Today it’s the Book Birthday Blitz for Warbringer by Aaron Hodges.
Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and explore the world. During his travels he picked up an old draft of a novel he once wrote in High School (titled The Sword of Light) and began to rewrite the story. Six months later he published his first novel, Stormwielder, and hasn’t looked back since.
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About the book
Centuries ago, the world fell. From the ashes rose a terrible new species—the Tangata. Now they wage war against the kingdoms of man. And humanity is losing.
Recruited straight from his academy, twenty-year-old Lukys hopes the frontier will make a soldier out of him. But Tangata are massing in the south, and the allied armies are desperate. They will do anything to halt the enemy advance—including sending untrained men and women into battle. Determined to survive, Lukys seeks aid from the only man who seems to care: Romaine, the last warrior of an extinct kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Queen’s Archivist leads an expedition deep beneath the earth. She seeks to uncover the secrets of the Gods. Their magic has been lost to the ages, yet artifacts remain, objects of power that could turn the tide of the war. But salvation is not all that waits beneath the surface. Something else slumbers in the darkness. Something old. Something evil.
I enjoyed the idea of the fall of man being caused by greed, the need for endless power and a general lack of control. Isn’t that a story as old as time? Then that greed separates man from beast, which changes the landscape of the world this story is set in.
Romaine is a warrior who knows he can show no mercy to the ruthless beasts that are slowly taking over the world he once knew. He rescues a woman from the Tangata, which leads him to becoming the only chance a bunch of fresh meat recruits, including Lukys, have against the vicious forces of evil coming their way. The three of them reluctantly connect with someone called the Archivist – a person determined to mine the past for treasures which will lead to the destruction of her enemies, but who are her enemies really?
I like a good cliffhanger, especially when the last few chapters sort of challenge the entirety of the story and the way we as readers have come to perceive the characters. Let’s throw a nice little existential grenade into the midst of it all and leave them hanging with the possible repercussions. Question everything, perception and frame of reference are everything. In a way it’s quite clever how the author maintains a certain status quo throughout the read and yet the last chapter made me go right back to the beginning to reassess the story with this new information in mind.
Hodges needs to tighten the reins a wee bit when it comes to the plot. Less procrastination on sub-plots such as the training – more depth when it comes to the world-building and characters.
Aside from that it’s an intriguing premise that combines fantasy, in a parallel dystopian world kind of way, with mythology and the supernatural. I wouldn’t mind wandering in his creative worlds again.
Buy Warbringer (Descendants of the Fall Book 1) on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.