Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring Calasade: Sanguinem Isle: Illustrated Fantasy by Mark Stone.
About the book: Getting the woman can return him the past. Saving the girl stolen could grant him a future. Choosing one will cost the other everything.
Caderyn Fortis has been many things—loyal husband, soldier, war veteran, public servant. Now he is a fallen nobilis and gambling addict, an alcoholic who never got over the murder of his wife. He has descended to his darkest place when an opportunity comes that can help him recover his self-worth and make up for the mistakes that cost him his wife. All he has to do is discover who kidnapped a young woman and where they took her, then rescue her. He must do this while not alienating his best suspect (his employer) or falling in love with the woman helping him.
My Review: This was an unexpected treat. I’ve often thought of a Mystery and Epic Fantasy mix, and this is the first one I’ve come across. The flow of the story is smooth and engaging as we’re moved along at a good pace. It was a cool experience in not only experiencing a new world, but also to see the process of detection Caderyn uses to locate the girl while battling his own demons.
The only issue I had, and this is more of getting used to a new story than not, was the different terms for various items, people, and acts. It was a little distracting at first, but once I got into the story it wasn’t a problem.
As for the characters, I thought they were well done. Each of them had a life of their own and brought something more to the story. Caderyn captured the tortured hero that’s a staple in Epic Fantasy and the old crime/mystery novels I loved to read as a kid. There were a couple of points I wanted to reach into the book and smack him upside the head, but the other characters tended to do that for me. lol
I am curious as to what happened during the time jump at the end to a few of them, but I won’t go into greater detail due to spoilers and a possible sequel (Hint hint. 🙂 ).
Overall, I really enjoyed this and look forward to more books in the series and other works by the author.