Reviewing Indie Authors One Book at a Time

Posts tagged ‘epic fantasy’

#Spotlight Tuesday – Shadowmage

Title: Shadowmage
Series: The Xenkur Chronicles Book 2
Author: DW Johnson
Genre: Fantasy Fiction

About the Book

Lacey Darkwater is dead to the world. She has been reborn as Mithavan’ara-Khan. The mages life is nothing more than death and pain. Abandoned by her family, shunned by her friends and hunted by an evil so absolute it cannot be measured. The world she travels is a bitter, blasted land of war. She now has nowhere to turn but inside herself. Caught in a struggle of power between what is and what was, Lacey must find the answers she needs without understanding the questions. Can the mage save her world? Is she able to harness the ultimate power? Will she help her friends or leave them dying in the dust?

About the Author

DW is an author and an artist. He has been creating paintings and photographs for over 40 years. He lives in Eastern Kansas with his daughter, a large epileptic dog, two cats, and a barnyard of chickens and ducks. Before he began writing Fantasy Fiction DW has worn many hats, from publishing an online photography magazine to running a no-kill animal sanctuary.

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The Book of Em: The Last Gatekeeper – Richard Brant

bookofemIn the fantasy style of Piers Anthony, Brant takes us to a place where the modern human world meets the world of faeries, dwarves, centaurs, and other mystical creatures, a place where time does not exist. For the world of Em, the Gatekeeper is a figure from prophecy and one of immense importance. For the young man destined to be the Gatekeeper, the duties and consequences of his destiny will change his life – in both beneficial and injurious ways.

Ben of the human world represents much that is wrong with the modern human world. He is depressed and withdrawn, symptoms of his constant physical and emotional abuse by the man who is neither his father nor his mother’s husband, but a man to which his mother attached to when he was a successful football player and she needed a place to raise her illegitimate child. Ben has no friends, nor does he seek friendship knowing it will only bring down a wrath upon him and his mother. He is protective and wishes to help someone, yet he is nearly helpless to do so being young and inexperienced.

Creole of Em is a half-human and half-faerie, the daughter of the previous human Gatekeeper, and the one destined to be the mate of the Last Gatekeeper. With an abrasively teenage personality, she is the opposite of Ben and opposes him at many turns throughout the book. From her, Ben learns the value of opening up to friendship.

4 Stars


The Lion of Rivers – Ike Quigley

In a time of prophecies and destinies, a young man leaves his apprenticeship as a blacksmith to follow a complete stranger to a new kingdom and a new life. He is young and naive in the ways of the wide world and finds himself drawn to a profession he never would have considered.LoR

The Lion of Rivers is an enchanting tale of lives crossed and loves lost. Dark and evil forces are rising up to take control almost unnoticed while a disgruntled lord mounts an army against his king, enlisting any man willing to become a soldier and manufacturing trouble to further his cause, all in the name of destiny.

Falcon, a messenger for Lord Ilford, finds Evan as an indentured servant with an abusive blacksmith. With minimal prompting, Falcon encourages the young man to live up to his potential, whatever that may be.

Evan leaves his home country for new adventures, not certain why or what will happen to him when he arrives. He is different from the residents of his new home, physically shorter and speaking with a strange accent. Hoping to enlist as a soldier, Evan discovers his aptitude for stealth, stamina, and flexibility. He is quickly recruited for the regiment of assassins and is sketched into Ilford’s overall plan of war.

Throughout this epic tale, the reader is offered glimpses of the outside forces that shape the world. Legends of the Book of Rivers float among the people, a book that speaks to the life path of each and every person to grace the world. Falcon seeks out this book to answer the agglomeration of questions mounting in the wake of destruction and murder. Not everyone is subject to predestination.

The Lion of Rivers is available on and

Welcome Hayden D. Linder – Guest Post

I’d like everyone to welcome Hayden D. Linder to the WBR today.  Hayden is the author of The Hand of Death, an epic fantasy set in a mythical land based upon the culture of feudal Japan. Let’s continue helping Indie Authors one book at a time!


