Sons of Empire: A World of Arras Novel by Chandler McGrew Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Two young men destined for greatness must set aside their aspirations to discover the haunting path of modern warfare in author Chandler McGrew’s “Sons of Empire: A World of Arras Novel. 


The Synopsis

A gripping new historical fantasy series from the bestselling author of supernatural thrillers originally published by Bantam/Dell like Cold Heart and Night Terror.

The World of Arras has come a long way since the nearly forgotten time of the Altmages. Empires rise fueled by greed and the increasing power of the Technomagedoms of Kardith Bath in Verileon and the Gost Fabrika in Tautonia. And two young men, one destined for the Magehood and the other for political power, must set aside their dreams to learn the ways of modern war. One of them will end up dead, but for the good of Empire he cannot be allowed to stay that way.

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The Review

The author did a fantastic job of capturing the in-depth mythos and history of this fictional world in which the narrative takes place. The way the author is able to infuse powerful imagery into their writing allows the reader to feel instantly transported to this world as if the grim, dark alleyways of the capital city were surrounding the reader at any given moment. 

The atmosphere and character development really drove this story forward, as did the genre mashup the author was able to create here. The tension builds as the two protagonists find their lives changing in ways they could have never imagined and the visceral nature of the world they inhabit makes this world feel alive and powerful. The way the author built on themes and storytelling related to sci-fi, fantasy, and history in one narrative and still wrote strong characters that felt real and jumped off the page was great to see come to life. 

The Verdict

Thrilling, mesmerizing, and entertaining, author Chandler McGrew’s “Sons of Empire” is a fantastic history meets sci-fi and fantasy novel and the perfect start to the World of Arras series. The twists and turns in the narrative and the ideal marriage of these genres allowed the history and cultures the author established in this world to come to life beautifully. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Although he is the author of four critically acclaimed supernatural/suspense thrillers from Bantam and numerous KDP titles including epic fantasy, Chandler McGrew, lives in quiet seclusion in the mountains of Maine. He writes ten to twelve hours a day, fueled by liberal doses of coffee and Pepsi, with only an occasional dollop of single malt scotch to take the edge off.

Born in Texas he lived for almost a decade in Alaska where his first novel, Cold Heart, is set. I Love a Mystery called the book a ‘tense and satisfying read.’ While the Contra Costa Times said it was ‘The best opening 10 pages I’ve read this year…reads like a good martini tastes: icy cold, with flecks of terror where the ice chips should be.’

Not a bad start for a man who didn’t begin to write professionally until he was in his forties.

Chandler followed Cold Heart with Night Terror, a psychological thriller about a woman who has lost her only son and believes she may be losing her mind as well. Like all his novels the book is peopled by characters who might be your next door neighbor. Or they might be escapees from a boobie hatch. The Denver Post said the novel ‘…plays on the primal fears that cause most adults to lose sleep.’

That’s an adequate description of all of Chandler’s work.

The Darkening, his third book, is a dark, apocalyptic thriller in which two very different individuals must not only find each other but themselves as well before discovering the path that will lead them to salvation. Publisher’s Weekly, the industry standard, said of the book that it was an “addictive…one part Rapture drama, one part Lovecraftian horror story, one part blood-soaked chase… a thrilling one-sit read.”

Which brings us to In Shadows, McGrew’s latest which the Chicago Tribune called “…a born-to-be-a-TV-series story.”

McGrew has the uncanny knack for touching readers and frightening the bejeesus out of them at the same time. And now he delves deeper and deeper into the fantastic world of Verileon.

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