A huge thanks to Dave over at The Write Reads for organising not one, but four mammoth book tours in conjunction with each other and to Ben Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
NOW A #1 BESTSELLER
His name is Farden.
They whisper that he’s dangerous.
Dangerous is only the half of it.
A spellbook has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell – a very old and extremely powerful spellbook from the time of dark elves and demons. Five scholars are dead, the magick council is running out of time and options, and the Arka is once again on the brink of war with the Siren dragon-riders.
It falls to Farden the Written mage to keep the world from falling into chaos. Entangled in a web of lies and politics, Farden must recover the spellbook before an ancient enemy rises, even if it takes journeying halfway across icy Emaneska and back.
In his fight for answers, Farden will unearth a secret that not only shakes the foundations of his world, but threaten the entire future of Emaneska. Sorcery, death, drugs and the deepest of betrayals await.
Welcome to Emaneska.
As most people who pop by will know, I’m new to the world of fantasy and most of my adventures have been dystopian novel. Fantasy is a genre I’ve always been a little scared of. Maybe because I’ve always worried that I would struggle to follow the story if the setting was fairly removed from what I was used to. When I was offered the opportunity to read one of Ben’s books I saw this as a place where I could challenge myself and take that leap and boy was I glad!
The first few chapters took me much longer than they usually would as I was trying make sure I could take in the scenery, setting and all the different characters. Once I was through these I couldn’t stop reading and I became transported into the novel, allowing myself to get lost in this fantasy world.
Ben Galley has created visually stunning and vivid settings within this novel that are brought to life. He has merged some of the older and more quaint parts of the world we live in (I’m in England so lots of our towns have the same vibe I felt when reading) and added some simple but highly effective changes which result in a familiar but new world. Once I had sank into the narrative I found myself reading it whilst it played in my head like a film.
The main protagonist, Farden is mysterious and interesting. He is a highly intelligent mage dedicated to his role in the written but also has a rebellious streak. To begin with we don’t know much about him but as the story unfolds, more information is revealed, adding a further depth to the character. Throughout the book I moved from an indifference towards him to really loving the character.
As it turns out, the thing that I was the most worried about turned out to be the thing I loved the most about this book. Containing a huge variety of mythical creatures and magic folk, I was completely enamored by the different groups of people and their roles, especially the fact that many didn’t follow the usual characteristics we see in most novels and films. Because of this each character group was surprising and unique.
As a reader I don’t look for flaws in books or specific literary devices etc. I review books by thinking about how much I enjoyed them and how lost I got in them. This book was pacy, surprising and very different to anything I personally have read. I couldn’t put it down and the story line was fascinating and indulgent. It’s even convinced me to check out more novels in this genre. I’m looking forward to reading the next books in the series and finding even more new worlds and characters.
Thank you Mr Galley for introducing me to a new type of fantasy.
Author Bio – Ben Galley
Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.
When he isn’t conjuring up strange new stories or arguing the finer points of magic and dragons, Ben works as a self-publishing consultant, helping fellow authors from around the world to publish their books.
Ben enjoys exploring the Canadian wilds and sipping Scotch single malts, and will forever and always play a dark elf in The Elder Scrolls. One day he hopes to live in an epic treehouse in the mountains.
Ben can be found on Twitter or vlogging on YouTube @BenGalley, or loitering on Facebook and Instagram @BenGalleyAuthor. You can also get a free eBook copy of his epic fantasy The Written at www.bengalley.com