Review by Adrina Palmer
In this compelling fantasy from a debut author, two young people must unite two warring cultures to banish the gods who destroyed their homeland.
For those who wish to fall out of this world and into a sword-wielding, coming-of-age story full of trials and errors, you have found another book to stack on your pile. You may want to add this book closer to the top as the landscape offers both promise and intrigue.
The story starts on one path before veering off wildly in two different and enticing directions. A little back history first. A thousand years ago the Fallen Gods drove a war across the ocean scattering remnants of their people across new lands. After the millennia, the dying people of Draegora search for the last seeds of their people to continue on their work of protecting the world of miscreants and the Esharii, a ruthless tribe determined to rid the world of Draegorians.
Riam lives in a nameless town with his abusive father and older brother. Nola lives with her wealthy, indulgent parents. Both carry the old blood and a Draegorian picks them up on his yearly hunt for recruits. What he doesn’t tell his new underlings is he has a secret that could shatter not just their lives but the bonds holding the world in affliction.
Once whisked away from the only lives they know, the Esharii attack. The Esharii steal Nola and bound her to a man twice her age and force her into a life as a spirit guide. Her story takes magical turns and leaves out far too many details in the rush to get to the finish line. Riam’s story takes off from his loss of a newfound friend and his inability to save her from the enemy.
Despite neither child given a choice in the directions of their life, Riam welcomes the opportunity to serve a higher purpose far away from his father’s angry hands. He loves finding his old blood gives him a new world until a battle leaves him lost. He needs to get to the Draegorian island for training but finds himself captive to one bully after another before finally righting his path, but not the path he expects.
This story is far from over. The end feels like a sequel but rapidly wraps up most of the questions and leaves the possibility of a sequel up in the air. Fans want to know! Are we going to spend a few more days reading about the next chapter in Riam’s adventure as a would-be king and savior for two nations? Surely the ending deserves as much pomp as the rest of the story!
Troy Carrol Bucher’s debut novel shows how much promise he offers to the literary world with an inspiring imagination of secrets only touched upon. His characters come with flaws which is what we need, people we can relate to as we head off into a new world scrambling to figure out who the Fallen Gods are and everyone’s purpose.
The story’s only real flaw is the slower pace until about the last sixty pages and the mad dash to the finish line. The awkward rush deserves a more languid pace to explore the world more closely, especially Nola’s storyline which was roughly thrown aside for Riam’s slightly less engaging plot. Sure, his story is interesting, but the magic was with Nola. Another line not properly explored was the clans, not only the Draegorian’s and Esharii but also the wolf clan.
Mr. Bucher needs to get back to his desk or the back table at a local coffee shop and put his fingers back on the keyboard. I want more and soon! This book has the opportunity to offer not just a sequel or a trilogy, but a new fan fiction phenomenon which we sorely need right now after the whole “Game of Thrones” debacle. Thankfully, this story focuses on a much smaller character base too.
Mainly, I’m left with questions. I want to know more about Nola, about the crystal swords, the clans and so much more. More information about the secrets of Riam’s family would help too. This ability to create an engaging world should not be neglected. Once the promise of a sequel arrives I fully intend to give this book five stars until then, go get your own copy so you can sit in the wanting more boat with me. Is there time to add a few hundred more pages to the tail of the book?
Available in bookstores August 20th