Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review:'Bringer of Light,' An Epic Fantasy by J. R. Boles.
In Bringer of Light by J. R. Boles, we are introduced to a story of such proportions. The Kingdom of Arten has outlawed magic and has fought for generations against the dark sorcerer, Mercer. With his depth of ability he has surpassed the realm of aging and lives on through time. He has raised armies and fought against Arten in the past, only to be beaten back and unable to claim his prize. With magic in the Kingdom waning he is preparing for the perfect circumstance to once again attempt his claim. It is time to move forward for who can stop him now with magic hidden or gone forever from the kingdom.
His plan is diabolical, he will take King Wern through foul means, and then use his best student to subvert his mind through whatever means are needed. Yet Wern’s Queen Arin will do whatever it takes to get him back.
Her own elite guardians are up to the task and it is here that she pins her hope. Champion Lynden Trenadin is chosen as leader for her service has been fierce. Her training and battling at the borders has prepared her for some of what is to come, and she must defend the Queen with her life as they make their way for rescue. But that rescue is against magic and without their own mage; they are putting great risk on their abilities to bring home their King.
As battle goes against them, Lynden finds a power of light within that she had no inkling of, unleashing it in fury and saving most of those who have come to collect for their Queen. The King is saved but at what cost?
Now Lynden who has used forbidden magic must run for her life or be put to death for using a magic she was not even aware of. The danger for Arten is not over, and the Queen is in even more peril, for Mercer has completed his control of the King. The subversion is subtle but nonetheless lethal and the Queen and the entire nation are in danger. Lynden and her friends must raise their own army in rebellion as they race to rescue their Queen and home. Can she find a way to use her power to help save her Kingdom, and yet not forfeit her life?
This is a book of contradictions that all weave and tie into an extraordinary tale of mystery, magic, defiance and war. The characters are created with an eye to realism, for those who follow the dark or sneaky and relentless, and those who follow the light are Strong, open and dauntless. While magic is forbidden the Queen has become a likable character by turning her head as Lynden escapes, for while she cannot condone a forbidden magic, she is only alive because of it. There is also romance and beauty, along with treachery and anger, holding you enthralled in the Kingdom of Arten.
If you enjoy epic tales of magic and romance, battle and bravery you will find this work an amazing beginning to a series. The strands of contradictions are mysterious and you find yourself wanting to know more.