Hi Folks,

I would like to thank Bee for the opportunity to address all of you. As an idea for this post Bee mentioned that my character building process might be an interesting topic. I loved the idea because that was one of my favorite parts of writing my story. For those of you who do not know this, the vast majority of you I’m sure, I am Hayden D. Linder and my debut novel The Hand of Death is an Epic Fantasy about ninjas and wizards. The cast of characters is rather extensive but I felt it was important to the story. The book is written in a journal format, and in life you don’t just stop interacting with certain people because you grew up. I also believe the cast adds to the submersion factor of the story. When you see characters reappear that you recognize from earlier chapters it’s much like seeing an old friend.

Which brings me to “Character Building!” or “Why characters do what they do.” If you have watched any television in the last 20 years then you know there are these shows with HIGH drama. Most of them have these moments where the character is offended about something another character did and all us idiots watching this drivel are screaming at the T.V. “He believed you were dead, you Idiot! That’s why he kissed her!” …So, anyway that would be the feelings you get from BAD character building. The writer isn’t looking into why or how his characters function. He just needs a scene to go a certain way and he will force it in that direction without any finesse. He is usually doing this because…HoDHL

GOOD “Character Building” takes time. You have to not just envision the conversation but delve into what’s motivating each person in the scene. What were they doing before this scene? How has this interaction changed them? All that takes time as writer and in Holly Wood they just aren’t always prepared to put that much time into it. YOU, however, had better if you want your character interactions to read as believable. I had to wear a character “Anaido” the merchant around for several hours. And he only shows up three times in the novel.

I can’t tell you what method will work best for you but I can tell you what I did and give you a starting point to experiment with. I hope that will save you a few rejection letters at least.:) For myself, I would come up with the general conversation and once I had it on paper I could maneuver it better. And yes, the first draft sucked. They always do. The important thing is to get that first draft written down. Once it is out of your head then you have something to work with. Anyway, I would read over the draft and play it back in my head several times and look for what else might be going on with the characters. There was something about playing the conversation on repeat in my head that made it easier to spot the unbelievable portions of the dialogue. Once I had those down it was much simpler to find what would be a believable comment or statement from the character.

One of the tricks that helped with my people coming across as believable was that I would skylark about them having conversations over mundane things; like when they were children playing together or having breakfast that morning. Things that I knew would never go into the book but helped me to have a three dimensional picture of the characters. My knowing that Daimyo Daiki did not enjoy puffer fish, not because it could be poisonous but because it had a metallic after taste to him, told me volumes about the man that I was able to draw upon for the novel. And yes. Reading it back to myself where an imaginary person I made up dislikes a delicacy favored throughout Japan because he claims, in – my – head, that it tastes bad, DOES sound crazy. But you know what!? You’ll buy the guy when you’re reading him!…

In all seriousness, this is the level of thought that you want to put into your characters. It is the difference between “great” and “dull.” If it is crazy, then be crazy.


Thank you all.


The Hand of Death

Epic Fantasy Fiction

About the Book:

In the mythical land of Giapan, most young boys dream of becoming brave samurai or great masters of magic, the Onmyoji, who can heal as well as engulf cities in flame with but a gesture. But not Shotoku Hiro. Hiro only wanted to see the city outside the walls of the castle.

To see what went on somewhere, anywhere other than the samurai district of Shiro Goemon. And once he worked up the courage to actually do that… no one could have guessed where it would take him.

The Hand of Death is a Fantasy novel set in a land not unlike feudal Japan. The story follows a young boy’s journey as the only son of a distinguished samurai who is pushed onto the path of Ninjutsu. A path that, in the golden land of Giapan, can lead to some very frightening places. And Giapan is nothing if not frightening.


Book’s page:


Twitter: @haydendlinder

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