‘A review of Heir to the Sundered Crown, the first book in a fantasy series written by Matthew Olney. This book focuses on a world on the brink of anarchy as a massive power struggle consumes the land. With the royal family assassinated while they sleep, the only heir missing and presumed dead and the fractious barons fighting for the power to rule this land is in serious peril. Worse still, is that above the civil war, high in the mountains of the north, something old and powerful is awakening, something that could lay to waste the world of men. Men and women from all walks of life from across this world will be drawn together to try and combat this growing evil, but is it destiny drawing them together, or something far more sinister.
Why I like this book: One of the things I absolutely hate in fantasy, is when people fall into the Tolkien trap. Elves, Orcs and Goblins have become so prevalent that they frequently appear in fantasy novels for lack of any other enemies to include. So, I was overjoyed to find a ranger being chased in the woods, not by orcs or goblins, but by werewolves. Olney has gone in for Germanic and Scandinavian mythology heavily here, with werewolves, the undead, and even a lich. As if inclusion of some of my favourite folklore wasn’t enough I enjoyed the story thoroughly and felt sympathy for the main characters as they met obstacles at every turn and were always playing catch-up to the villains.
Why I like this author: Matthew Olney contacted me on LinkedIn and asked if I could review his book if he sent a review copy. I said yes straight away and tore through the book in a matter of days. The indie author reviews section, and submission section of the site, is something I want to expand and it made me really happy that someone came forward to ask for a review. Matthew was easy to work with, responding to questions and queries promptly and was very facilitating. You will find a link to his author site under the outgoing links on Eleven Media, and I hope to get a chance to work with him again in the future.
Favourite character: This slot has to go to Umbaroth. I won’t tell you much about him, but he’s one of my favourite characters, a gentle soul in a ferocious form. This is exemplified when he is playing with children in the desert, taking great care not to injure them with his claws. I haven’t read passed the first book but I really hope Umbaroth returns to the story in the future.
Why I think people should read this book: If you are after a medieval fantasy epic then you cannot go wrong choosing this book. The mythology is refreshing after a slew of orcs and goblins, the characters are a likeable bunch, and despite common fantasy tropes appearing they are used effectively by the author. The book has a lot of separate plots and points of view but each comes to a satisfying conclusion at the end of the book and none of them feel superfluous.’
Don’t forget that book 2 of the Sundered Crown Saga is available to buy now!