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Calasade: Sanguinem Isle: "Ancient Roman Fantasy - Regular Edition (Volume 2) Paperback – August 26, 2015
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I was transported to a new realm that borrows from history and folklore to create something entirely new. Stone's prose is exciting and well paced throughout the novel, moving readers through vivid action scenes, painful moments of desperation, and clever conversations where characters only reveal what's needed, never the whole truth. Overall, a graphic action novel in a wild fantasy world that also has plenty of heart and soul.
Wow! Have you every read a book and immediately thought to yourself, 'Gosh, I'd like to meet that author, if for nothing else than to find out exactly how their mind works?' That's how I felt when I finished the novel Calasade: Sanguinem Isle by author Mark Stone. A completely unique read. This talented author is absolutely one to watch!
Calasade: Sanguinem Isle by Mark Stone is layer upon layer of a great fantasy story. The novel is about Caderyn, a man who is tormented by his past and with a crippling need for alcohol. Caderyn was just so...loathsome! I don't know if I have ever loved and hated and loved a character so much. I blame Mark Stone for that. He has created this character so beautifully. I really liked the way I could feel his every emotion, his addiction and despair.
About the Author
Mark Stone lives on the Costa de Sol in Spain with his greatest inspiration, his wife. Having written award-winning Flash Fiction, he is now a novelist writing tales of Fantasy and Sword & Sorcery based in the Ancient Roman world of Calasade. When not writing, he’s exploring ruins. When not writing or exploring ruins, he’s at the beach. Please refer to authormarkstone.com for keeping up-to-date on his publications.
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The main character, Caderyn, is an ex-soldier and an ex-noble. War has taken a toll on him and after becoming a policeman in civilian life he develops a sort of post traumatic stress disorder which leads him to gambling and alcoholism. Consequently, he loses his fortune and status and his wife is murdered by the people he is in debt with.
The story is a story of Caderyn's redemption. He is hired by the proconsul Lepidus to find a missing girl. The reward for this mission is large enough that it will allow him to reclaim his old life back and along his mission he will find ways to fulfill his dying wife's last wish: "become the man I love". Across the book, Caderyn battles his previous habits and eventually solves the mystery surrounding Indrasena's disappearance.
In a weird twist, Caderyn does become the man his wife would love at the end of the book. However, the story is not over with Caderyn's revival in this novel and I am looking forward to the following books.
The primary character is Caderyn. He's a former soldier who is nowadays an alcoholic gambler who is unable to pay his debts. His excesses cost him the life of his spouse and has given him a sense of guilt that he can't seem to shake. After declining to be hired as a gladiator, Caderyn is convinced to search for a kidnapped damsel in distress (Indrasena). He has a few friends who are willing to help him, along with his newfound colleague, the lovely Jana.
What follows is his quest to figure out what happened to Indrasena and (if possible) rescue her. There are some unexpected twists & turns in the plot for the reader to surf. The storyline has a sprinkling of erotica which is always welcome to readers like me. Also, people who are fans of the STARZZ series SPARTACUS will find much that is familiar within these pages.
While the story contains some strange beasts, we barely get to encounter them or learn anything about them by the time the story is over. Also, for myself, the denouement did not seem to really "fit" with the rest of the story as it didn't seem as though that was where the story was "going." I get that there will be a sequel. It's just that, for myself, the ending was a bit anti-climactic.
All in all, however, this is an enjoyable read. There is a possibility that I will better appreciate this book > reading the sequel. In any case, if you are a fan of either fantasy novels or historical fiction books regarding ancient Rome, then this book may well be for you!
This book has something for everyone from the fantasy, fights, history, heroism, there's some mystery and detective work, and certainly lots of love. Going off of the love part this book has lots of explicit scenes and is certainly not for little kids. They don't last very long but they happen multiple times throughout the story. This would be my one and only bad thing to say about the book.
Another thing about this series is the amount of history and depth involved. It certainly does feel like the roman times and that was exactly what he going for. He includes Latin in his writing which I found a nice touch as well. Although some people might find that the Latin makes this book difficult to read I would have to say I know little to none Latin but I found all it did was improve the book. Along with that I can certainly say that Mark Stone is unlike any other author out there. He writes in a certain way that makes even the boringest of sentences enjoyable. Also he uses words that you probably haven't used, or heard in ages, or even know what they mean, and it really expands ones vocabulary and adds to the books old time theme (this doesn't ruin the book in anyway and is only every now and then, not every other word), and steps away from how every other author writes which truly makes Mark Stone unique.
The overall story was fantastic and honestly after reading it I have say if the other books in the series are anything like this one this is definitely going to be one of my favorite series I've read. (spoiler free) The story is basically that an ex war hero had it all. Money, Fame, a wife, and pretty much everything was going for him. However he was a huge gambler and ended up losing everything including his wife. After he lost his wife he turned to drinking to try and quell the pain of losing his wife and became the town drunk. He did little jobs just to scrape by. Then one day he got an offer he couldn't refuse. He had to save a girl that was kidnapped from a wealthy man. This was no ordinary girl and the fate of the realm hung in the balance.
Even in my absolute favorite series where some of the books are like 700+ pages I found there to be complete chapters I just wanted to skip completely due to boredom. However, even though this book was quite short and is only 252 pages. I found every single one those pages to be new, exciting, full of detail, and didn't once even consider skipping over one. Also even though the book is short the story was still very in depth, and I felt it to be complete and even rival those 700+ page books. That was another nice thing about this book there wasn't a dull moment throughout the whole thing. There was constant action, laughs, and just something was always going on. By the end all of my questions had been answered and I hate when authors fail to do that. The book left at a perfect moment and I cannot wait for the next one to come out.
The characters all get a good amount of time in the story and each one is well defined. You get to know a lot about each one and come to either like or dislike them. Even the characters that are in the story only a page or two you get to learn their personality pretty well.
One last thing I would like to mention is that Mark Stone has drawings that he did himself before every chapter. He include pictures of the characters and scenes. This is cool because I always would like to know how my vision of the characters compare to how the author pictures them (mine looked nothing like his). For those of you who have a hard time picturing the scenes and characters in your head this is a huge help because now you can since he provided them for you.
Overall I found this book to be extremely good and cant wait for the next one to come out. I will definitely be reading the other books in the series. Also if you go on author Mark Stones website you can read his other books and sign up for freebies. He will even respond personally to your messages and I even had a little chat with him myself. Which I found cool and just another way Mark Stone is unlike any other author out there.