Book Review: Tower of the Arkein by Chase Blackwood

Publishing Date: May 2017

Publisher: Plenary

ISBN: 9781546559177

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.7/5

Publisher’s Description: Trapped as a slave, facing an impossible decision, Aeden must choose between his friends and his soul… The clock is ticking as the world descends into darkness. He’s been called the Scourge of Bodig, the Bane of Verold, but most know him as the Kan Savasci. He’s one of the most feared men alive. Chaos and war have followed him like an angry shadow. The one problem, as the world faces the wrath of forgotten gods, Kan Savasci is nowhere to be found.

Review: An incredibly fantastic journey of a young slave warrior struggling with his sense of self in a world of epic conflict.  Kind of has a ring to it, eh? I should write jingles for slimy Kirkus. Anyhoo, honor and guilt drive Aeden to avenge his murdered tribe, sacrificing many along the way to that goal. The world building is a grand canvas upon which the story line resides. The shifting religious/political and geographical landscape captures the imagination with a rich cultural history described through the eyes of the characters.

“So why you no give 5 stars!!”.  Aeden’s got this over-the-top infatuation with the Duchess of Bodig.  Page after page, chapter after chapter of love struck puppy panting verbosity. Yah, we get it, Aeden’s got a boner. Another act hard to swallow is Aeden’s age throughout his trials. He has all this vast training and experience as a warrior, killing 10 guards at a go at the age of 15/16? Prior to that he is a Thane warrior/monk/slave/guard and then academic student. Time compression magic? It is rather surprising that towards the end of a lengthy novel with much slashing and questing that he is only just turning 17.

Besides the love turd air drop for most of the novel and the constant backstory guilt coupled with self-recrimination, this was a fun read and well worth the time.

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