Fantasy Book Review – Vorodin’s Lair


Ominous Omens

Daemus, a low Keeper of the Cathedral of the Watchful Eye, isn’t the only one having visions. His nightmares speak of the ageless sorcerer, Vorodin, who may be able to help. But the answers he seeks may bring him—and the realm—to the brink of war.

Elven princess, Addilyn Elspeth, must discover why she’s receiving visitations from a mysterious creature that shouldn’t exist. She combines forces with Daemus on their harrowing journey to the scholar city of Abacus, where Vorodin’s Lair awaits.

A Plot of Revenge

Their powerful adversary and fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad, continues to chase the young Keeper throughout the realm, seeking vengeance against his order while trying to find a cure for his own affliction.

Explore the realm of Warminster, as fantasy and magic mixes with epic adventure and romance. Omens, battles and plot twists await you in the pages of Vorodin’s Lair.

Have you read The Last Keeper, Book 1 of the Warminster series? No? Go read it right now and then come back to this because this review will contact spoilers for the first book.

Read it? Ok, good. Now you can read this review for book 2.

Vorodin’s Lair picks up right where The Last Keeper left off. Faux and Arjun are in jail with a death sentence hanging over their heads. To secure their freedom, they are given the chance to protect Daemus and secure the help of a neighboring ruler.

At the same time, Prince Montgomery is sent elsewhere to secure more allies for Thronehelm, as war is officially declared with the recent defectors.

There are multiple threads of the plot happening in various places to different characters. I started to feel like this novel was going in a similar direction as The Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire series have, with so many characters, POV’s and subplots going on that the story doesn’t really move forward. Although I wouldn’t say that I was bored or that I dislike any particular character as to not want to read their POV, there were times when I wish the story stayed with some of the more central characters. Most of all, as a reader, I don’t always want to know everything that is going on. Not knowing what is happening with the bad guys can enhance the plot in a different way.

That being said, it would also been seen as a positive. Yes, I occasionally forgot that other characters existed as I was reading about a different set, but that is more likely because the writing is so good that the reader gets sucked into what is happening in the moment and everything else fades to the background.

J.V. Hilliard has such amazing descriptive skills in his writing, especially during battle scenes, that it’s impossible to put this book down. I felt like my heart was in my throat at times. Deaths can occur so suddenly and I just kept hoping the ones I liked most wouldn’t be the next to die.

I truly look forward to the next installment in this series and to see how the story continues on.

My rating for Vorodin’s Lair is 4 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend it to all lovers of fantasy, just don’t forget to read The Last Keeper first.

I’d like to thank the author, J.V. Hilliard for providing me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and this review was 100% written by me.

Thanks for reading!

Fantasy Book Review – Heir to Sevenwaters

Synopsis: The chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast and mysterious forest?and a new heir has been born. But the family’s joy turns to despair when the baby is taken, and something unnatural is left in his place. To reclaim her newborn brother, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there?

Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier is the 4th book in the Sevenwaters series. This book is told in the first person point of view of Clodagh, one of six daughters of Lord Sean and Lady Aisling.

Clodagh is seen as the “domestic” daughter. Her skills are thought to be that of a housewife, and therefore rather boring. Her other sisters have talents of their own, as a healer, a seer and just a more outgoing personality.

This book begins with Clodagh tying a ribbon as an offering to a tree in the forest to pray for the safe delivery of her newest sibling. Lady Aisling is older now, has already had six children and her health is not at it’s best. There is an oppressive sense of doom hanging over everything even though the house is also preparing for Clodagh’s sister’s wedding. With her mother mostly confined to bed, Clodagh is expected to keep the household running.

Clodagh is an interesting character, one I felt I could relate to. She is expected to keep the house running smoothly, take care of wedding preparations, as well as keeping her sister, the bride from going a bit crazy. I felt her sense of duty to her family, how she pushed herself to keep going even when she was exhausted and kept up appearances of being calm and in control. When the new baby is born, a son, Clodagh is the first to step up and help care for the baby. She even tells herself that there is no sense in thinking of what her own marriage might entail because she is needed at home to help her mother care for the baby. When the baby unexpectedly disappears and a changeling is left in his place, only Clodagh can see that he is a living being, the only one who can hear his cries.

Since she was the one watching the baby when the abduction occurs, she is blamed by her father for not watching every second. Although men are sent to search for the baby, Clodagh knows that this isn’t a normal sort of abduction and that the Fair Folk have something to do with it. Clodagh sets out on a perilous journey to find her brother, facing all kinds of dangers and heartache along the way.

