Tag Archives: dark fantasy

What Once Was Mine (Twisted Tale #12) by Liz Braswell Review

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

The latest novel in acclaimed author Liz Braswell’s TWISTED TALE series hones in on the infamous story of Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled, but flips the script when Rapunzel’s mother is given the wrong flower to heal her during birth, and Rapunzel is born with silver hair as white as the moon and given destructive power instead in the latest book in the series, “What Once Was Mine”. 

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The Synopsis

The 12th installment in the New York Times best-selling series asks: What if Rapunzel’s mother drank a potion from the wrong flower?

Desperate to save the life of their queen and her unborn child, the good people of Corona search for the all-healing Sundrop flower to cure her—but mistakenly acquire the shimmering Moondrop flower instead. Nonetheless it heals the queen, and she delivers a healthy baby girl with hair as silver and gray as the moon. With it comes dangerous magical powers: the power to hurt, not heal. For her safety and the safety of the kingdom, Rapunzel is locked in a tower and put under the care of powerful goodwife, Mother Gothel.

For eighteen years Rapunzel stays locked away, knowing she must protect others from her magical hair. But when she leaves the only home she’s ever known, wanting only to see the floating lights that appear on her birthday, she gets caught up in an adventure across the kingdom with two thieves—a young woman named Gina, and Flynn Rider, a rogue on the run. Before she can reach her happy ending, Rapunzel learns that there may be more to her story, and her magical tresses, than she ever knew. 

The Review

What a fun and truly entertaining take on the classic story of Rapunzel and the Disney version in the film Tangled! Truly, the story does a great job of laying the groundwork for this retelling by introducing a brother whose sister is in the hospital being treated for cancer and decides to retell her the story of her favorite movie while adding his own twists on it to help keep her mind occupied. This really added a personal and human element to this fantasy retelling, especially when readers learn of this story point’s origin in the author’s afterward.

The haunting, atmospheric tone that the author lays down in the tale of Rapunzel is great to see unfold. The inclusion of magic and witchcraft into the narrative to explore this twist on her origins was great to see unfold. Yet it was the characters that really sold this story, from the inclusion of characters like Countess Bathory, a new villain based on the historical figure to be included alongside Mother Gothel, to Gina, whose strength and partnership with Flynn give them both a stronger voice in the narrative overall. 

Yet it was Rapunzel and Gothel who stole the show. The protagonist’s knowledge of her origins (up to a point), and her desire to keep others safe was a unique twist on her character, as was her complex and emotional relationship with her “mother”. Gothel’s manipulations and selfishness took up all-new levels in this retelling, and the action-packed final confrontation these two had in the midst of a shockingly larger confrontation was powerful for the story Tangled began all those years ago.

The Verdict

A haunting, magical, and engaging dark fantasy take on this Disney classic, author Liz Braswell’s “What Once Was Mine” is a brilliant story and one of the year’s top contenders for the fantasy novel of 2021. A gripping tale of magic gone wrong, betrayal, and the bonds between mothers and their daughters, the addition of a more grounded narrator and a rich tapestry of mythology from beyond Disney’s typical storytelling background made this story shine brightly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this incredible book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

After the sort of introverted childhood you would expect from a writer, Liz earned a degree in Egyptology at Brown University and then promptly spent the next ten years producing video games. Finally she caved into fate and wrote Snow and Rx under the name Tracy Lynn, followed by The Nine Lives of Chloe King series under her real name, because by then the assassins hunting her were all dead. She also has short stories in Geektastic and Who Done It and a new series of reimagined fairy tales coming out, starting with A Whole New World—a retelling of Aladdin.

She lives in Brooklyn with a husband, two children, a cat, a part-time dog, three fish and five coffee trees she insists will start producing beans any day. You can email her at me@lizbraswell.com.

https://www.lizbraswell.com/

The Unwilling (The Barrier Lands #1) by Kelly Braffet Review

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

A young woman with no name and no history soon discovers she’s anything but ordinary, as she finds herself caught between two powerful figures hoping to use her special gifts for their own purposes in author Kelly Braffet’s “The Unwilling”, the first in the Barrier Lands series.

