Official Review: For Queen or Country by J.B. Markes

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Official Review: For Queen or Country by J.B. Markes

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[Following is the official review of "For Queen or Country" by J.B. Markes.]
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"For Queen or Country" is the first in a fantasy series that follows the character Marcus, a young squire to the Queen's champion, Sir Alexander Kenthal in the realm of Coranthia. Full of likable characters and a dynamic plot full of action and adventure, this book will appeal to any fantasy-lovers.

Marcus has spent most of his life training with Sir Alexander Kenthal, who has become a father figure to him. He hopes that he can become a knight one day and be something more than what he has been. The book opens with Queen Constance commissioning Sir Kenthal to defeat a sorcerer who has in the recent past, wiped out an entire region of people, but has not been seen or heard of in years. Casting magic, though not magical items, in the realm of Coranthia is a crime punishable by death. Despite the risks of the mission and potential unanswered questions, Sir Kenthal, the ever-loyal knight that he is, obeys.

Before their quest can begin, Sir Kenthal seeks advice from an old witch. As the woman is a witch, Sir Kenthal could labeled as a traitor by contacting her, however, years ago, the witch granted Sir Kenthal a magical sword that helped him become the legendary champion that he is. In this visit, the witch warns Sir Kenthal that this mission will be the end of him and proceeds to show an increasing interest in Marcus. Stubborn and loyal, Sir Kenthal brushes off the advice and is determined to complete the mission for his Queen.

Following Sir Kenthal into what appears to be a suicide mission, Marcus will unfold a secret about Sir Kenthal that could tear the realm apart. He learns the meaning of his own fate and destiny and questions his capabilities to overcome them.

This book lays the foundation for an intricate series. Marcus is just beginning to develop as a character and as man when this book closes. However, as a reader, some of these foundations didn’t work as well as they were intended. There are a few characters and scenes in this book that didn’t feel necessary to the main plot at the time or they just didn’t flow as well as they could have into the main story line. While not uncommon in fantasy series, I found that the structure in this novel created more of a jarring effect rather than a sense of anticipation or curiosity for the following book in the series.

With that said, the novel was still an enjoyable read. I loved Marcus and his young sense of curiosity as well as his devotion to Sir Kenthal. The fight scenes are intense and exciting, the main characters are eloquently depicted and the next book in the series looks promising! I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars!

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The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
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