This woman, who most dismiss as the “housewife” type of daughter has more courage and love than most people have in their little finger. When she puts her mind to something, she will see it through no matter the personal cost.

Based on the title of this novel, Heir to Sevenwaters, I had expectations of how the story would likely go. I’m so glad that my expectations were completely dashed. This story is in no way predictable and a complete rollercoaster of emotions.

After reading several books with multiple POV, this first person POV felt like a breath of fresh air. The reader doesn’t know anything that Clodagh doesn’t. We don’t see what the bad guys are up to, or even other people in the household. I love that.

Although I can rarely pronounce the names correctly, Celtic fantasy has to be one of my favorite subgenres of fantasy. The three books that precede Heir of Sevenwaters are all excellent and I look forward to the rest of the series.

My rating for this book is 5 out of 5 stars! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves Celtic fantasy, though I’d recommend reading the three previous books first.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

Fantasy Book Review – The Last Keeper by J.V. Hilliard


A young boy’s prophetic visions.
Blind at birth, Daemus Alaric is blessed with the gift of prophetic Sight. Now, as a Keeper of the Forbidden, he must use his powers of the Sight to foil the plans of a fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad.

An elven Princess with a horrifying secret.
Princess Addilyn Elspeth travels from Eldwal, the magically hidden home of the Vermilion elves, to begin her life as a diplomat to the human capital of Castleshire. During her journey, she stumbles upon a mystical creature foretelling ill tidings.

A terrifying force of evil.
Daemus’ recurring nightmare vision threatens to catapult him into a terrifying struggle that will leave the fate of the Keepers—and the realm—hanging in the balance. Daemus and Princess Addilyn must set out to face the menace that threatens their very existence.

Will the entire realm fall to its knees?
The Last Keeper is the first book in The Warminster Series. With gripping, epic action and heart-pounding adventure, you’ll love this new adventure series.

When I first started reading this book, I was in the beginning of a pretty bad reading slump. I couldn’t focus. There seemed like there were a lot of characters and I just couldn’t keep track of who was who. I had to stop as I knew I wasn’t doing this book justice by continuing. When my focus did return, I decided to start this book over from the beginning, which I’m very glad I did. The way I felt about the book completely changed. There weren’t too many characters, how could I not keep track of them in the first place? I don’t know if was because I’d already read the beginning that I absorbed more on the second attempt or if I was just back to normal in terms of reading. I’m going to go with the latter as what I hadn’t read the first time continued to feel fresh and exciting.

From the beginning, I didn’t quite know what to expect, which was great. As the first book in a series, there is a lot of set up going on, introducing characters, establishing the world and it’s rules. Thankfully, I didn’t feel like I was being told about the world. The author has an amazing was of describing things that feels natural and really helps a visual person like me picture the characters and events. Everything feels incredibly natural and the words just flow so well.

The characters are all very interesting and I have to say that I really love the diversity of the races in this world. There are people with crimson eyes or blue skin. Although there are what is known as trollborn – which are basically half breeds – that are sometimes looked down upon or discriminated, there are so many of them that it isn’t as horrible as it could be. I’m not really explaining that correctly. There are some that would say “trollborn” with scorn but most don’t. They are simply a part of the world as a whole.

If there was one think I didn’t like, it was how often the point of view would change during tense scenes. For instance, in the middle of a battle, the POV would constantly switch after a couple of paragraphs from one side of the battle to the other, from one character to another. I think this novel could have benefitted from showing less of what the villainous side was up to. Sometimes, as the reader, I prefer not to know everything . It can be too much information and I lose track of what character knows what.

Overall, this is an excellent novel. I never found it predictable, it was exciting, tense and emotional. It also ended on quite the cliffhanger so I’ll be needing the next book sooner rather than later.

My rating for The Last Keeper is 4 out of 5 stars and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fresh and exciting fantasy novel.

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – In Full Color by Rachel Dolezal

Before I begin this review, I want to say that I am not the type of person who pays a lot of attention to the news, nor am I American, so I had no idea who Rachel Dolezal was until I saw her documentary on Netflix. I found the documentary very interesting, perhaps more so because I had no previous knowledge of the media storm that had become her life and therefore, had no bias going in. It was from the documentary that I learned about this book and I decided to add it to my Christmas list. My brother was kind enough to get it for me and I was excited to read it.