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The Synopsis

A penetrating tale of magic, faith and pride…

The Unwilling is the story of Judah, a foundling born with a special gift and raised inside Highfall castle along with Gavin, the son and heir to Lord Elban’s vast empire. Judah and Gavin share an unnatural bond that is both the key to her survival… and possibly her undoing.

As Gavin is groomed for his future role, Judah comes to realize that she has no real position within the kingdom, in fact, no hope at all of ever traveling beyond its castle walls. Elban – a lord as mighty as he is cruel – has his own plans for her, for all of them. She is a mere pawn to him, and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

But outside the walls, in the starving, desperate city, a magus, a healer with his own secret power unlike anything Highfall has seen in years, is newly arrived from the provinces. He, too, has plans for the empire, and at the heart of those plans lies Judah… The girl who started life with no name and no history will soon uncover more to her story than she ever imagined.

An epic tale of greed and ambition, cruelty and love, this deeply immersive novel is about bowing to traditions and burning them down.

The Review

What a rich and dark fantasy the author has crafted! The narrative is greatly layered between the YA Fantasy from the two main protagonist’s POV, and the darker, more spine-chilling fantasy and horror that the journey takes readers on. The atmosphere and tone the author set for the novel really elevated the reader’s experience, drawing them further and further into the mystery and history of this world.

The mythos and the character growth was the most prominent aspect of these narratives. The shocking cruelty of the antagonists and heartfelt bond the protagonists and the supporting characters made with one another elevated the emotional undercurrents of this book, while the rich history and mythology the author developed opened up some pretty mind-blowing and thought-provoking fantasy elements that left readers eager to read more.

The Verdict

A masterful, creative, and emotional dark fantasy read, author Kelly Braffet’s “The Unwilling” is the perfect start to a brand new mythos and series. The rich historical and mythological development the author wrote and the engaging way the characters not only drew readers in, but the engaging interactions between these characters really made this novel shine brightly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Kelly Braffet writes stories about unhappy people making bad decisions, occasionally with magic. She is the author of The Unwilling (available 2/20 from Mira Books), Save Yourself, and Last Seen Leaving; her first novel, Josie and Jack, has been made into a feature film starring Olivia DeJonge, Alex Neustaedter, and William Fitchner, and directed by Sarah Lancaster. Her writing has been published in the Fairy Tale Review, Post Road, and in several anthologies, as well as on Salon.com. She is a graduate of Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College.

She is married to the tall and immensely talented writer Owen King. He’s dreamy. For more, see www.kellybraffet.com.

The Marionettes (Marionettes #1) by Katie Wismer Review

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

One of the last remaining blood witches learns the spot she thought was all but hers in the prestigious witches league is anything but, and her future and her survival all depend on her work in the trials in author Katie Wismer’s “The Marionettes”, the first in the Marionettes series.

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The Synopsis

A betrayal. A deadly secret. An unlikely ally.

Valerie Darkmore’s entire life has been building up to this moment—her initiation into the Marionettes, the prestigious league of witches sworn to serve the vampires. As one of the last remaining blood witches, her spot is almost guaranteed. At least, so she’d thought.

The academy is full of sabotage and secrets as the tasks begin, and Valerie quickly realizes she has more than her spot on the line. Her survival seems just as uncertain.

The closer she gets to the final trial, the more she learns everything—and everyone—around her isn’t quite what it seems.

The Review

I can honestly say this was one of the best New Adult and Dark Fantasy reads I’ve read not only this year but in a long time. The amount of world-building and mythos the author was able to fit into the narrative was not only entertaining but made the world within this book feel seamless and immersive. The freedom with which the author incorporates not only the two main classifications of supernatural beings, (vampires and witches), but other powerful beings as well that don’t always fit into the typical supernatural fantasy read helped elevate this narrative to new heights. 

