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The Withered King (Tempest Blades) Paperback – August 20, 2019
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From the Back Cover
Fionn is the wielder of a legendary Tempest Blade, and he is blessed – or cursed – by the Gift. Though his days as a warrior are long over, his past leaves him full of guilt and regret. Life, however, has other plans for him, when he agrees to help a friend locate a missing person.
Gaby and Alex never expected to become heroes… until they met Fionn. As an ancient evil arises and consumes the land, Fionn must help them to master their own Gifts and Tempest Blades.
Together the three of them, and their friends, will chart a course aboard the flying ship Figaro to save the planet. Will Fionn’s past be an anchor, or will he overcome the one failure from his former life before time runs out?
In a world where magic and science intermingle, anything is possible.
Including second chances.
- Publisher : Artemesia Publishing, LLC (August 20, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 324 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1932926747
- ISBN-13 : 978-1932926743
- Item Weight : 12.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.73 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,088,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Tempest Blades - The Withered King is the first novel from Ricardo Victoria, and like just about everything he writes, this is bursting with ideas.
To try to contain Ricardo's ideas is like trying to contain jelly with elastic bands. He's exuberant, he's bubbly - and he's bristling with imagination.
I had the chance to read an advance review copy of this book, so let me tell you what Tempest Blades is. It's a fantasy epic. No, wait, it's an anime-style adventure. Hang on, no, it's a science fiction escapade on another world. But hold up, here are roots of Ricardo's Mexican heritage. And Celtic myth. And a cartoon team-up of mighty heroes. It is a steampunk extravaganza with a soaring airship. It is science, and magic, and the science that underpins magic. It is tragic, it is witty. It is each of these things. It is all of these things.
This is not something you've read before.
It all begins with an ancient battle, before a flash-forward in time to a mystery of a missing professor. One by one, the team of heroes assemble as the mystery reveals a greater danger. An ancient danger. A danger that the seemingly immortal Fionn had thought long gone.
Ricardo really handles the build-up of this team well - it reads like episodes of a series, each of which adds an extra layer to what has gone before. Before you know it, you have come to know a whole team of heroes, and care for each of them. Just in time for their world to start falling apart.
So hop aboard. It's a science fantasy epic that bursts with originality. It is new, it is fresh, and it makes the imagination soar.
In short, this is not something you've read before.
Fionn had lost his friends in the Great War… and a hundred years later, he is still grieving. Brought in to help with the investigation into a professor’s death, he has a new mission. One that will give him a role as mentor and maybe savior of the whole world.
I suspect that Victoria has always had an active imagination. Thinking up tales and stories and spinning them for hours on end. This book has all the facets of a good tale: a world that is both strange, yet familiar in many ways, characters you can root for, and supernatural elements that keep you on your toes.
The key to this book for me are the plot points that expand so well from the great battle in the opening pages… each chapter takes you one step closer to solving the greater mysteries Victoria has spun in his debut novel. My only criticism is that at times the mashup may be a little too much as explanation or info dumps did get in the way of the plot progression.
Overall, The Withered King is an impressive debut that any reader of speculative fiction should enjoy.
What I really enjoyed:
The Pace. This is a book which seems to pack a page and a half of happenings on just about every page. It powers along and once you get into the story it is page-turning.
The Setting. This has the feel of a world the author knows well. A world that is never over-described, but has the sense of solidity that only great worldbuilding can provide.
The Plot. Complex, twisty and coming at you from all angles. The one thing it's not is predictable or dull.
What I struggled with:
Two things, but both are purely personal gripes - taste not substance and between them, I'd maybe dock a half star.
The Banter. I am not big on this kind of stuff in the most ideal of situations but when our heroes take time out in the middle of a battle to stop and score verbal points off each other, I struggle to maintain any measure of disbelief.
The Lack of Realism. Even allowing for the fact this was a fantasy, I struggled in places to believe in the events as described. It was so much like anime it was, at times, as if all the rules of reality went out the window.
If you love anime style fantasy then this book is a must. The experience of reading it is unique in capturing that feel.