This review was originally posted on my Google+ profile, earlier this month. For whatever reason, Google's Blogger app was acting up. It looks like the issue has been resolved, however the app is not allowing me to post the book's cover. :(
Here is the review:
Genre - Fantasy
Year Published - 2012
Length - 288 (digital) pages
Written by Ryan Toxopeus
Rating: 4 Skulls
Two lumberjacks, Thomas and Sarentha, flee everything they know when Thomas murders a co-worker. In the dead of night, a cloaked noble approaches and offers them a sum of coins they cannot refuse. His sole request is for the pair to retrieve an amethyst from a tomb. From there, they are introduced to Eliza, a spirited and head-strong noblewoman who proves her competence with her skills in diplomacy and combat. Together with Thomas’ strength and steadfastness, and Sarentha’s drive and inquisitiveness, the trio makes an odd but capable group. Their adventures take them across the lands of the Tamorran Empire to witness sights they never imagined. With grand plans in motion, everything hinges on Thomas, Sarentha, and Eliza’s success. Artefacts need to be crafted, alliances need to be formed, and above all, secrets need to be kept. Not even their own allies know every facet of the noble’s quest, and he plays a dangerous game by creating plots within plots. Can the disparate trio hold together throughout their trials? What secret does the noble know that causes him to go to such extraordinary lengths to succeed? Dark shadows blanket the Tamorran Empire, and illuminating those secrets will bring a terrifying truth.
I absolutely loved the prologue to this story, where we are introduced to humanity's greatest champion and hero, Matthew Strongblade.
The book then jumps ahead 450 years later to where we meet best friends Sarentha and Thomas who, after getting themselves into some trouble, are approached by a mysteriously cloaked figure who offers to send the two of them on a quest. Fortunately for us, the two friends, being the adventurous type, accept the offer.
Toxopeus has crafted a fun, well-thought-out, classic fantasy tale that is perfect for lovers of Dungeons & Dragons and for fans of the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms books.
This is book one of the series, and I am looking forward to reading the next book. As much I enjoy Thomas and Sarentha's adventures (as well as several other characters - namely a "Rager" dwarf named Thurzin) I am hoping for some more stories from the past. (In Toxopeus' timeline, BGW - Before the God's War)