Yet it was the characters that really brought the heart and depth of emotions to this story. Protagonist Valerie is complex and the twists and turns of her journey take her to showcase strength and determination that defines her as a must-read new fantasy hero. Her relationships also help define not only her journey but the reader’s journey with this story as well, from her best friends at her school to her strained relationship with her mother and sister, and the evolving bonds with her partner through the trials and the human boy she’s loved for years. 

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, haunting, and engaging dark fantasy that is not to be missed, The Marionettes is a must-read book of 2021 and a contender for the best Dark Fantasy of the year. The shocking final chapter and cliffhanger of an ending will keep readers desperate for more of this enthralling new series, and it will be very interesting to see where the next book in the series takes these incredible characters. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of this book today, and if you enjoy it, preorder book two in the series, due out this winter. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Katie Wismer is a freelance editor and author of romance (sometimes contemporary, sometimes paranormal) and poetry books.

Be the first to know about upcoming projects, exclusive content, and more by signing up for her newsletter at katiewismer.com.

When she’s not reading, writing, or wrangling her two perfect cats, you can find her on her YouTube channel Katesbookdate.

https://www.katiewismer.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-J7x7Lf2YQ8i527YNO2iLw

Thread of Souls: Book One: Phantom Five by Scott & Ashley Roepel Review

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

A group of adventurers must overcome their differences to face a world of deadly magic, monsters and the undead as they seek answers to the shocking murder of a high priest in authors Scott & Ashley Roepel’s “Thread of Souls: Book One: Phantom Five”. 

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The Synopsis

The sudden death of a high priest in a sleepy coastal village has rocked aspiring Paladin Zok’s world. Finding evidence of murder, he can trust no one in the temple as a dark plot unravels itself. Zok teams up with a group of adventurers to seek answers deep within the desert.

He’s joined by a nomadic Druid who is haunted by visions of a calamity, and an orphan thief who is chasing her kidnapped sister across the planes. And by a boisterous pirate, an enigmatic Wizard, and a Ranger fugitive of war. If they cannot put aside their differences, they will not survive the world of occult magic, interplanar monsters, and hungry undead that await them.

And halfway across the land, Taliesin and Ruuda are two fugitives from their oppressive homes. They venture out in a world where they must hide their identity or risk execution.

The Review

This was such a fun and engaging fantasy read. Detailed with both character backstory and mythology, the authors have done a masterful job crafting a story with both magical and larger-than-life action that blends with personal narratives that really connect the cast of characters with the reader. 

The balance of dark fantasy and character growth really elevates the narrative here. The danger and stakes of this fantasy world are made apparent early on in the story, as one of the main characters watches her sister taken right before her eyes by a large flying creature out of a nightmare. Yet it is the bond between the characters that really steals this story, as the blend of humor, charm, and heroism mixes with the personal problems each of these characters faces with their pasts and futures. It speaks of the classic swords and daggers, hero’s journey elements of adult fantasy novels that fans have come to know and love over the years.

The Verdict

An exhilarating, thrilling, and breathtaking fantasy-driven story, authors Scott and Ashley Roepel’s “Thread of Souls” is a must-read novel for fantasy fans of 2021! The first in an exciting 8-part fantasy series, the authors have created a brilliant and engaging story that hosts the magic and wonder that so many fans of the fantasy genre have always loved, and fans will not want to miss out on this series for themselves. Be sure to grab your copy today!

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About the Authors

Scott and Ashley Roepel are a husband and wife team of writers, creators, and travelers. They are co-founders of Tal & Ru Travels LLC which is focused on entertaining and engaging content. Deep lovers of fantasy, the two of them are avid D&D players and content creators.

https://talandrudungeonloot.com/

https://www.instagram.com/talandrutravels/

The Witch King (The Witch King #1) by H.E. Edgmon Review

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

TRIGGER WARNING: Death and mentions of parental death; physical assault; sexual harassment; child abuse; trauma relating to fires; suicide attempt; misgendering and deadnaming (dead name off the page). Reader Discretion is Advised.

A young transgender witch must decide between his people and his freedom after the royal fiancee he left behind after a traumatic incident comes back in order to save the royal throne in author H.E. Edgmon’s “The Witch King”, the first in THE WITCH KING series. 

