The Martyr’s Blade
Trolls and wights and wizards—oh my! Galant knights, tortured Templars, beautiful conjurers, and a wicked warrior named Wyn, make The Martyr’s Blade interesting reading, indeed. This 600-page tome is thick, but oh so deliciously worth it!
There is evil in the realm. No one knows exactly the source or how the evil has been awakened after almost a thousand years after its vanquishing. Magically buried deep within the Black Grave, the dark magic of the Crunorix and the twisted secrets of its evil were buried before the rise of any of the current kingdoms. No one knows the real extent of the evil within the Black Grave or how it was contained… but now it is leaking out. The Martyr’s Blade follows a small band of warriors as they work against time and an unknown enemy to unravel the mysterious ancient evil of the fuil crunor, rituals of death and destruction. The road is fraught with unnamed dangers, forgotten enchantments, and treachery. The few called to the cause must brave monsters, external and internal to find the source of this black sorcery and uncover the plan before all is lost to the emptiness.
If this sounds super dramatic, dark and fantastic, that’s because it is. This is fantasy fiction you can sink your teeth into. The book is thick, but it reads like a movie with a swift, action-packed pace that takes you from the highest heights of the mountains to the deepest depths of the catacombs, presenting danger and mayhem at every turn. Well not every turn—that would be boring, and this is anything but.
Author Joel Manners creates an amazing world here, vivid and believable, based in our reality but just different enough to tease and excite the senses. He serves up a full sensory experience, providing detailed scenery, sounds and smells to bring us right into his magical realm. He populates this world with diverse people who look and sound different; and he uses this diversity to great effect, providing heroes and heroines that make and break the molds. Just when you think you have the story figured out, Manners throws in a twist that makes you think about what you know and wonder about what you still don’t. Never showing his full hand, Manners keeps you invested through the last page and anticipating the next installment of the Martyr’s series.
I enjoy fair warning so I’ll give fair warning. Do not expect closure or answers by the end of this volume. You will find none. This is only the beginning of a still epic tale to follow. Manners sets up here, dangling the carrot (several in fact), gaining your investment in the characters—dashing your hopes only to rebuild them anew. Beyond that, I’ll give nothing away. This is a book I want to hand to everyone I love and say, “Here, read this. Don’t ask me any questions. Just do it.” So… here, read this. Don’t ask any more questions. Just do it! If you are a fantasy/sci-fi lover with a healthy love of adventure and romance of the best kind, you will not regret this investment. Now, if we could just get Manners to hurry up with Book 2, No Coward Path…
February 18th 2016