by Blake Arthur Peel
Arc of Radiance Book 1
I’ve been a slow reader of late, as exams are drawing to a close and revisions have stolen all my time. But I recently had the opportunity to pick up a new fantasy novel, so I thought, what the heck, let’s dive right into it. Ranger’s Oath is the first of a five-book series of a YA fantasy epic, and let me just start by saying, it’s a total blast.
Owyn is a ranger’s apprentice. Zara is a mage’s ward. Both hold the fate of the world in their hands.
The Arc of Radiance has stood for a thousand years, protecting what’s left of the world from an ancient evil. But when demons begin to break through the magical barrier, Owyn and Zara become involved in a war that has lasted millennia.
If they can convince their people that the threat is real, then perhaps they can survive. If not, then the Eleven Hells will be unleashed upon the world of men…
In the realm of Tarsynium, man lives beneath a massive dome of magic, which keeps demons and evil at bay. It has stood for thousands of years, stoked by the mages at the capital, unwavering. So when Owyn, an apprentice ranger out training with his master, Elias, stumbles upon what he thinks might be a demon, it throws everything he knows into chaos.
Zara is training to one day become a mage, and so far has shown prodigious talent. When the Arch-Magnus herself wishes for Zara to accompany her to visit the edge of the realm, she leaps at the opportunity to learn from the best and show her talent to the world’s most powerful mage.
Owyn and Zara are thrown together as their elders try to dissect the mysterious occurrences which have been plaguing the realm. But when two apprentices have a theory, who’s going to listen to them? They have to take matters into their own hands before it’s too late.
While the plot was a little slow to get into at first, it quickly picks up the pace as we explore this world through the eyes of Owyn and Zara. The two make quite a pair: forced to trust each other in order to uncover the truth, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to like it. Zara is strong-willed and a perfectionist, think Hermione born in the middle ages, while Owyn is searching to define himself and carve an identity outside of the shadow of his father. Both must learn to bend the rules in order to do what is right.
Though the story is mildly predictable, it’s nevertheless a fun and engaging read, mainly for the brilliant characters. They’re incredibly relatable and draw you right into the world. One thing the author writes particularly well is the threatening demonic hordes, which are incredibly creepy, and lead to some fantastic fight scenes. I’m excited to see where the series intends on going next!
Expected publication: June 1st 2018
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