Blankenship fills his expensive sword-and-sorcery series opener with intrigue, mystery, courageous heroes, and intimidating villains. Nerin Delvori dreams of united talvuo people, a humanoid alien race, under his proud talvuo lineage. With the help of an ancient, trapped evil, Nerin’s dream can come true, but the infamous humanoid monster Virage has the power to destroy Nerin’s plan. When Virage is suddenly found, severely injured and comatose, Nerin plans to kill him and secure his victory. With nothing else but haunted dreams and muddled memories to go, Virage must reconstruct his past and face the malevolent enemy. The large cast becomes overwhelming at times and the complex backstories of various characters take time to untangle, but Blankenship’s expert grip on plotting and his ear for dialogue make sure the reader stays invested throughout. Blankenship’s futuristic humanoid alien world is as compelling as the ancient tribe of elvish Hyunisti talvuo that lingers deep within the giant trees and briar trails of the Lorinian Witchwood.
His knack for building characters with pathos and wit, his immersive dystopian world, and stellar prose draw readers along while building up the shocking final showdown. With its impressive blend of sci-fi and fantasy, this dark tale is sure to impress.