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The Synopsis

To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound.

Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king.

In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world.

Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom. 

The Review

This was such an impactful and engaging dark fantasy read. A fantasy storyline that incorporates some hard-hitting and intense themes, the novel challenges the reader to consider questions of equality, acceptance, and the rights of those who may live differently than what is considered by society to be “the norm”. The pacing and voice in which the author writes really elevate the overall tone and realism that is blended with the magical elements of this fantasy novel, creating a truly engaging story.

Yet it is the characters themselves that really make this novel shine so brightly. A mature story that features some heavy topics, (hence the trigger warning), the novel itself features a truly memorable protagonist in Wyatt. The characters evolution not only physically in his background, but emotionally as well as he not only overcomes the trauma he suffered in the past and his own actions as a result but the anger and resentment that has built up for so long inside of him for not being seen for who he really is, as well as the treatment of not only him but all witches by the high social class of fae, makes his overall character arc both relatable and emotionally investing. Combine this with the relationship both strained and growing stronger between Wyatt and Emyr is incredibly engaging, keeping the reader invested as they follow the path these two betrothed make with one another, from combative frenemies to allies and possibly something more.

The Verdict

A memorable, emotionally driven, and heartfelt fantasy novel with a multitude of important themes and story elements that remain relevant in our own modern world, author H.E. Edgmon’s “The Witch King” is the perfect start to a brand new fantasy series. A great LGBTQ-driven narrative, the amazingly well-rounded and complex cast of characters, when combined with the entertaining and haunting narrative that the author has created, makes this the perfect read not only for PRIDE month but for 2021 overall! Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

H.E. Edgmon (he/they) was born in the deep south but has had many homes, dropped out of school to be gay, and is at least a little feral.

In both his writing and daily life, he aims to center the voices of Indigenous people, trans people, and survivors of trauma. It is always his goal to create safe spaces for the vulnerable, while being the thing predators are afraid of.

H.E. has an eclectic little family of his own design and they’re currently living out the found family trope in Brooklyn. Online, he can most often be found on Twitter @heedgmon.

https://heedgmon.com/

https://www.instagram.com/heedgmon/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-witch-king-by-h-e-edgmon

Azure Adventures: The Lost King by Maximilian J. Heirich Review

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

A world torn apart after a ferocious war between man and orc faces the looming threat of the undead as tensions rise on both sides, and only the actions of a group of rising heroes can shift the balance and fight to protect both worlds in author Maximilian J. Heirich’s “Azure Adventures: The Lost King”. 

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The Synopsis

It has been thirty long years since a war that nigh consumed the world of Azure swept across it. Since then, both sides who waged it, the human led Allies and the Orcish Axis, have settled into a quiet, albeit, tenuous peace upon the eastern continent of Exortus. After all, the devastation of this Great War swallowed much of both sides’ forces, particularly the holy knights of humanity, the paladins. In the years since, fewer and fewer of these stalwart heroes have been born with the gift of Sanctus’ Light, the holy power that fuels them. Yet, as the Light wanes, darkness creeps its hand over the land. Rumors flit about the resurgence of a long though defeated enemy: the undead of Lignum. Though thought to have been halted in a conflict of their own making after the Great War, their looming shadow has never truly dissipated, only growing longer with years to feaster. Now, with King Lyon of the human kingdom of Silvan having vanished, it seems there are none left to cool the ever burning tensions between orc and man, nor are there any to stand against the creeping dark. None, save the varied people of Exortus… that is if they can escape their seemingly endless cycle of hatred….

The Review

The first thing that stands out in this fantasy novel is the sheer amount of detail that went into it. The author brilliantly captures the atmosphere of a fantasy world, from the politics and uneasiness between the different races of the realm to the way others live in each village and area of the world of Azure. The history and culture that has plunged this world into the chaotic realm it has become is rife with fantasy themes and tropes that will have fans of the genre immersed into the narrative from the book’s first pages. 

