In a land of eagle-riding knights, bloodthirsty beasts, and a ruthless prince, no border is safe for long. And as smoke billows from the only blockade standing between the great city of Korindelf and certain doom, young Morlen races to escape the inevitable siege. Thrust from the chaos with thousands of snapping jaws on his trail, he discovers that the abilities he’s buried all his life are awakening – and it could not have happened at a worse time.
War has come, and he doesn’t dare rely on his untested talents after stealing the coveted Goldshard, which makes strength and invincibility just a panicked whisper away. His dependency on it carries him through many dangers, until it becomes an enemy far worse than those he must fight hand-to-hand. And the allies he meets on his quest are just as troubled: a legendary warrior too afraid to leave his sheltered paradise, a wizard tormented by his past, and a disgraced king who has lost any hope of saving his people.
A Facet for the Gem is a coming of age fantasy that brings Morlen from distant kingdoms to sprawling airborne battles, into the fiery breath of a stony dragon and side-by-side with a lady knight who is the last person in need of rescue. Follow him as his epic adventures culminate in a final showdown against swords, fangs, and greatest of all: his own fear.
It was the cover of this book that hooked me, It is so vibrant and quite honestly, and for a self published book it is so darn professional looking I remember thinking this is an author who has put his all into this book. Now as we know judging a book by it’s cover can come and bite us in the backsides but in this case I’m glad I did!
This is a strongly written epic fantasy novel, it has a tight structure and the story flows. The world building is cleverly developed through the characters point of view, what they see and experience, although a more unusual way to tackle this it works well and nothing is lost in translation and the despair and desperation of the enslaved areas of the world come through well while the free areas come through as strong and able.
The characters as vast and interesting, although some of them are a little predictable, with Morlen our main character being the orphan who discovers he has a greater destiny (this is the third book I’ve read this month with the orphan trope), however that said the characters are all (Morlen included), very easy to connect to or dislike for the evil ones and get invested in the journey they are on.
There are a couple of in-air battles and they are epic, very well written and you really feel as though you are in the air experiencing the fighting. I commend Murray for getting these written so well as I can’t imagine finding the right words to write several pages of air based battle was easy. Taking those battles to the ground and making the sword based would have been far easier.
The novel has a strong story, and is easy to read, written in more casual American English than the more traditional and formal British English we expect from fantasy novels this makes this feel like a slightly lighter read and possibly one that would suit people new to the genre as well as those more familiar with it. It’s also much shorter than most epic fantasy novels coming in at less than 300 pages so is definitely a quick read, making a nice change from some of the heavier books us fantasy readers tend to pick up!
Overall, A Facet for the Gem is a novel which has it all magic, dragons, flying chariots in the form of eagles, knights, battling kings, a reluctant hero, and the evil destroyer.
I will definitely be picking up the second book once it’s available, this is an outstanding read and I recommend it to all epic fantasy fans!
Book & Buy Links
Title: A Facet for the Gem
Series: The Tale of Eaglefriend #1
Author: C.L. Murray
Genre: Fantasy | Epic Fantasy | Dragons | Magic | Sword & Sorcery
Publication Date: 25 February 2016
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback | Audio
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US