I’m really glad I went into this with no preconceived notions about her or her life. I was able to read this with no real expectations and I think that going that way allowed me to simply absorb her life story without judgement.

Rachel Dolezal did not have an easy life from the very beginning. Her parents were horrible people, her older brother molested her and when her parents decided to adopt four babies within a year, she basically became a live-in free nanny.

I actually don’t want to say too much about her life, as I think it’s better to read this book knowing as little about her as possible. This book is well written and written from her heart. It’s clear she wants people to understand her better and really, there was no other way than writing a book. So many people have judged her and jumped to conclusions. The hate she has directed at her is not deserved. She tried her entire life to help others, to make life better for Black Americans. She should be seen as an inspiration, not a liar and pariah.

I’m not BIPOC, so I can never understand that perspective. I can never understand what it is like to grow up as a Black person in America. I can however, relate to her feelings of “other” of being on the outside, of not fitting in. I think a lot of people experience this, especially in their formative years, but as a society, we never talk about it. We’re expected to behave in a certain way, to see ourselves in a certain way, so that when we don’t others can’t understand.

Identity is something that is spoken of a lot nowadays. There’s gender identity, racial identity, etc. Society is on the path to being more inclusive and diverse, of recognizing that people don’t always identify with the gender they are born with. So, I wonder, is feeling that you are more connected to a different race that much different? I don’t know the answer to that and wouldn’t presume to give an answer.

Mostly, I feel like this book and Rachel Dolezal’s life and subsequent media scandal is very thought provoking. I can’t help but wonder where she would be now had that particular interview never occurred. Certainly, she wouldn’t be harassed online nearly as much. Which is another thing that bothers me. Having read this book about her life, she truly doesn’t deserve the harassment she and her family get. Telling her son that his mother should kill herself, calling a new born baby the N word. How does saying stuff like that online make those people any better than they perceive her to be? In my eyes, it makes them worse. Hate her all you want, telling someone that they are a family member should kill themselves is NOT ok. I wish people would stop and think before they post horrible things like that.

I’m sure very few, if anyone, will read this post, and I know this isn’t much of a review of the book itself, and if anyone does read this, I could get some hate directed at me for saying what I have, but I also feel like it needs to be said.

I would truly recommend that people read this book. I would encourage going into it with an open mind and try to forget anything you may have seen in the media. I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars as it was probably one of the most though provoking books I’ve ever read.

Thank you for reading and please give it a chance!

Traitors Gate – Crossroads # 3 by Kate Elliott – Fantasy Book Review

Synopsis: In Spirit Gate and Shadow Gate, Kate Elliott took readers to the fascinating world of the Hundred, a land teeming with an array of cultures, gods, and conflicts blighted by the shadow of chaos and destruction. Now, with the same intensity and dramatic sweep that has brought this epic to life, Elliott returns to the exquisitely crafted cities and landscapes of the Hundred, in a thunderous conclusion to the saga.

In the darkness of war and destruction, forces gather to reclaim the peace: Those immortal Guardians who still serve justice seek a means to end the devastating reign of one of their own; a hired outlander army struggles to halt the advance of the horde that has despoiled vast lands and slaughtered countless people in its murderous wake, while still guarding against a burgeoning threat from an aggressively expansionist empire; and the eagle reeves who have long been the only law enforcers of the Hundred struggle to reorganize after a devastating massacre has decimated their numbers. But even as these forces give hope to those who would live in peace, a terrible danger looms: a traitor with Imperial ambitions, the most dreaded, least anticipated threat of all…

In the unfolding drama of political upheaval and violent change, nothing is certain, as alliances dissolve and power shifts with the unpredictability of a desert sandstorm. A riotous epic with the vast breadth and excitement only masterful storyteller Kate Elliott can summon, Traitors’ Gate will leave her many readers begging for more. 

From the very beginning of Traitors Gate, this did not feel like the conclusion to a trilogy. To me, it felt more like the third book in an ongoing series. There was just so much that was happening, new characters being introduced and conflicts that needed to be resolved. Despite this novel being close to 900 pages, I kept wondering through out how the author was going to resolve everything. Well, I wouldn’t really say that she did. This trilogy could easily become longer series. In fact, I would love to read another book in this world continuing from Traitors Gate.

