Cobble City
by Todd Monger

"Boar is screaming mad; he orders five of his men in front to take the prisoner down."

If you’ve got a hankering for blood and mayhem mixed with dragons, sorcery, and beautiful women, this quick, high fantasy read that is reminiscent of Conan the Barbarian might just satisfy your craving. The story follows four companions, and the allies they acquire, as they embark on a mission to stop barbarians from ransacking and destroying their homeland. Unfortunately, accomplishing that goal won't be that simple. At the center of the barbarian horde’s murderous ventures is a sorceress hell-bent on finding the perfect home. Her whims go unchallenged, and her powers are unmatched, except by one.

Monger blends classic fantasy settings with engaging characters and a plot twist that ends the story on a cliffhanger. Unlike some traditional fantasy, the author’s story is told from opposing points of view—from both the heroes and the villain. All of them have their own goals. There are the heroes who are desperate to stop an evil sorceress from destroying every village and town in her path. Then there is the sorceress, who despises men, yet ironically leads a horde of murderous men in order to find the perfect home. While the reader will cheer on the heroes, at times even the sorceress evokes sympathy. She feels restless and out of place as she experiences her own emotions for Mount, one of the heroes. The interchangeable use of the past and present tense occasionally impedes the effectiveness of the narrative. Nonetheless, the journey of Mount, Marc, Jax, and Hem is filled with enough action and danger that the reader will be saying “just one more chapter” until the early hours of the morning.

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