Paperback, 541 Pages
Adult/ Epic Fantasy
By: Ryan Cahill
“We must never dim our light so that others may shine.”
I was a judge of last year’s SPFBO competition and I expected this book to be one of the finalist’s from all the rave reviews I had seen back then but to my surprise (and many other reviewers) it wasn’t. It won the 2021 stabby award for best self-published book though which is awesome. Even before reading this one, Cahill was really becoming an inspiration for me because he decided to pursue writing as a full job and it paid off and I am even more impressed after finishing the book. (He’s a white chocolate fan too so that’s always a bonus)
I did not know what order to start the series with but after talking to the author I decided to go with the publishing order and I think it worked perfectly well for me. At its heart the story is classic fantasy as good as it can be. There are all the usual elements with warriors, dragons, elves, dwarves and even wolves.
The story gave me vibes of many stories that I have read/ watched before such as The wheel of time (specially the beginning) and GOT (The Dragons and eggs) and LOTR and I have seen that many readers felt the same as I did and for the most part it was not really a problem because the story stands by itself and Cahill has his own writing style so it just felt like inspiration and never like plagiarism. I have seen a few people calling it Eragon for adults but I never read/ watched that series so I don’t know.
The writing just flows perfectly well and although it’s a 541 pages book I finished it in three days and I wanted more. It is not something that I usually mention but since it is a self published book I think it is worth mentioning that it had a high quality of production. There are also a few illustrations in the book (Done by the author’s brother) that made it even better.
What’s great about the story is that it holds your attention from the start. It has been a while since a story got me so invested and following the map and I did this effortlessly thanks to the author. I really cared about the characters and I loved the pacing of the story and I wholeheartedly believe it will become better in the next books (Already confirmed by everyone who read them).
Summary: Cahill is one of the newest yet most promising authors of the genre. I loved everything about this book from the outside and the production quality to the inside including the story line, characters and prose. I will be reading the rest of the series for sure.