Review: Serpentus

Dispatched to Stone Hill to oversee the city’s defenses among nebulous rumors of the Shadow Council’s threat, Owen Greenwaters must rely on the city’s guard and its natural defenses to protect the citizens.

But when an army of mythical hooded ones bolstered by a sea serpent and the Soulless arrive in the wake of a terrible storm, he knows there is little he can do beyond hope the walls hold – and pray to the gods he and Stone Hill’s people will survive.

They are outnumbered, outmatched, and without magical support. Owen is the only knight present in the city. They will be overrun.

The Soulless are merciless and rarely take prisoners, but Owen and the survivors of Stone Hill are exceptions…

And some fates are worse than death.

Review: War of the Nameless

The god of death, called the Nameless by some, has been biding his time for millennia. His scheme to break free of his prison is nearing fruition, and with the aid of the Soulless bound to him, he seeks to regain his former power. The world has scorned him and it must face his wrath.

Emra Castledowns has gathered an army to combat the threat the Soulless pose. Beside her are Vardak, a skilled warrior, renowned amongst his people and the protégé of the god of war, and Ravin, the most powerful wielder of magic the world has ever produced. The wizards have allied with her, the Five Kingdoms have lent soldiers and arms, and even the gods—sworn to remain neutral during mortal conflicts—have begun to choose sides.

In spite of her army’s might, the power the Nameless begins to unleash is daunting. The death god is a threat to the existence of every kingdom, every race and nationality—even the Soulless who serve him are not immune to his thirst for revenge.

Review: The Ballad of Alchemy and Steel

In the Murkor culture, it is customary for the individuals bound during the unity ceremony of ujar’havel to compose a book of memories detailing the events that led to their first meeting and subsequent desire to be joined.

As a Murkor without a mother to guide him, Sal’zar is afforded unusual freedoms in his path to ujar’havel and the selection of a caste. In their strongly matriarchal society, his father’s voice holds little weight. He must forge his own destiny, though he struggles to find the proper way.

Sal’zar knows he is unsuited to the soldier’s caste, but is running out of options. One fateful day, he journeys to the sparring ring to test his mettle, where he meets Jal’den. Jal’den is the same age, but has already proven himself a better fighter than most of the older children. Noting Sal’zar is without a sparring partner, Jal’den offers to pair with him, and so begins a long friendship that may ultimately become something more.

Note: This story features LGBTQ+ themes. If it’s not your thing, that’s ok – I don’t expect everyone to read it. I wrote this story for my brother.

Review: The Moon’s Eye

Explore a unique, new epic fantasy by A.J. Calvin, featuring species and gods not previously seen in other aspects of the genre. The Moon’s Eye is the first installment of The Relics of War series.

Chosen for advanced training by the god of war himself, Vardak is considered a paragon amongst his people, the Scorpion Men. Yet his position and training come with a cost: He must serve the whims of the god, with no questions asked. Only days after his training is complete, he is sent far away from his desert homeland in order to act as the protector of the Fire Maiden’s mortal daughter, Janna.

Janna has been tasked with the recovery of a magical relic known as The Moon’s Eye, but she has little worldly experience to guide her. The Immortals deem the relic’s recovery imperative, for it alone can combat the rise of the Soulless—those sworn to the fallen, nameless god of death. The Soulless are ruthless and powerful, and eager to wage war upon the land in order to appease the god they serve.

Though Vardak is skilled in battle, he must lead Janna through several perilous areas in order to reach the relic she seeks, pushing his abilities to the limit. Unbeknownst to the pair, the Soulless raise an army and begin their conquest, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Will they secure The Moon’s Eye before all is lost, or will the relic itself prove to be their undoing?

“Calvin’s engaging epic tale opens with a dense and emotionally complex narrative… This exceedingly intricate fantasy will delight seasoned genre fans.” – Kirkus Reviews

Review: The Talisman of Delucha

Explore a unique, new epic fantasy by A.J. Calvin, featuring species and gods not previously seen in other aspects of the genre. The Talisman of Delucha is the second installment of The Relics of War series.

Ravin is an anomaly amongst those who use magic. He refuses to join the Council of Auras and tie his fate to the wizards, and long ago escaped a terrible fate amongst the Enlightened, called the Shadow Council by some. His escape gave him freedom few others with his power enjoy, and he means to keep it, no matter the cost.

Serving as an advisor to the Deluchan queen, Ravin learns a powerful relic is kept deep within the catacombs below the palace. War is on Delucha’s doorstep, brought about by none other than the council he fled from and their Soulless leaders. He resolves to retrieve the relic in order to combat the imminent threat, but collecting the Talisman of Delucha is not without its own danger.

As the Soulless’ army prepares to besiege the Deluchan capitol, Ravin makes one final, desperate attempt to secure the Talisman. The kingdom’s survival depends on his success, but time is not on his side.

Reviews © Copyright 2022 Korra Baskerville