Yet it is the incredible characters of this book that really drive the narrative forward. Immediately fans are introduced to Vellborand, a human warrior and ranger who along with his dire wolf find themselves in a small village that is playing host to the fair, guarded by a mysterious dark elf. A day of rest quickly turns into a battle as bandits attack, diving headfirst into the bloody world the author has crafted beautifully. From there the world grows more and more, as do the enemies and citizens of this realm. The balance of fantasy-based action and emotional character growth and bonds really elevates the narrative to new heights, crafting an enthralling fantasy world that readers won’t want to let go of.

The Verdict

Entertaining, lengthy yet engaging, and highly memorable, author Maximilian Heirich’s “Azure Adventures: The Lost King” is a must-read fantasy adventure for adult fans of the genre. Dungeons and Dragons meet Game of Thrones, the author hits the reader with twists and turns galore until the shocking final chapter, leaving a cliffhanger that ends the first book of what is hopefully an ongoing new fantasy series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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About the Author

Maximilian Heirich is an aspiring author promoting his first published book: Azure Adventures: The Lost King. Maximilian is currently 21 years old and is currently finishing up his last year of university.

He works on his writing career in his time between school and working at his university’s publishing press.

https://www.instagram.com/max_johan/?hl=en

The Melody Of Three (Evercharm Trilogy #1) by S.D. Reeves Review

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

A sorcerer long banned from Liverpool receives a mysterious summons, and discovers a world turned upside down in author S.D. Reeves’ novel, “The Melody of Three.”

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The Synopsis

Sorcerer Christaan De Rein’s return to Liverpool does not go well, starting with the fact that his trusted apprentice, Higgins, dies on the way. Then again, Higgins dies a lot. Of course, Rein doesn’t expect to be welcomed with open arms after being banished for nine years, but a cryptic summons from The Musician herself cannot go unanswered.

But when Rein arrives all is in chaos. People with fairy blood are turning up dead. The Forum Magicae is undone and the Curators sieged.

And in another world altogether, where Earth is just a legend, a girl named Niena and a cursed lyre hold the key to saving both realms. Or destroying them.

The Review

The author does an amazing job of creating a vast, complex, and engaging mythology that fans of the fantasy genre will absolutely love. The established world in this novel pairs greatly with the characters that bring humor, engagement, and heart to the story overall.

The author’s greatest strength lies within the atmosphere and setting of the narrative, with each chapter eloquently painting a picture of each location of the narrative. From the busy streets and gloom of Liverpool to the reality-bending realm of Fairhome, the author really does an excellent job of putting readers into the worlds of this magical novel. The only critic would be that so much emphasis is made on setting and description that sometimes the novel is slow-paced, but the powerful narrative helps to balance this out overall.

The Verdict

A lengthy, powerful narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seat as they dive headfirst into this brand new narrative, author S.D. Reeves novel “The Melody of Three”, the first in the Evercharm Trilogy, is a must-read dark fantasy novel that perfectly sets up a brand new series. An open-ended final chapter leaves readers wanting more, perfectly setting up this ever-growing narrative. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

Stephen Reeves was born in 1980 in Huntsville, Alabama, but grew up in a small community just on the edge called Madison. His writing career began during a boring math class in college and has blossomed over the last couple of decades into something decidedly not boring. His works have been published in numerous zines including The Blotter, Chantwood, Yellow Chair Review, and The Writers Drawer. Stephen has also reviewed books for Oxford University Press, including Micheal Newtons Victorian Fairy Tales.

Curses of Scale is his debut novel, written over the course of four years in the inspirational country of Switzerland, where he now resides with his wife, two cats, and an obsessive Pomeranian.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YGSWLKX

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17067943.S_D_Reeves

Interview with Anthony Avina

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

– I got into writing in high school, but I wasn’t any good at it back then. Recently, I wanted to take more control and agency in my life, as well as write down some cool story ideas I had. In 2017 while at work, I work in a car dealership call center, I decided to just start writing hoping that it would expand into a novel. 

