So, I’ve been in a reading slump. That being said, this was an amazing adventure read that helped pull me out! Perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings, Throne of Glass, Harry Potter, Eragon, and Skyrim!
Its blend of quest-like elements are a natural fit in a vibrant world strained to the seams by tyrannical rule. The many villages and ports of Aspera are filled with hardworking people trying to feed their families under the weight of taxes. Neighbors disappear and terrifying monsters stalk the woods. Nobody trusts anyone. The locals look to their High King for protection and safety, a deified man with a power complex.
Enter the Praetorians, beings neither human nor beast who serve the High King. It is said no Praetorian can resist his command and for this, they are feared. But some no longer accept being treated as little more than vicious attack dogs on a tight leash. When a massacre wipes out an entire village, a rebellion rises. The High King has finally gone too far.
I found the characters were the best part of this book, with the setting a close second. Cam and Theo’s relationship had me laughing at times and crying at others; the love Theo has for her is steadfast and it drives much of what he does to protect her and aide in the rebellion against the empire. Vesyon is burdened by leadership he never asked for but feels duty-bound to the people. His decisions are often frustrating, sometimes selfish, but never without his comrades in mind. He has a promise to keep and he’ll die to keep it.
You can find J.’s work on Amazon and at https://jmcspaddenwrites.com/