For Book Review Wednesday, I’m taking you to the world of dark fantasy.

Anaerfell

Drast, cunning but reckless, is on the hunt for admiration. Tyran, calculating but tactless, is in search of affection. Bound by a friendship thicker than blood, the two brothers have been hardened by their father’s ambitions.

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Drast and Tyran are forced to set aside their own hopes and dreams during their struggle to fulfill their father’s desire for immortality. The two will face skin-switchers and dragons, ultimately leading to a final clash with Wolos, God of the Dead.

My Review: 4 Stars

Let’s start off with the good:

When I read this, I kept thinking back to the Drizzt Do’Urden stories set in the Underdark. It had that same tones of political intrigue, backstabbing, and darkness that I enjoyed about the tales of Menzoberranzan. I half-expected to hear someone cursing “Lolth!”

The magic system of the world was well-developed, and the characters were pretty well-written. They were perhaps a bit “grimmer” than I was expecting, and sometimes it felt like they went dark just to see how far the author could push it. But all in all, it sold the tone of the darkness very well.

I had to dock a star for two reasons:

  1. The story didn’t hook me. It’s the way things are with stories—they can be hit or miss. I found myself sort of “slogging” through the book. It had plenty of action scenes, but it didn’t really draw me in or make me care for the characters.
  2. There were a number of grammatical and punctuation errors, and A LOT of misused words.

All in all, a solid effort, one that I’d recommend for anyone who enjoys very dark fantasy.

Here’s a Taste:

Erzebeth convulsed. Her fur and skin shedding away while she wheeled about on the ground in agony. The bones readjusted and organs reset from beast to human. Where a beast had stood was now the naked figure of Erzebeth. Cuts and scratches patterned her body, but none were fatal.

Tyran had no place for modesty. The Vucari woman, within the privacy of the ice dome, struggled to her feet. Again, her dark eyes met his own, filled with compassion.

“You need to be put down, young Red.” Her voice was calm as her feet crossed in front of one another, closing the distance between them. “Your power is greater than any I have seen before, even from the Anshedar.”

“What?” Tyran said, forehead wrinkled with confusion. He had never heard of the race before, whether beast or otherwise.

“You are like a rabid dog, young Red. You are the perfect companion, loyal, and possibly even loving somewhere deep inside,” Erzebeth bit her lip. Her breasts, barely covered by her dark hair, touched the front of his chest. She halted her feet. “But, you are tainted by a disease that is stronger than the goodness in you. You cannot be left to live in this world, or you will corrupt every living thing around you.”

Tyran tilted his chin, lips parting. His free hand touched her pale skin, as whitish as the ice fortress that veiled this moment.

“You would taint me, young Red.” She stepped up on her tiptoes. “As with the rabid dog, you need to be put down.”

He grabbed her by the back of the neck, and pulled her to him. He kissed her with more force than he had ever kissed any woman.

This woman was not Isolde. This woman was battle hardened, and a warrior. She was not plain.

She grabbed his shoulders and returned the embrace, her tongue touching his lips. Her body was far warmer than his own, as if it were heated by the darkness.

He did not know what he was doing in this moment. It may have likely been the first time that his mind was clear from thought, acting without thinking. Though, in time, he may consider that when his death was nigh, he found that this was something he wanted to do before death found him.

The crashing against the ice pulled him from the moment. Tyran pulled back, moving the Vucari’s hair from her cheek. “You won’t kill me, Erzebeth.”

“No,” she breathed. Her hands fell to his chest. “But, it still needs to be done.”

About the Author:

Joshua Robertson was born in Kingman, Kansas on May 23, 1984. A graduate of Norwich High School, Robertson attended Wichita State University where he received his Masters in Social Work with minors in Psychology and Sociology. His bestselling novel, Melkorka, the first in The Kaelandur Series, was released in 2015. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys and ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He counts R.A. Salvatore and J.R.R. Tolkien among his literary influences.

Find the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Anaerfell-Joshua-Robertson-ebook/dp/B0164VAUNA/

Visit the Anaerfell Website: https://www.crimsonedgepress.com/