"In the distance, a dragon sprouted up from behind one of the mountains. Kitara and were-wolves marched side by side. He couldn't stop this."

The first volume in Ashanti’s series introduces the readers to the many characters and creatures inhabiting the Kingdom of Rathhild. Weakened from years of a bloody war, the kingdom now faces a new threat: an evil sorcerer, Raul. Jay, considered by some to be a demon because of his glowing red eye, attempts to hunt down and kill Raul in distant lands before he can cause too much damage. However, by the time Jay finds Raul, it is too late. Raul has an army with dragons, were-wolves, Walkers, and mind-controlled vampires to attack Rathhild. Forming an unlikely alliance with his estranged brother, Levi, and Bryce, the vampire lord, Lawrence must rally his outnumbered forces and defend against the onslaught.

Ashanti’s high fantasy is bursting with magic, horrific creatures, and heroes. Although a slim volume, the book quickly picks up pace and charges rapidly forward to its conclusion. There are times the events, characters, and locations change so quickly that some readers may feel occasionally lost, but it isn’t too difficult to get back on track. Although there are a few grammatical errors, the text itself is easy to follow and mostly consists of short, active sentences. Many fantasy readers may want to know more of the backstory of the characters involved since there is a lot of lore left unexplained. However, readers who enjoy a fantasy setting but are not daunted by the sheer size and commitment necessary to read Tolkien or George R.R. Martin may find this series especially appealing. The pace and size of this book will likely attract younger, beginning readers of high fantasy who want to enjoy a quick outing in a faraway realm.

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