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Blood of The Hunted by Marc R. Micciola 

When humans are “the monsters,” it’s not safe for anyone or anything.

 Young Weylyn dedicated himself to improving the lot of the Tóráin: lycan, sprite, satyr, and others alike, and when he grew to manhood, he became the leader of the underground group of freedom fighters known as The Resistance. But as conditions steadily worsened, he and his advisors devised a plan to get expert assistance from a surprising source. The Queen of Tudrose, a country several days sail away, was known to be sympathetic to the plight of the Tóráin and, in recent years, had been actively changing the attitude toward and upgrading the circumstances of those races in her land. 

Weylyn and his cousin, Brina, made the long journey by ship to plead their cause to Queen Sophia, hoping for any help. Together they proposed that Tudrose would come to liberate the Tóráin in Fleuris and the surrounding countries in similar straits and replace the current tyrannical despots with leaders who would uplift the poor and oppressed of all races. However, Queen Sophia wasn’t about to wage war against her neighbors without some guarantee that her army would be assisting a fully-committed local resistance group and suffer as few losses as possible. Weylyn would have to prove that The Resistance was strong and actively working to undermine each country’s ability to defend itself. To do so, Weylyn, Brina, and their friends, Olwen and Keagan, would have to infiltrate each country, set up a new chapter of The Resistance with strong, local leadership, and quite possibly, take out the current ruler. Easier said than done when the humans in power have been entrenched there since the dawn of time, and all are heavily guarded and protected by magic. 

Blood of The Hunted has a riveting beginning, opening with a tortuous execution of a lycan. I was immediately invested in the plight of the Tóráin, and Weylyn and his companions, in particular. With its fast take-off, the pace was set for the rest of the book; the action was always ON. 

The story is dark and disturbing at times, not only for the cruelty of the ruling class but its allegorical underpinnings to the history and circumstances of our own societies’ class struggles. The author also presents the less used take on epic fantasy quests by establishing humankind as the villainous monsters while the “monsters,” the satyrs, sprites, lycans, etc., are the heroes.I really liked the four main characters: Weylyn, Rosalie, Olwen, and Keagan, though the latter two were my clear favorites. Each one is a unique and heroic individual. I enjoyed the changes in point-of-view as one or another took over the narration of the story. 

The author’s writing style made for easy and comfortable reading, with well-done dialogue a strength. I also liked the “just right” amount of foreign phrases sprinkled throughout and was delighted to see a Language Key included at the end of the book. However, coming in at almost 700 pages (according the Amazon listing), this book is a commitment, and at times, the author tended to over-describe (just got a little wordy). But don't be afraid, just be prepared. It is a long but worthy journey. (Think A Game of Thrones!)

A well-known bonus of this genre is fantastic world-building, and I was not disappointed. The world of Kosavros is awash in atmosphere, with different types of homes, bars, towns, waterways, and mountainous terrain all lending hands to create the whole. I’d also like to compliment the designer of the lovely chapter headings. I was reading an advance review copy, which typically do not include illustrations, so I don’t know if there will be a map in the finished edition, but it would be great if there were. 

This new dark epic fantasy is bursting at the seams with intrigue and action! I recommend BLOOD OF THE HUNTED to fantasy readers who enjoy robust epic tales of heroes and magic and aren’t afraid to venture into a darker story. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Goddess Fish Promotions Virtual Book Tours.

 

BLOOD OF THE HUNTED will be available December 15, 2022.

Genre: Fantasy; Publisher: Centaury Lilium Publishing; Publication Date: December 15, 2022; Page count: 699 pages; ASIN: B0BJ15XFH8

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