4 out of 4 stars
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The Stranger’s Orphan, by Alex R. London, is the first book in The Armean Journals series. Set in Armea and Tagar, the story is told from the viewpoints of 6 different characters: Bianca, Anastasia, Lea, Emma, Edrik, and Persius.
Fueled by vengeance, Anastasia Daren decided to join the king’s army after learning about her brother’s death. Leaving behind Bianca, her best friend, she has no idea of what will await her once she reaches her destination. In the city of New Ortaga, Emma is used to the filth and stench that surrounds her. When her plan to steal from the Black Robes goes awry, she discovers a few shocking secrets about her past. Two soldiers, Persius and Edrik, have important roles in the Kingdom. Persius, the captain of the Academy’s guard, is faced with training the new recruits, while Edrik, the main protector of King Edgar, becomes bewitched by a sorceress with suspicious intentions. Meanwhile, the city of Sorranon, Lea’s home, has been engulfed by flames, spreading widespread alarm throughout Armea. While this causes people to fear that the dragons have risen up once more to destroy their world, not all is what it seems to be.
From the very start, the author’s detailed descriptions of the settings as well as the vivid interactions between the characters made the story easy to visualize. Every scene had a purpose, and each scene helped to move the plot along. I also like how the author included enough details in each scene to help me perceive the feelings of each character as they interacted with one another. I found the plot, which had various twist and turns, to be engaging and filled with adventure. There were also a few subplots that helped to add depth and revealed more of each character’s personality.
What I liked the most about this book was the characters and their growth throughout the story. I found most of the characters to be relatable, and all of the main characters were well-developed and dynamic. It was intriguing to read about how each character was important to the story. Since this is only the first book, I am dying to know how everything will turn out at the end.
While the story is told from the point of view of 6 different characters, I did not have a hard time keeping up with all of the characters. However, I did have a hard time keeping up with the names of the towns, since all the characters were from different areas, so I had to keep looking at the map of Armea and Tagar that the author included at the beginning of the book.
Overall, I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The descriptive world building, as well as the great character development, made this book a captivating read. There were a few grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, but they did not detract from the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read fantasy books centered around medieval-style settings and magic.
The Stranger's Orphan
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