I received a copy of both A Reaper of Stone & Broken Banners from the authors for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.
Title: A Reaper Of Stone
Author(s): Mark Gelineau, Joe King
Publication Date: Sept 18, 2015
A Lady is dead. Her noble line ended. And the King’s Reaper has come to reclaim her land and her home. In the marches of Aedaron, only one thing is for certain. All keeps of the old world must fall.
Elinor struggles to find her place in the new world. She once dreamed of great things. Of becoming a hero in the ways of the old world. But now she is a Reaper. And her duty is clear. Destroy the old. Herald the new.
I really love these novellas. There is just so much to read about in such few pages. We get well rounded characters, angst, action and magic.
The heroine, Elinor is confident, loyal and coming from a poor background, she is humble. When she senses a conspiracy to deprive the survivors relatives wrongfully, she decides to warn them off from doing anything foolish and go about her duties. But pissed off by the sheer arrogance of the aristocracy , having experienced their cruelty firsthand and seeing bit of her younger impetuous self in Aria, she decides to help her.
This of course leads to consequences that soon have her facing off with a very worthy and skilfull oponent with magic at his beck and call, and he has no qualms about misusing his power.
This novella are bite-sized but still pack that epic punch. I love that you get a bit of everything in this tiny volume, even a glimpse into Elinor’s past which sheds light on the decision she will make and why. My only qualm was I felt a bit disconnected from Elinor.
I really am enjoying the classical fantasy feels yet without all the heaviness, literally and figuratively. A must read for fantasy lovers who like kickass heroines, magical elements and action-packed fighting scenes.
Title: Broken Banners
Author(s): Mark Gelineau, Joe King
Publication Date: Feb 15, 2016
Slaughtered and left for crows, soldiers of the King’s Army lay dead in a field. A grim reminder: the king’s law ends at the gates of the capital.
Elinor fought for what she believed and now she is an outcast. No soldier will follow her. No officer will stand with her. Yet when she finds her brothers and sisters slaughtered, she cannot turn her back on them.
Long ago, they swore an oath. Not to the king, but to each other.
And woe to those who break that bond.
In A Reaper Of Stone, we met Elinor and got to see who was as a person and what she stands for. Broken Banners continues the story but also introduces new characters. It is more action-packed, more intense as new enemies come to the fore and she is faced with new danger.
I enjoyed this slightly more than AROS because I felt like I got to know Elinor a bit more and could finally connect with her. Worldbuilding and pacing are all good and is really well done for such a small page count. I still can’t get over the classical epic fantasy feel with a modern twist that I get from these novellas. It’s simply amazing how much character development and plot progression happens within.
Broken Banners was a highly entertaining, addictive read and a definite must-read for fantasy lovers.
About The Authors
Mark and Joe have been writing and telling stories together for the last 25 years. They share a love for the classic fantasy tales of their childhood. Their Echoes of the Ascended series brings those old epic characters and worlds to new life.