"I can command storms, summon fire and unmake stone," Balfruss growled. "It's dangerous to meddle with things you don't understand."
Balfruss is a battlemage, sworn to fight and die for a country that fears and despises his kind.
Vargus is a common soldier -- while mages shoot lightning from the walls of the city, he's down in the front lines getting blood on his blade.
Talandra is a princess and spymaster, but the war may force her to risk everything and make the greatest sacrifice of all.
Magic and mayhem collide in this explosive epic fantasy from a major new talent.
Aryan's epic fantasy debut provides bloody battles and large-scale political intrigue in a land of ancient magic, along with bucket loads of purple prose and a story that asks far more questions than it answers. War is coming to Seveldrom, stirred up by mad King Taikon, a rogue Battlemage called the Warlock, and the Warlock's apprentices. Fortunately King Matthias can count on his own host of eight loyal Battlemages, led by trusted mage Balfruss and crack military leader Vannok, and ably assisted by Matthias's daughter, Princess Talandra, and her widespread spy network. There are hints of larger, ancient forces at work, but little is resolved or clarified in this series opener. With over-the-top psychopathic villainy and graphic battle scenes where "gouts of blood and chunks of flesh rained down... as limbs and pieces of men were sliced away," this is epic fantasy for readers who appreciate extra helpings of carnage with their backstabbing.
Well written, with compelling characters and a superb story.
There’s only one character who really holds interest. The others feel almost exposition dumps. Exposition is done not through dialogue or movement but via very matter-of-fact thought processes on the page. Names are odd and thrown in almost at random. There is no coherence to the foreign nations; the only difference seems to be whether they’re religious or not.
Critically, the language and concepts seem thoroughly modern. The good nation is typically less religious, and the bad or swindled nations have false fervor. “Propaganda” is something being spread, etc. “Scapegoat” is a racial slur! And a character bristles at realizing they just racially insulted a subordinate in what would essentially be a micro-aggression (but are the Morrin people a normal nation or one with a history of being scapegoats? What does that even mean?).
The worst offense is the literal use of “indescribable horrors” to describe an invasion in a foreign realm. These “horrors” include killing the royal family, killing thousands of people, and enslaving even more. Isn’t that just what would happen in any war? How is this any different?