Well here it is, my friends, my very first posting of a Book Review to my beloved blog, just in time for the soon to be upcoming release of the next installment of the Legends of Windemere Series.Today I am going to post my review of the first book in the Series:
Legends of Windemere – Beginning of a Hero by Charles E. Yallowitz.
TOTAL STARS: FOUR STARS ****
I read this book last summer and loved it. This review is long overdue.
Luke Callindor is a young forest tracker who comes from a long line of honored warriors. He leaves his home at 17, with his trusted dog and companion, Stiletto, to make a name for himself based on his own merits. In his travels, he walks into a zombie attack of a Paladin guarding the Hamilton Military Academy and another man, who happens to be the messenger of Duke Solomon. Luke kills the evil, undead monsters but the Paladin was killed in the attack. The messenger tells Luke that he is now in need of a protector to the heir of the throne, who happens to be a student at the Academy, because their life has been threatened. Luke, of course, wants this ‘challenge’. Once he hears Luke’s last name, the messenger is extremely hopeful.
Luke, being young, naïve and rather boastful, exaggerates his fighting skills, prowess and victories. Once the messenger hears of Luke’s battles, he magically transports a message to the Duke and papers appears. After approval from the Duke, the messenger gives Luke responsibility of protecting the Duke’s heir and he is sent undercover as a student at the Academy, run by a retired, tough-as-nails mercenary named Selenia Hamilton. The problem is, Luke has absolutely no idea who the heir is, since the paperwork was lost in the battle with the Paladin, and needs to find him or her in time to keep the unimaginable from happening.
While at the Academy, Luke befriends and bonds with a few other colorful characters. There’s halfling thief Nimby, who’s a woodworking whiz; flirtatious, yet disaster prone gnome Fritz Warrenberg; half-elf, priest of Durag- the Sun God, Aedyn Karwyn, and adorable, apple-loving drite, Fizzle. This fantasy has everything imaginable, from fairies and pixies, gods and goddesses, elves and gnomes, demons and Liches, and then some!
The plot is strong and the author has the characters fleshed out well. The story is told in the present tense, which may throw some people off for a bit. I believe most readers will get used to the tense after reading the book for a while because it’s the author’s ability to draw you in and make you feel as though you’re with the characters, where ever they are, and that’s what makes this book so special.
The story flows steadily for the most part; though a few minor episodes where the story moves a little slow, but the pace picks up again in short order. I have the e-book version and the formatting was very well done. I felt the characters had substance, although I do wish Stiletto’s circumstance would’ve been different and had a larger role. By and far, my favorite character in this novel is the drite, Fizzle. I’m impressed the author includes strong, brave female characters in the story, giving young girls positive role models. This is a wonderful first book for the Series. I look forward to the upcoming installment.
I love fantasy. Period. I highly recommend this as a Young Adult Fantasy read. (even though technically I don’t quite qualify as a YA reader, more like an AARP reader).
FOUR STARS OUT OF FIVE STARS 4/5 Stars