4 out of 4 stars
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Young Pall Warren is not your typical youth. Fittingly named after the sequences that led to his birth, he does not speak much and gets to his work without much ado. This silence and hermit-like nature make him someone an adversary will easily underestimate in battle. Contrary to his appearances, Pall hides an aspect of his nature. Raised by his father, the retired High Commander David Warren, and trained in the violent art of combat, he can best be described as a born soldier and a natural killer. Caught up in one of the battles for the honor of his king and country, Pall is separated from his fellow troops. In his bid to rejoin his allies, he must face off against a frightening new enemy. His life and the fate of his countrymen hang in the balance. Will he prevail?
The Penitent: Part 1 is one-half of the first installment of The Immortality Wars series. It is a fantasy-based, action-oriented novel reminiscent of the Dungeons and Dragons era. The story is told from multiple perspectives and gives a refreshingly rounded feel to the book. The action scenes and battle sequences evoke pure nostalgia on reading them. One can be forgiven for wanting to grab the nearest helmet to join in the fight. Despite all the blood and gore, there is an element of romance to it.
First among the things I like is that the villains are not your typical humdrum characters. They are intelligent and analytic. They are cunning enough to have one wondering how the protagonist is going to outsmart them. The second thing I like about the book is how the author fleshes out the main character's background story. The flashbacks interlace with incidents in the present day so smoothly. They answer any potential questions or confusion a reader may encounter in the book. The quality of the language used in the book is rich and diverse. Every conversation in the book is full of thought-provoking content, and the songs are a masterstroke. There is just so much to like about this story.
This book feels like a throwback to a forgotten era — the era of fantasy adventure books written with a role-playing game theme. It has such a varied array of mythical creatures that avid fantasy novel followers will fall in love with it. I daresay it can grow its fan base, starting with this piece.
A. Keith Carreiro has outdone himself with this book. The Penitent: Part 1 looks like the beginning of an exciting series in the offing. It's a definite 4 out of 4 stars for me. There's everything to like and nothing to dislike, and the editing was exceptional. I look forward to the follow-up books in the series.
The Penitent: Part 1
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