What the book is about:
Reapers of Souls and Magic is book 1 of an epic fantasy series.
The story opens introducing Tetra, an Elfaheen created by The Gods who then creates other races. She is one of a number of Elfaheen and the first chapters introduce the history of the world before diving into the present day story.
The main thrust of the story is the introduction of three outworlders to the Rohrlands; Dmitri, a Russian pilot and Laz and Ollie, two American pilots. The introduction of these three to the Rohrlands sets a series of events into motion that will either end all realms or not.
Tetra is forced to leave her Elfaheen sisters for the first time in her entire life to embark on a quest alongside now immortal Lavalor, one of her Elfaheen brothers, whose intent is to destroy the outworlders and bring about Im’Shallene, the end of all things. He works to entangle himself into Tetra’s mind and force her to do his will, but she is not what he expected her to be.
As Tetra learns about the world she helped create, the three pilots are forced to accept the fact that they’ve landed on another planet and everything they think they know is gone. They each struggle in their own ways to accept magic as the law of the world instead of technology and work to adapt to their new world.
Throughout the book, we are introduced to dwarves, elves, shelflings, a talking bear, mercenaries, dragons, mages, demons, and a host of other characters that we’d either like to take home with us or punch in the face. The various starting storylines are woven together brilliantly, with plenty of interesting subplots and sidelines, magic, death, deception, and the strength of friendship and the bonds of brotherhood forged through trials and hardships.
What I liked:
- The cast – There are so many characters in this story but each has a specific purpose, none are wasted. The use of familiar fantasy races makes it easier to keep track of the various characters, but each has their own unique spin.
- The storyline – The creativity in this story is incredible – I caught new connections my second time through that I missed the first time, and I’m sure if I were to read it a third time, I’d catch even more. Even though the story is so complex, it is easy to follow and keep the major events straight in your head.
- The creativity – I found myself continually surprised by the creativity in the book and the unique usage of traditional characters and the direction of the plot line.
What I didn’t like:
- At times, the plot was dragged down by interesting, but ultimately unnecessary details. While they help to build up the world and our understanding of it, the details aren’t important enough to keep in our minds and they don’t come up anywhere else in the book.
- There is a bit of word bloat in the book that could have been corrected with a bit more intensive editing to weed out some of the unnecessary words.
Overall thoughts and opinions:
Overall, I enjoyed the book. There were spots that I really had to push through to get to the other side, but once I got to the other side, I was drawn right back into the story. The imagery is great and the descriptions of various characters, particularly the demons (you’ll just have to read it to see!). There are other moments of pure descriptive magic, such as a sunset that I can still picture in my mind, and the description of the Guarded Isles – creative brilliance.
I continue to be so impressed by the creativity in this book and, despite some of the writing/editing weaknesses, I want to know more. I want to know what happens to Tetra and the outworlders and the rest of the characters. There are so many options for more stories and as the writing develops even further, I see so much promise for this saga in ALL its iterations.
Pulling together all the positives and negatives for the book, I give it four stars.