Title : Road of a Warrior: The Silvan Book II
Author : R.K. Lander
Genre : Epic Fantasy / Military fantasy
This sweeping tale of love, heritage, honor, and intrigue continues the saga of Fel’annár, a young warrior elf of mixed blood who dreams of being a captain in an army where only pure Alpines rule.
Despite his outward appearance, Fel’annár deeply identifies with the colonized Silvans, his mother’s people, and so he cautiously accompanies his troop to the land of Tar’eastór—the land of his unknown, absent father. The young warrior must also contend with his unfolding power—part ability, part magic, it seems—which threatens to make him a pariah, keeping him from his dream before he even has a chance.
Meanwhile, Lainon, the dark-skinned veteran elf who helped Fel’annár on his first patrol is faced with the difficult task of revealing the boy’s heritage to him without exposing him to the criticism, censor, or political machinations of those around him. Where they are going, Fel’annár’s face will be recognized, so there is no hope of secrecy, only in telling him kindly and hoping he learns to understand.
But the journey over the mountains soon becomes a thing of peril as winter weather sets in and the warriors find themselves ambushed by a host of Mountain Deviants. Fel’annár and his friends and fellow warriors must set aside their pasts and face their prejudices if they ever hope to reach Tar’eastór alive.
In the tradition of epic fantasy, this story is told on a grand scale. One follows not only the unfolding tale of Fel’annár but other perspectives, from his aunt to royalty on both sides of the mountains. Cunning villains have their place, naturally, but they don’t take center stage in this volume as the author slowly leads one further into the intricate world of the story. Still, this isn’t a slow book. There are more than enough present dangers to face, even if the major villains only appear in portions.
The narration is almost poetic at times as it soars above the action and emotions of the characters to explain the world and how it is changing. It’s the kind of fantasy readers will get lost in, a world rich in depth and believability. The cast is large and the names can be similar, but this seems to underscore the world-building, depicting an age where the meaning of a name mattered more than being distinct or “different.”
There is humor and pathos, gore and delight, and even romance—not in a coming-of-age way but a seasoned romance rich in history and diversity, unique for a fantasy story of elves and their troubles. The pacing is steady but sure, though some readers may find it a little slow if they’re looking for action and adventure on every page.
Readers who enjoy a thoughtful adventure story, where the real day-to-day concerns of acceptance, family, diversity, and prejudice play out, will enjoy this story. It carries one off to a world of magic where political concerns, developing mystical powers, and rich characterization underscore a classic struggle of good against evil.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Editorial Review written by the Book Review Directory Production Team. To receive a similarly honest, professional review for one of your own books, click here.