As for the book itself, I think this has to be the best of the three. There was a lot more action, sense of danger and tension between characters. Shai in particular really comes into his own. In the beginning of Spirit Gate, he was a quiet recluse. By the end of Traitors Gate he’s become strong and confident. Putting himself in danger time after time to protect innocent lives. His adventure alone would be a worthy tale.

Unfortunately, I feel like this book (and the whole trilogy really) suffered from having too many characters. There were certain characters that I was far more interested in than others and I felt like the ones I actually cared about didn’t get very much page time. Marit and Kirit, for example, I didn’t get nearly enough of. I really wanted more about the Guardians in general. They were far more interesting than some of the other characters, but perhaps the author meant to keep an air of mystery around them.

One thing that really bothered me, not just about this book but the whole trilogy, was the prevalent misogyny. Men can basically do whatever they want in some cultures in this world. A man can literally go to a woman’s father and just buy her as a wife and there’s nothing she can do about it. She can’t say no. In one culture, the women aren’t even allowed to show there faces outside and their names can’t be spoken to outsiders. If her face is seen by a man not her kin, she’ll basically be disowned. It irritated me throughout that men, especially those in positions of power could just buy or take a woman if they wanted.

And the slavery! I’m sure the author was trying to show how horrible slaves are treated and that it is wrong and bad, but the things that happened to some of them was stomach turning. Did she have to go so far as to include pedophilia?

Kate Elliott knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats, ending chapters in such a way that you have to keep going. So many times, I was like “omg, I can’t believe that just happened!” There were so many unexpected things here.

Overall, I think Crossroads is a great fantasy trilogy that any fan of the genre would enjoy. My rating for Traitors Gate is 4 out of 5 stars and I would recommend it to fans of fantasy who also enjoy political intrigue and multiple points of view.

Have you read this trilogy? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – Shadow Gate – Crossroads #2 by Kate Elliott

Synopsis (from Goodreads): The captivating, bestselling Spirit Gate swept readers into the turbulent world of the Hundred, where the peace and order of life under the protection of the immortal Guardians has given way to chaos and violence. In the face of a vast horde of marauders led by a rogue Guardian, the bravery and resourcefulness of a lone eagle-reeve and others who risk their lives for the common good have prevented death and destruction from overwhelming the Hundred.

This review will contain spoilers if you have not read book 1, Spirit Gate

The first novel of this trilogy started by introducing the character of Marit. She was a very likable character and I thought she would be at least one of the main characters of the book. Unfortunately, Marit dies early in the book and the focus shifts to her lover, Joss, and introduces other characters soon after.

While there is nothing wrong with this, it wasn’t what I was hoping for and I found it somewhat disappointing. So, when Shadow Gate opens once again with Marit, I was pleasantly surprised and realized that she was a lot of what I found lacking in the first book.

While reading Spirit Gate, I didn’t feel a strong connection to the main story and the characters. With Shadow Gate, I started to feel that connection more as back stories about what were initially side characters were slowly revealed. Turns out, I really like the secondary characters better.

The characters begin to feel more developed in this book as well. Characters i didn’t particularly care for in the first book were suddenly more interesting. Shai, in particular, gets more character development as he starts to come out of his shell and really come into his own. New characters are introduced and old ones return.

I have to say that I enjoyed this book much more than the first one. Though to be fair, I was entering a reading slump as I was reading the first one and my brain just wasn’t into reading at that time. I think I have finally come out of that slump and will be back to regular reading this year.

My rating for Shadow Gate is 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy novels, though you should read book 1 first.

Thanks for reading!

Songbird (Griffinsong #1) By J. Victoria Michael – Book Review

Songbird by J. Victoria Michael is about a young woman named Irenya who is suddenly transported to another world. Unable to return the same way she came, she has to try to find another way home.

For a book less than 300 hundred pages, I was expecting this to be faster paced. It started out well enough when Irenya suddenly goes through a portal and finds herself in another world. She is naturally confused and afraid, especially when met with hostility. The people of this new world are wary of her, thinking her some type of invader. She has to endure a few nasty things that make her fear and hate the archprince, who rules the castle she has ended up in.

When she fails to leave this new world by way of the mirror she came through, she immediately falls into depression. I can understand her initial fear and confusion and even her depression at not being able to leave like she wants but her crying and whining about her situation goes on for literally months.