What inspired you to write your book?

daveart

– Both Dagger and Scythe, as well as Era of Undying sort of came about the same way. I had this idea in mind and wanted to run with it. I’m not sure where the inspiration came specifically but I wanted to know what would happen to a character if her blood could move outside of her body, hence Era of Undying. And for Dagger and Scythe I had those two in my head also since high school. They were like a combination of Mr. and Mrs. Smith with Gomes and Morticia Addams. 

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

  • There’s nothing to profound in my books, but if there was a message I guess that it would be that there is beauty in the grotesque. 

What drew you into this particular genre?

– I love the in depth characters in dark fantasy and grimdark stories. They are so dynamic and three dimensional. Also the landscapes can be just as amazing, and dark. 

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

– If I could sit down with anyone in “Dagger and Scythe” that would be the character Nyx. She’s the goddess of death in their world, and is actually a bit lonely. I’d love to talk to her about her family and the pantheon she created. 

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

– Facebook and Twitter are the most helpful, but I’m also on Goodreads and Instagram.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

– Take your time, and work at your own pace. So many writers starting off want to be the next best thing right away, and so did I, but it’s best to slow down, and really plan everything. Also in regards to writing itself, create a daily habit for yourself. That will always be more powerful than waiting on inspiration. 

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

  • Oh yes, I’m working on a few right now, with more planned in the future. I’m really hoping that I can do this full time one day. 

About the Author

I have always loved stories. They explore weird new ideas, and bring people together. After years of reading fantasy and horror I wanted to combine them together into my own dark fantasy. And given the BA in Classical Civilizations and fascination in Ancient Greek mythology I blended it well into my stories too. Other then reading in my spare time I love to play video games quite often.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45434518-dagger-and-scythe?from_search=true

https://www.emilieknight.com/

https://www.facebook.com/emilieknightwriter/?eid=ARCHdGNchXsS1RRZlI-HuC-lj4Ebk46zFW90bxV4jA0q7ZbjNaH_IosxGyyTUu1Bu9fZsZd-9WCkOTIt

https://www.instagram.com/emilie_knight_/

Yankai’s Skull by Faramond Frie Review

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

A young warrior’s obsession leads to disastrous consequences and a journey of redemption on author Faramond Frie’s novel “Yankai’s Skull”. 

The Synopsis

200 years ago, a Tibetan Shaman entrusts Yankai with the secret that other worlds connected to ours exist and contain immense and dangerous power. Yankai is obsessed with gathering the knowledge required to protect his people from these worlds and following years of study, he stumbles upon a doorway to one of them. Yankai crosses into a dark and advanced world powered by the essence of Human Beings. Captured and tortured, he fights back and escapes to Earth but brings with him a being of immense power and is followed by another intent on revenge.

Over 2 centuries, Yankai seeks the elusive and deadly Poet whom he believes can help him destroy these beings. Aided by an immortal, a psychic and a man prepared to risk his life for Yankai’s cause, the threads of all their lives converge into a single moment where the fate of all will be decided.

The Review

In this short yet powerful read, the reader is treated to a dark fantasy driven narrative infused with a bit of sci-fi action and a historical style of fighting in a modern day world. This mashup of genres and story devices make for an engaging read, giving the reader just enough backstory peppered throughout the narrative to connect with the characters without taking the reader out of the moment entirely. 

The only critiques for this novel would involve transitions. There were moments in the narrative where it can be somewhat hard to discern where one character’s perspective ended and another’s began, so the use of transitions would have done well to help the story flow a bit more smoothly. However this wasn’t enough to take the reader out of the narrative completely, and I still found myself engaged in Yankai’s tale.

The Verdict

The novel is a fast paced, action-fueled fantasy that blends many different genres and has a way of making the modern world still feel ancient and mythical in its approach. The twists and turns that bring a plot device early in the narrative back into the novel’s finale is going to be a fun and shocking twist readers won’t see coming, so be sure to grab your copy of Yankai’s Skull by Faramond Frie today!

Rating: 8/10

https://amzn.to/2oJzwsz

www.faramondfrie.com