4 out of 4 stars
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Are you a dark fantasy enthusiast? Do you love the battles between good and evil? If so, then this award-winning 586-page novel by debut novelist and martial arts master, Vijay Lakshman, titled Mythborn: Rise of the Adepts is just perfect for you. It is characterized by an intensely magical world of demons, dragons, battle scenes, conflict, and a life-changing journey of two key characters.
The book is set in the fictional world of Edyn, where it starts slowly by establishing the lives of the adepts, who are synonymous with monks in their disciplined lifestyle. They have a strong allegiance to a life-sustaining discipline known as "The Way." By the decree of Mikal Galadine, those with magical talent are hunted down and killed simply because of their powers, and as a result have gone into hiding.
However, when one of the gates to the Aeris opens again, and history threatens to repeat itself through Lilyth (a demon), the Meridian Isle Council is ruthlessly determined to act. Their one true hope is an apprentice named Arek Winterthorn, who has a remarkable ability to repel and nullify magic. Although Arek does not understand his gift as he is frequently frustrated by it, the council agrees that Arek is the most dominant hope of Edyn. As the story unfolds, Arek and his master (Silbane Petracles) embark on a journey filled with twists and turns, violence, and intrigue. Will they be successful? Is Arek bred for good or evil? Read up to find out.
I must commend Vijay Lakshman for creating an exciting and incredible epic, where supernatural beings threaten a world that is determined to protect themselves and repel evil forces. Characterization is in-depth and intriguing, nestled within a plot composed of unexpected turns, diverse elements, fast action sequences, and relentless battles. The author achieved a deeply plot-driven storyline that he pairs skillfully with compelling and unforgettable characters, who are multifaceted but powerful enough to make readers invest in them. While this is not a rarity, it is not an easy feat to achieve. Therefore, this motivates me to award this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Another appreciative element of this book is the realistic dialogue that brings the characters' true colors to the fore. One of my favorite scenes is the brainstorming scene with the council. I loved the dialogue and arguments between the council. Divisions and diverse opinions characterized it, but it cemented Thera as my favorite character in the novel. She is bright, beautiful, intelligent, and reasonable. She can fend off blazing fires of conflict with her ability to reason well. Thera is an exemplary woman. Another character I came to love is Ash Rillaran, for his strength of character, brains, and bravery.
Besides an excellent premise, the writing style is top-notch, impressive, and extremely vivid. The writer's extensive knowledge of martial arts skills is displayed in all battle scenes, and this is pivotal for readers who do not understand much about martial arts. Also, I liked the militaristic approach of guiding the reader by posting a relevant quote about combat at the beginning of each chapter.
The multiple points of view in the novel became confusing because of all the distinctive places, cultures, and people. I believe the author should have stuck to one narrative style. However, I still believe Mythborn: Rise of the Adepts is a splendid debut by Vijay Lakshman.
In conclusion, the book is professionally edited because I found only one grammatical error that did not hinder my reading experience. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves enthralling and fascinating fictional tales. Also, I believe dark fantasy enthusiasts, fans of military history, and martial arts would thoroughly enjoy this lengthy but entertaining tale. It is a fascinating page-turner that would leave readers clamoring and craving for more. Kindly note that this book is the first installation of the Mythborn series.
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