I hope everyone had a great Christmas, I did see some great pictures and stories coming through on social media. Here is a review of a great fantasy I’ve read recently and for those of you feeling lucky I have a giveaway at the end of the post!
Standalone, epic fantasy
Two wizards, 350 years apart. Together they must save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past.
An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master Kalesh dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer. The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?
Visions of Zarua introduces us to Paddren, a wizard who is thrown into the centre of a sinister plot to overthrow the world as they know it by a sect of assassin mages. With his closest friends Varnia and Leyoch he sets out to uncover the evil threatening their way of life and how the visions he has had since he was a young boy can help.
Paddren was a wonderful character, beautifully written to show he was a potentially powerful mage on the cusp of his power. He hadn’t got there yet, so the nerves were evident, his nervousness in having to embark on such an important task was evident but he was still certain in his need to do it.
Paddren is connected to a wizard from the past, in the ancient city of Zarua, via visions, we see these visions in cut off chapters through the book and while at first it is hard to understand the relevance to the overall novel as we progress through the story it starts to become clear how the two stories intertwine and how these visions will help Paddren in his quest for answers.
Varnia is Paddren’s best friend from childhood and a skilled tracker, they have been brought up knowing they will both work together to help the village. She is in love with Paddren’s servant Leyoch, a well known secret among all who know them and when given an opportunity to raise his station in life by helping with this quest Leyoch takes it, even though it means potentially risking his relationship with Varnia.
These three characters interact much like normal friends would throughout this book, there are arguments, laughs, and sentiment. Whatever is happening though they look out for each other and have each others backs.
The world building is detailed and I had a clear picture throughout of where I was what each village, city, building looked like and how it felt. There is some travelling in the book and this was well covered within the world building elements aswell so that you really felt a part of the story.
As for the story it develops well, and picks up pace quickly, there are quite a few characters aside from the three main one’s but they are easy to remember and fit in perfectly, whilst not being too overwhelming in number.
Overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable sword and sorcery based epic fantasy. There are some great new creatures in this book and some interesting magical premise to check out and some highly relatable characters.
A huge thanks to Suzanne Rogerson for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Suzanne Rogerson has very kindly donated a paperback copy of Visions of Zarua for one of my readers. Head over to Rafflecopter where you can enter to win it! This is an international giveaway so my overseas readers are eligible for this one!
Title: Visions of Zarua
Author: Suzanne Rogerson
Genre: Fantasy | Epic Fantasy | Sword and Sorcery
Publication Date: 16 November 2015
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US