Category Archives: Fantasy

A World without Compromise by David Brown


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A World without Compromise

by David Brown

I was seventeen and studying at college when I first came up with the idea of Elenchera. The previous year I had discovered the RPG series, Final Fantasy, on the Playstation and I found the games to be remarkable. They blended sci-fi elements into richly adorned fantasy worlds, they had compelling characters both good and bad, epic storylines and they offered a memorable visceral experience as well, though that was the least important factor to me. I didn’t realise at the time that these games would change my life.

Final Fantasy allows the user to summon gods to aid their characters in battle and it was from this array of deities that I first discovered Odin. I assumed most of the gods in the game were invented but some were familiar from religious education at school so I delved deeper. I found that not only was Odin an actual god, he was the principal deity of Norse  mythology, the faith embraced by the Vikings who launched relentless raids throughout Europe beginning in the late 8th century and only coming to an end around the 11th century. In that time the Vikings, led by Leif Ericsson, discovered America in 1100 AD, not Christopher Columbus as many may believe.

I began to read the mythology in-depth as well as branching out and reading the Sagas of the Icelanders, narratives from the descendants of Vikings, which told tales of their harsh lives and the many battles fought. Norse mythology is not colourful and romantic like the Greek stories or romance at court as you find in the Arthurian myths. The Norse tales are often gritty and the story of Ragnarok, where the world ends leads to a cataclysmic battle between good and evil where Odin is killed at the very start! I was drawn to Norse mythology because it had this uncompromising nature about it. Yes, there is great beauty amongst the gods, such as Freyja, but in essence this is a harsh world and I wanted that for my own work. It would mirror our own world which I don’t need to tell you is a difficult place to survive for far too many of us.

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Review of A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #01) by Kresley Cole


A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #01)A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Let me start off by saying that this is the first paranormal and the first paranormal romance book I have read, so my review is going to be shaded by that. You can think of this as a guy’s first impression of the PNR world. Also, the reason I am reading this book is because a dear friend recommended it to me to start researching the world of paranormal creatures. With that out of the way, let’s get to the review.

A Hunger Like No Other has two characters I disliked a lot right from the start. Lachlain is the epitome of an alpha male, who thinks he is a gift to the world and women in particular. He is a Lykae (werewolf) leader who has been imprisoned in hellish conditions for 150 years by vampires, and escapes from there when he scents his true mate. Also, he is over 1,200 years old, just keep this in mind. I actually liked how the author described the pain and anguish that Lachlain had to face while being held there. What I did not understand was why he did not attempt to get out sooner, if he was in such pain that the only thing keeping him sane was thought of revenge. I think revenge is a huge motivator, which should have given him the incentive to break out. But … moving on.

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Review of The Five Elements (The Alchemancer, #1) by Scott Marlowe


The Five ElementsThe Five Elements by Scott Marlowe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Shanna and Aaron are best friends who like nothing more than being in each other’s company. The relationship between the two was wonderful to read about. They seemed to be at ease when they were with each other and relied on each other completely. There was no competition to outdo each other, nor was there a feeling of superiority in Aaron, even though he knew so much more than Shanna and was a sorcerer’s apprentice. Their carefree life is soon turned upside down when an elemental attack on their home leaves it devastated and throws them on two separate paths, with both running away from the attackers.

The mystery of why the city is attacked, by whom, and what they are after is closely guarded by the author until much later in the story. The attack on the city has been perfectly choreographed by the author. The devastation was portrayed in such a stark manner that I could feel it happening. Each part of it is clearly thought out and it sets off, both Shanna and Aaron on their separate quests. This is also a moment in which both characters get developed immensely. The way in which they escape, the things they do to help others in need and their reactions to the tragedy define how they will react to situations they will face later in the book. This part is what helped me understand the characters and their motivations at the end of the book, when the time comes to make the tough decisions.

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Mr Warvel’s Red Cloak – A short story from the Draykon World


The Red Cloak

‘Great game! I should never have given up glowball.’ Pitren Warvel, the picture of youthful health and exuberance, slapped his quieter friend on the back.

Edwae Geslin’s answering smile was weak. ‘You’re only saying that because we won.’

‘That doesn’t hurt,’ Tren agreed with untouched cheer. ‘That’s your doing, of course. You were always the best at the Academy.’

‘Not at all,’ Ed demurred. Tren shook his head, smiling, but he didn’t argue. Ed was shorter then he was, his frame slight and not at all robust. Self-effacing by nature, he was inclined to interpret these physical characteristics as grave flaws; but glowball favoured those with agility, dexterity and strong sorcerous talent as much as those with brute strength, and in these areas Edwae excelled.

‘Come on,’ said Tren. ‘I’ve just got time to catch a bit of the next game, if we hurry.’

‘Oh? Someplace else to be?’ Ed followed as Tren made for the door, weaving his way through the untidy rows of glowball players still changing out of their games attire.

‘I’m on Cloak duty tonight,’ Tren said over his shoulder.

‘Oh? I thought it was Mern’s night?’

‘Had to go to the infirmary. I’m standing in for her.’ Stepping out into the air, Tren breathed deep. It was one of those crisp, fresh nights, invigoratingly clear. The moon, half full, hung low on the horizon. Tren took careful note of its position.

‘Nothing serious, I hope?’ Ed caught up again as Tren turned back towards the games fields. The sounds of the game carried far in the still air: a roar from the crowd followed by a burst of applause. Tren quickened his step.

‘She didn’t say,’ he replied with a shrug. ‘Didn’t seem troubled though.’

‘I’d have thought you would know.’ Ed cast him a meaningful glance.

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Review of Orlind (Draykon #3) by Charlotte E. English


Orlind (Draykon #3) by Charlotte E. English

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: If you have not read the previous two books in the series, this review is going to have some major spoilers for you.

Do you like it when a series ends perfectly? Is it not nice to know that everything that was left unanswered in the previous books is finally answered by the author and the loose ends are tied together is the most perfect of bows? Personally, I don’t like series which end with things not explained clearly, or where it is left to the readers’ imagination about what happened to the characters after the series ended.  If you like your series to finally end, and to end well, then this is the book. This is definitely the biggest reason why I am giving this book a five-star rating.

At the end of the last book in the series, we all knew that a war was coming, a war where the draykoni were going to try and lay claim to the world and fight the humans to regain control. Well, we are definitely not disappointed in that regard. The war forms one of the main story arcs in the book and it is a grand war, with everyone from humans to drakoni to the Lokants involved in it. In fact, the second big story arc in the book is about how the Lokants influence and meddle with everything that is going on. Of course, as expected Krays and Limbane end up on opposite sides of the war. I can’t tell you much more about the lokants’ influence on the whole situation without giving away the ending, but I’ll just tell you that there is a lot more going on than you can ever imagine. The war between Limbane and Krays is much more important than some petty rivalry.

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