Tag Archives: indie

Review: Trial of Stone

Trial of Stone (Heirs of Destiny 1)

by Andy Peloquin

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Three stories intertwined in Trial of Stone!

Peloquin is back with a new story set in his universe that the Hunter and the Night Guild fill. Kodyn and Aisha, members of the Night Guild, are traveling to the City of Shalandra, escorting Briana back to her father after her kidnapping. They also have another goal: to steal the Crown of Pharus.

To achieve full membership in the Night Guild, Kodyn has to prove his worth. He has a bold idea to use his connection with Briana to get his hands on the most valuable jewels of the Shalandrans. Not only will he have to figure out how to steal the crown, but he’ll have to protect Briana from the Gathers, the cult that kidnapped her in the first place.

Meanwhile, Evren, the young thief who helped the Hunter, has been hired by the Beggar Priests to recover a deadly artifact from the hands of the Shalandrans. The church believes that their treasured Blade of Hallor is a deadly weapon similar to the Hunter’s. The church needs it stolen before a prophecy is fulfilled.

Unbeknownst to Evren and his escort, the young lad Hailen has stolen away with them. The ward of the Hunter has powers in his blood. The power of the long-dead Serenii flow through his veins. Evren will have to keep him safe while figuring out how to get his hands on the Blades.

Lastly, Issa, a poor citizen of Shalandra, has snuck into the proving fight to become a Blade of the Long Keeper, a deadly order of warriors devoted to protecting the city. They are sworn to the God of Death, drawing power. If she can survive her trial, then she will earn her position even with her low rank in the city.

She’s up against a horde of youths who all want the same thing. She’ll have to fight with not just her limbs, but with her brain. Quick wits will see her threw as much as strong arms. Will she make it?

These three stories swirl around in this fast-paced, fantasy novel. Andy Peloquin is building on the work of his last two series to have a new series. His world is large enough to hold all manner of interesting stories, and book one is off to a great start.

The story flows fast. The characters are fun. Each plot line has its own goals that, on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with each other. Peloquin guides his story well. Character decisions flow organically, and only a few coincidences get the plot going.

It’s a great, fun story that fantasy fans of all ages can read. No need to have enjoyed his earlier works, though, of course, they will only add color to this exciting tale! If you’re a fan of good fantasy, then check out Peloquin’s work!

You can buy Trial of Stone from Amazon. Check out Andy Peloquin’s website, connect on Linked In, follow him on Google Plus, like him on Twitter @AndyPeloquin, and like him on Facebook.

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Review: The Archmage Unbound (Mageborn Book Three)

The Archmage Unbound (Mageborn Book Three)

by Michael G. Manning

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Mordecai has to deal with his fallout of rebelling against King Edward to protect his people from the enemy invasion. He needs a way to find peace with the king and stop civil war to break out. He has his pregnant wife, Penny, and his friends to think about.

He also has to understand his own powers. He has rejected the method of control to keep mages from making pacts with dark gods and going insane. He has defied the king doing this just as much as his refusal to abandon his lands to the enemy forces. If he can’t understand what it means to be an archmage, all will be lost.

Can he do it while dealing with the political maneuverings of the King Edward and the realm? Will he prevail or will his naivety cause his undoing?s

This series gets better and better. Manning has some nice twists and turns that keeps the story flowing fast. It’s exciting and tense in turns with the characters still being a standout. Fans of indie fantasy have to give this series a try. He explore some nice themes and conflicts between his characters as they debate the ethics of ruling, of power, and what it means to be a good person. Great stuff.

Having fun with this series. Eager to read the next book!

You can buy The Archmage Unbound from Amazon.

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Review: The Blacksmith’s Son (Mageborn Book One)

The Blacksmith’s Son (Mageborn Book One)

by Michael G. Manning

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Mordecai thinks he’s a simple blacksmith son, not knowing that he is the last scion of a line of wizards. Magic flows through his veins. He doesn’t know that a dark plot sought to snuff out his family line, but his mother’s dying act saved his life.

When invited by his friend James to stay at his castle and attend an upcoming ball, Mordecai is about to discover just who he is. While trying to pretend that he belongs, he inadvertently offends the dangerous Devon, the political rivals to James’s own family. Mordecai will have to develop his magic fast because his friends, including his childhood friend Penny, are in more danger than he knows!

The Blacksmith’s Son is a fast-paced fantasy novel that had some surprising twists. Manning doesn’t shy away from taking his characters into some dark situations despite the mostly light-heated tone of the novels. His characters are fun, he has some fun banter, especially between Mort and Penny, and you have lots of reason to hate his villain.

His characters are not the most complex, but they are endearing. His style was a little… unusual, mixing first person for Mordecai and third person for everyone else, often shifting between the two from paragraph to paragraph as opposed to using hard breaks. I’m not entirely certain it adds anything other than to set Mordecai as the main character.

I read through the book fast, often curious to where the story was going. He has some stakes to his writing and I find myself eager to reach the second book. This is the sort of series you could binge read, so I am glad there’s quite a number of books out.

If you’re looking for a fun, fantasy romp from an indie author, then check out this series. It’s a little rough along edges, but its polish shines through where it counts.

You can buy The Blacksmith’s Son from Amazon.

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