village spellmonger in the remote mountain valley of Boval. It was a peaceful, beautiful little fief, far from the dangerous feudal petty squabbles of the Five Duchies, on the world of Callidore. There were cows. Lots of cows. And cheese.
For six months things went well: He found a quaint little shop, he befriended the local lord, the village folk loved him, he found a sharp young apprentice to help out, and, best yet, he met a comely young widow with the prettiest eyes.
Then one night Minalan is forced to pick up his mageblade again to defend his adopted home from the vanguard of an army of goblins - gurvani, they call themselves - bent on a genocidal crusade against all mankind. And that was the good news. The bad news was that their shamans were armed with more magical power than has been seen since the days of the ancient Imperial Magocracy - and their leader, a mysterious, vengeful force of hate and dark magic, is headed directly to Boval Vale, along with a massive invading army of gurvani. The good people of Boval and their spellmonger have only one choice: To hole up in the over-sized Boval Castle and hope they can endure a siege against hundreds of thousands of goblins.
When the people look to him for hope, Minalan does his best, but the odds are depressing: There are multitudes of goblins, and they want Boval Vale as a staging ground for a vengeful invasion of the whole Five Duchies. Add to his troubles a jealous rival mage, a motley band of mercenaries, a delusional liege lord who insists victory is at hand despite the hordes at his door, a dour castellan, a moody, pregnant girlfriend, and a catty ex-girlfriend who specializes in sex magic - all trapped in a stinking, besieged castle with no hope of rescue, and you'll understand why Minalan is willing to take his chances with the goblins.
All that stands between the gurvani horde and the people of the Five Duchies is one tired, overwhelmed baker's son who wanted nothing more than to be a simple village spellmonger.
Some people still live in these times and relate them to today. Just from reading the introduction and previewing the audio, I’m very intrigued.
Please read this book reviews on Amazon or Audible and you will be surprised.
poorly written, narration is good but it can't save this terrible book
Absolutely awful. Classic example of telling not showing. It would be impossible to describe all the problems in this book. The two highlights are telling everything not showing, and lack of believable character development. The main character has a lot of things "explained about him" so it makes it hard to understand his motivation when very little action in the book backs up the narrative. As another reader pointed out, the character is lecherous- I find that the perfect term. he sounds like what a 14 year old boy's fantasy of a sex filled adulthood would be. Minalan is not likable yet women are waiting to jump into his bed- literally, he shows up and a woman he met briefly is just waiting in his bed because the apprenticed asked her). Had the main character been more likable, or had some traits demonstrated by actions instead of long narratives of telling what he did or how smart he is, or there been more character development for other characters such as Alya, it's possible that this might worked. Unfortunately none of that is present. There is almost no character development beyond Minalan. There are flashes here and there (e.g. The youngest intern of a competing wizard) but it is so weak overall whenever the characters did something I was jolted out of the story to think - yah right like that would really have happened. I continued the book more out of morbid fascination with watching a car wreck than anything else - surely it has to get better (it didn't). This was something I would have expected aMiddle school student with a good vocabulary to have written. It breaks every elementary writing rule, which, unless you are Stephen King (Mancour clearly is not) just doesn't work. It is actually the worst book I have ever read. There are lots of books I don't like but they aren't my thing, this one is just horribly written. I feel bad writing such a poor review but the book is so bad I feel obligated to warn people that it is a waste of money and lost time that you will never get back