I recieved a copy of this book from the author exchange for an honest review. Just staring at the beautiful cover it screams classical fantasy with a noble knight. What the cover doesn’t show is that this book takes several dark turns at moments where you least expect it. Characters on both sides of the conflict will be heard and you may be surprised who you end up rooting for. A multi-POV story that shows the consequences of corruption and revenge. Lets take a deep dive.
Major Baltus Blackpool is a military officer in charge of the White Eagles and is marching back with his army to the capital city in Vorclaw. His beloved wife has passed away and he holds the politicians and sorcerors responsible for her demise. Revenge is on the forfront of Baltus mind and he will start his own cult in the underbelly of the city capital. This new cult, The Black Masks will have influence in all corners of Vorclaw and the plans they have in mind are not pretty.
Magnus Foehammer is the right hand of Baltus and comes across an orphand elf child named Leif in the wild. The origins of Leifs’ past are unknown but he is equiped with a magical necklace that gives him power and protects him from harm. Magnus becomes the father figure Leif never had and takes him under his wing. Leif grows up with Magnus and Baltus children to join the army and become rightous defenders of Vorclaw, but the worst is yet to come.
You will see very early on the worldbuilding and character moments start to progress on a slow but steady pace. There are several different moving parts happening at the same time creating tension and mystery around every corner. Even the so called “enemy” in this book, the arch goblins trying to regain their lands from the humans get there page time and we learn about the inner politics and alliances of the enemy. Especially the Queen of the arch goblins who is more than what she seems. Although a relatively short book, Vorclaw packs multiple punches and an ended which is screming for a sequel to come sooner rather than later.
This is the type of story which can take the classical fantasy genre and introduce it to the modern reader. Vorclaw is far from perfect but the bones are there for this to be a very good series. Leif turns out to be my favorite character of the bunch but there are several others to choose from. I’m looking forward to continuing with the next book.