Irenya finds some solace in music and singing but also refuses to play for her hosts for a significant amount of time. What bothers me the most about her is how she just takes for granted that these people are feeding and clothing her for basically nothing. She isn’t expected to do any type of chores (though she does occasionally help in the kitchen) or manual labor to earn her keep. All she really does is learn how to ride a horse and play music. She constantly jumps to conclusions about people, especially the archprince, and doesn’t take the time to really learn anything about the world she’s in.

After being there for a few months, she does start going to the library to learn a little, but honestly, her efforts are weak at best. I found the pov’s of other characters (brief as they were) far more interesting than Irenya’s.

It wasn’t until about halfway through or maybe three quarters that the plot starts to pick up. The ending felt rather abrupt but made sure I’d be interested in the next book. I really hope to see Irenya grow as a character, to see from the point of view of the people around her and realize that she could be more grateful to them. I am curious where this story is going and will read the next installment.

My rating for this book is 3 out of 5 stars. I’d recommend it to people who enjoy portal fantasy, slow pace and an unreliable narrator.

Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – Spirit Gate – Crossroads #1 by Kate Elliott

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

For hundreds of years the Guardians have ruled the world of the Hundred, but these powerful gods no longer exert their will on the world. Only the reeves, who patrol on enormous eagles, still represent the Guardians’ power. And the reeves are losing their authority; for there is a dark shadow across the land that not even the reeves can stop.

A group of fanatics has risen to devour villages, towns, and cities in their drive to annihilate all who oppose them. No one knows who leads them; they seem inhumanly cruel and powerful. Mai and Anji, riding with a company of dedicated warriors and a single reeve who may hold a key to stopping the deadly advance of the devouring horde, must try, or the world will be lost to the carnage. But a young woman sworn to the Goddess may prove more important than them all . . . if they are not too late.

I have just finished reading this and to be honest, I’m not sure what I think of it.

I expected the giant eagles would be something more along the lines of the Companions in the Valdemar series. I thought they would have some type of bond or telepathic connection with their Reeves, but they don’t. The only similarities are that the eagles choose their Reeves and Companions choose their Heralds. It’s also never really explained how exactly an eagle chooses a person to become a Reeve.

I felt like this book lacked enough action to truly keep me engaged. My mind wandered often while reading. A lot of the narrative just feels like a long set up before getting to the point. I’m not sure what the point even was. The journeys of the different characters do bring them together as the plot intertwines.

As for the characters, I like Mai and her husband Anji. Mai is beautiful and therefore not expected to be smart. Most of her life she has molded herself to what she believed others wanted her to be. Once she is married and leaves her hometown, she is suddenly free to become who she truly is. It’s also nice that Anji is a good man who never forces her into anything.

Mai’s uncle, Shai, who left with his niece and her new husband hasn’t really grown on me. Sometimes he was just kind of whiney and I didn’t care much for his POV. Reeve Joss is a broken man who is grieving the loss of his lover even after 20 years.

One thing I did really like is that the cultures were based more in Asian cultures than western ones. A woman with blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin is thought to be a demon or the spawn of a demon because her colouring is so unusual. The majority of the people, including all the main characters, have darker skin tones, hair and eyes. In a genre that often defaults to a more mid-evil Europe type of settings, this was refreshing.

There was nothing in particular that I disliked about this book, but I would have liked more action, more sense of urgency to keep me more engaged as I read. The ending of the book was certainly enough to guarantee that I will read the next book. I just hope the next two books are more engaging.

Oddly, there is no type of magic system here. It is mentioned that there is some type of magic around the eagles to help them choose Reeves but what exactly that magic is or where it comes from, isn’t mentioned.

My rating for this novel is 3 out of 5 stars. I’d recommend it to those who enjoy a slower paced fantasy with little to no magic.

Thanks for reading!

These Gossamer Strings – The Last Gift #3 by Allegra Pescatore – Book Review

Synopsis (From Goodreads):

A God is Dead. A Queen is Missing. Secrets are Unraveling.

On trial for the murder of the King, Elenor and Gabriel must become allies if they want to survive. His magic is spiraling out of control, awakening a mystery hidden in the very walls of the palace. She has one month to pass her Water Rite and find a way out of the marriage her parents set up. But things are about to get much more complicated.

Between sadistic family members intent on taking Elenor’s throne, Tirit Mindel breathing down Gabriel’s neck, and a Golden Dragon appearing in the sky above the Mondaer Desert with an ominous warning, more than the Kingdom of Lirin is at stake.

