Author– Blake Arthur Peel
Title– Rangers Oath book one. Fall of Radiance
Publisher- independently published
Publication Date– Feb 25th 2020
Comments– I was given a free copy by @the_writereads and the author in exchange for an honest review. The baying of Hellhounds did not sway me one bit.
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The barrier between worlds is broken. Only he knows the truth…Magic has protected Tarsynium for a thousand years, shielding its people from being ravaged by bloodthirsty demons. When a young ranger’s apprentice named Owyn Lund discovers that the Arc of Radiance has been breached, he tries to warn anybody who will listen. But legends aren’t supposed to be real. When a village is mysteriously destroyed, rangers, mages, and rebels all point the finger, blaming each other for the demons’ brutality. However, Zara Dennel, a mage’s ward, has heard Owyn’s tale—and she’s inclined to believe him. Together, they must prove that friendship is greater than intolerance, unity is more important than division, and that even the most powerful magic can sometimes not be enough. Failure means the end of all things. A second—and lasting—Doom.
Two Apprentices at the top of their respective fields are about to collide in a way that will shatter the world.
Owyn Lund is the Ranger’s Apprentice, accomplished and dedicated. He is fast becoming a Ranger in his own right. Likewise, Zara Dennel is the star pupil of the Academy, and is given the high honour of assisting the Arch Mage in an assignment to the outer edges of their lands.
Whilst on a hunt, Owyn and his master discover a village decimated and ravaged by some unknown force; its population dead and desecrated.
As Owyn and the Ranger head back to civilisation Owyn is sure he sees a demon. Something that can’t possibly be. After the Demon Wars, decades ago, all demons were banished, never to be seen again.
Owyn’s theory makes him a laughing stock as no one believes him. Except Zara.
Brought from the acclaimed Mage Academy to be the Arch Mage’s assistant Zara thinks she’s on the fast track. In order to keep up, she buries herself in the huge tomes and archaic books to help her. So, when this Ranger’s apprentice describes a creature she has only read about in the ancient tomes, Zara believes him and braves the natural prejudices between their orders to search out the truth.
But that truth will be tested by old rivalries, new monsters and political intrigue that might spell the end for the world as they know it.
Ah fantasy, a way to deny the reality of life and pretend that everything is ok.
I got this book during the end of 2020 and it was a very nice escape to read about death and demons and Hellhounds rather than Trump and riots and Corona.
That sentence really does show you how bad 2020 was.
Anyway, I enjoyed Rangers Oath.
I find if I can explain the plot in under a paragraph then it’s a good story and not too overly complex. The story plot is simple but has enough meat to keep you sufficiently hooked. I enjoyed the world-building and the juxtaposition of the two classes of people: The Mages vs the Rangers.
The constant state of threat throughout kept the pace moving along smoothly and, although the demons and the murders were horrible, there wasn’t an emphasis on gore, allowing you to conjure up your own level of fear.
I loved the description of the demons and their various appearances and strengths. I’ve always been into monster mythology. I was part of the X Files generation after all. What’s life without a good Hellhound?
While the plot and the descriptions were brilliant I think the story was let down somewhat by the two main characters.
The book was divided into two first person narratives: Owyn and Zara.
Of the two points of view narration, I found Owyn’s easier to read and felt more nuanced than Zara.
Owyn was a decent character with a nice steady growth over the story. His relationship with his Master and their interactions felt real and engaging- although I would have liked some Bear Grylls explanations of Ranger tactics.
Zara, on the other hand, was irritating. She was extremely self-centred and spent an excessive amount of time navel-gazing. For a present first-person perspective there was WAY too much “she thought to herself,” or “she thought angrily,”.
It got really annoying.
I also found the Mages to be very overblown. They let an Initiate tell them what to do despite their high and mighty attitude and their belief in their own superiority. They also stayed away from the fighting rather than attempt to show the Rangers up. I suspect a streak of yellow here.
The magic system and its deficiencies were interesting to read about and, although I would have liked more detail about the talismans (talismen, talismii? I’m going to be thinking about this all day now.) and why they were needed to pull power, I found myself swept along by a well-told tale.