The Maer Cycle Book 1
By Dan Fitzgerald
Dan Fitzgerald has brought us a fantasy world that, before the story opens, is much like our Medieval times, plus a little magic. Humans believe they had chased out most of the other creatures, with sightings of dragons and others very rare. Yet, we quickly learn, though out of sight is out of mind, that does not mean the monsters do not exist.
Three friends are tasked with taking a friend home for burial, a seemingly simple job that leads them to battle beings thought of as monsters, yet turn out to be much like them. As the friends try to right wrongs based on superstition and old stories, they find themselves drawn into more fights in order to help those they harmed and find some solace for themselves. Even as they bring relations into balance, they know the discovery of these beings cannot stay with them, and soon, the world will know humans are no longer alone - nor had they ever been.
This is the first book in a trilogy and is an engaging origin story of heroes being made and a society discovering it’s on the verge of reshaping. As such, though the battles are tough and lives are lost, we meet a lot of level-headed characters who believe in fairness. At the same time, the book hints the rest of the Realm will not be as understanding. The few who forged this first alliance have little say in the Realm, and Dan Fitzgerald leaves us wondering just what those consequences will be, while neatly wrapping up the first novel without the dreaded cliffhanger.
5 stars: A few chapters in, I was already recommending this book. The world created is rich and the characters are interesting and flawed, drawing the reader in to encourage page turning. In fact, though I received an ebook version of this novel for review, I am strongly considering purchasing a paperback copy so I can enjoy seeing it on my bookcase.
*I received this product for free in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.