Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Action-Adventure, Coming of Age
Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words
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Leonard Little lives in
CA. where he was born. He is a father, grandfather, husband, and son. After
working as a landscaper and then a truck driver, he has taken up story telling that
will hopefully touch the hearts and souls of his readers. Sacramento
Fourteen year-old Marcus Kharn is unaware that he is the rightful heir of the dragon throne until he accidentally smears blood on an ancient amulet from his long lost mother, which alerts Mor’Drak, the Dark One, of his existence. Now on the run, as he tries to figure out his destiny, he teams up with Ben, Chelene, and her teacher/dragon-mate, Xan’Drake. Together they make a pact to end the rampaging evil of the drakyn, nearly mindless flesh-eating dragon minions, hatched from the dead eggs of a dark queen that attacks villages by night, leaving behind smoking ruins filled with carnage.
Leonard Little has created his own mythology with the Sword of Souls at the center of this dark epic fantasy that is quite detailed. Some of the dragon lore is explained in the prologue, with an introduction to a few key dragons. More are introduced as the story develops and their complex histories and rituals are explained. This fantasy world had many physical similarities with earth and the spirit realm is based on the four elements of earth, wind, fire, and water. So it wasn’t hard to suspend my disbelief and become immersed in the story.
I liked and sympathized with Marcus from the very beginning. The way he was introduced gave us excellent insight into his family and the life he has led thus far. Marcus’ thoughts and dialogue were totally believable for his age and gave us a clear understanding of his personality. Actually all the characters in this story were well developed. Fifteen year-old Chelene is a fire-weaver who is learning the healing arts and is dragon-mate to Xan’Drake, who was inherited from her grandmother after her untimely death. She is a headstrong, fiercely independent character who doesn’t consider herself like other dragon-mates. Then there is Ben, her cousin, who is also fifteen. He is considered the scholar of the group. Poor Ben is faced with making the biggest life-altering decisions to aid Marcus and serves as the calming force to balance Chelenes’ emotions.
The author’s use of imagery was exceptional; he painted beautiful and sometimes horrific pictures with his words. The battle between good and evil is epic in this quest and the lines of morality are explored and tested. This is not a light read and while most story arcs are completed, this journey has really just begun for these three heroes. I see promising works coming from Leonard Little in the fantasy genre in the future; he is definitely an author to watch.
Although the protagonists are young teenagers, this does not read like a YA story. Many scenes were so graphic and grotesque it tested my limits. Yeah, I am a wimp.
No significant errors in editing or formatting.
Rating: **** Four stars