Reviewed: June 1st, 2022
Released: January 13th, 2021
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery
The end of centuries of war is looming.
Ilyas of Vine, War Leader of the armies of the Mad Queen Maevian Oriset, is sent off once again to hunt the deadliest foe he has ever faced: Willow of Herb. Tired of the fighting, but with too much on the line, Ilyas knows that this will be their last fight. This time, failure is not an option. This time, he will kill that damn monster, or die trying.
Willow of Herb has fought against Vine all of his life. Ever since the day the Mad Queen’s forces killed his parents, he has revealed in the bloodshed of war. As the only one with a hope of matching Maevian’s power, it is up to him to find a way to put an end to her reign of terror. Only one thing stands in his way: Ilyas.
In a war where neither side is truly good or evil, and shades of grey run rampant, who will be triumphant when these two forces meet again for the final time?
Helen’s thoughts: 5/5
Enjoyable short story set in the world of the Nine lands of the Mountain Fells. I have already read A Bond of Thread which I think helps as I already have an introduction to the world and the magic system. This story being so short, the authors are limited in the amount of world building they can do.
Having said that, this is a peek into an age old enmity between two warriors who are tired of the pointless fighting, and the continued slaughter just because a mad Queen forces them to. The sad thing is that you can see Illyas and Willow would have been friends if not for the war and this brief truce cements the wary respect they have for each other.
I already love Illyas, he is such a sympathetic character. Deep down he is a loyal and honest warrior, corrupted by years of abuse he has received from the mad Queen. He has just about given up hope of any peace, for himself or the people.
Willow of Herb is a relatively new character, though he seems just as haunted and wounded by the battles he has fought. The characters are definitely engaging and you want to know more. I only wish the story was longer – this is far too short! Thankfully the authors have written more in this world and there is more to come!
This is a wonderful series, and you should definitely read this 2 hour read (if that!) and the full length novel A Bond of Thread.
About the author:
Allegra grew up in a small village in northern Tuscany as the daughter of two artists. She was raised on the works of J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Phillip Pullman, Frank Herbert, and many others, all read aloud to her while she drew and played make-believe. She began to write at the age of eight and hasn’t stopped since.
After many moves and dozens of countries visited, she now lives in a cozy cottage in Western PA. She is accompanied in her current adventures by husband Job, co-conspirator and long-time writing partner Tobias, and a small army of furry and scaly pets. When not writing or daydreaming, Allegra rules her kitchen with an iron fist and feeds everyone who walks through her door. She also gardens, dabbles in various art forms, and spins stories for her tabletop gaming group.
As a disabled woman and staunch LGBTQ ally, Allegra hopes to write engaging, diverse, and representative Fantasy and Science Fiction, where people who do not often see themselves center stage get the chance to shine.
Her debut book, Where Shadows Lie, will hit shelves and e-book readers March 19th, 2020. It is the first book of The Last Gift saga, and the first title of Project Ao, by Ao Collective Publishing. The second series of Project Ao, NACL, will launch later this year with NACL: Eye of the Storm.
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If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.