An epic medieval fantasy chronicling the trials and tribulations of Elysium, a 15th-century kingdom under threat by evil, but protected by the Seaton brothers and their magical claymores.
Packed with all the trappings and tropes of the sword and sorcery genre, this first book in a planned series opens with the standard augur: a child shall be born, and this child shall set the people free. But this tale isn’t myopically focused on a barrel-chested man-child and his blood-spattering adventures—though that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fun. The white-hot first chapter sees a prominent and sinister Bramonian woman seduced, ravished and finally murdered by the mighty Andromin Seaton, one of a trio of brothers who guide the fate of the good kingdom of Elysium. On his retreat from his recon, Andromin encounters a fearsome creature who speaks in opaque riddles and an inflection borrowed from the cutesy-speak of The Lord of the Rings’Gollum. The creature poisons Andromin and hurries off, and it’s in this effectively creepy exchange that the seeds of Alamptria’s chaos are first sewn. In a whirlwind of exposition, the book introduces characters of all moral shades and slyly hints at their significances. Andromin’s brother, Confidus, is the central protagonist, but it’s Andromin’s final revelation about his place in the family that will keep readers burning through the pages until the end. After a regicide whose motives are too byzantine to understand at first, the Seaton brothers, armed with their claymores of power, realize that the Bramonian war was only skirmish in a much larger struggle between the powers of light and dark: Makoor and his vampire cult are on the move. The novel marries the worlds of Tolkien and Stoker in a diction befitting the story’s epic scale, and the mythology is unique enough to get away with it despite a few overwrought moments. However, the sometimes orbital prose does harmonize with the larger-than-life settings and deliciously operatic characters.
An epic, exciting tale of knighthood and vampires.