If that weren’t bad enough, time is ticking down for Fedrik and Fay as well. With the desert turning against them and Daemon as a questionable new ally, figuring out how to control Fedrik’s Gift has become a matter of life and death.

Picking up in the fallout of Where Shadows Lie, In Silence Abiding is the long-awaited and non-stop second instalment of The Last Gift. Dive back into the world of Dracona and hold onto your hats. Things are about to get… salty.

Allegra Pescatore is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Her writing is amazing from beginning to end and this novel is no exception.

The author has created an amazing world in The Last Gift series. It is rich and detailed, filled with magic and political intrigue. There’s always something happening. Even when you think “ok, these people have been through enough, give them a break” no! They are thrown into more impossible or dire situations. Every time I think these characters can’t possibly handle any more, some new horrible situation arises for them to deal with. Honestly, if I were any of these characters I’m pretty sure I would have had a mental breakdown in the first book.

I love how each chapter begins with a snippet from a letter or journal entry, giving a glimpse into the past, which adds understanding into some situations and relationships. These snippets add depth in a way flashbacks never could.

Several plot point were wrapped up in this novel, but several others are still hanging loosely, fluttering in the wind, taunting me until the next book comes out. Not sure how I will wait that long. There was one thing I predicted would happen in the first book that has finally come to pass (I don’t want to spoil what that is) but other than that one thing, this series is the last thing from predictable. I never knew what was going to happen next. My attention was constantly engaged and rarely wandered. I truly can’t wait what is in store for this world and it’s characters next.

There were a couple sex scenes in this novel, normally something I’m not a fan of, but somehow, I felt like the scenes added to the relationship between the characters instead of just being a sex scene.

I think I might have a bit of a crush on Gabriel. He’s just such a good person, truly caring and understanding of others, fiercely loyal and protective of the people he cares about. Best of all, he knows when people just need a hug and is willing to give one, no strings attached.

I really want to gush how amazing this novel is as well as the series itself, but instead, I’m just going to tell you to read it yourself. If you are a fan of any kind of fantasy, I think you will enjoy this novel. I’m rating it 5 out of 5 stars and hope more people will come to pick up this series and enjoy it as much as I have.

Have you read this book or any of the books in the series? I’d really love to know what you think if you have.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Check out my reviews of the previous books in this series: Whispers of Stone and Where Shadows Lie

The Death Gate Cycle Series Review

I had fully intended to write reviews for all seven books of the Death Gate Cycle series. However, I soon got to a point where I didn’t really know what to say anymore and I just wanted to get through the books and finish the series.

So, overall, what did I think of this series? Well, for starters, the world building was a amazing. Each of the four worlds is very unique, each with their own beauty and dangers.

After the first book, some things were a bit predictable. It was fairly clear that Haplo would be visiting each of the four worlds and that each visit would take place within a single book. What happened after that was much less predictable.

Haplo changes significantly as a character. In the beginning, his loyalty to his lord and his lord’s cause is unwavering. He cares nothing for the people of the world’s he visits. He simply goes there to complete his mission. It isn’t long, though, before Haplo begins to change. The more time he spends around the various people of the different world’s and especially around the bumbling Alfred, he begins to see that his lord may not be the perfect ruler for all the worlds.

Other characters through out the series are interesting as well. Just don’t get too attached as they often have a tendency to die quite suddenly. Although, not every one stays dead.

I liked that the characters from the first four books made reappearances in later volumes. It may them feel more part of the story as a whole as opposed to just filler characters thrown in to serve Haplo’s journey.

I thought the magic system of the Sartans and Patryns was an interesting one. Rune magic isn’t an uncommon thing in fantasy but they way it was used here was less common. Each of the two races has their own set of runes, which the other race cannot use. The runes being tattooed on the skin of the Patryns was pretty cool in my opinion. Their race has existed in a horrid place, the Labyrinth, for centuries and they’ve found a way to help protect themselves and give warning of near by danger without having to actively use their magic.

My biggest dislike in this series is the references back to our modern world. I said this in a previous review that doing that in fantasy always annoys me. I read fantasy novels because I want to escape into an entirely new and different world that came from the author’s imagination. I feel like making that fantasy world into some distant future of our own world is just lazy and unnecessary. I’m sure there are times when it is done well, but I have yet to come across one.

Overall, this series is a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend it to any and all lovers of fantasy. I think this would be a good series for someone who is looking to dip their toe into the genre for the first time.

Thanks for reading!