Title: The Warriors of Valishna
Author: Spencer Reeves McCoy
Publication Date: April 28th 2016

I received a copy for review from the author. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Goodreads Summary:

A new power is rising.

The Black King, Richard Sullivan, has declared war on the kingdom of Arinford: the first war in centuries. He has shown the world his strength by destroying Valishna, killing thousands of people and razing the Arinford city to the ground. He rules a much larger kingdom, and the military he commands grows daily with fanatical supporters.

Matilyn Malevus stands at the heart of the Arinford Guard, one of the few priests to escape the fall of Valishna. If she wishes to survive, she must learn to evolve in this medieval military setting: first as a priest, then as a soldier, and finally as a leader.

Joined by the few friends she escaped Valishna with, they together are forced to cope with death, wavering faith, and the strain of separation, all while trying to keep a rag-tag team of soldiers alive as they trek through enemy territory.

Their lives may seem complicated, but their mission is simple: kill the Black King.

Warriors of Valishna, the first volume of the Cartharia series, is a story of war and magic. It is a story of politics and deception. It is a story of romance and betrayal. It is a story about the Greater Good…

… and the need for revenge.

I absolutely love this cover and I would be lying if I said that the pretty cover didn’t play any part in me wanting to read and review this book. The plot also sounded great and I did enjoy this read for the most part.

In The Warriors of Valishna, we follow our main character Matilyn along with her band of friends which include her best friend Eldrin her girlfriend Penny, her former classmate Janice and Sean. Matilyn is a priest . able to heal and to control her chakra to manipulate flesh. After the attack on their home by The Black King, Richard Sullivan, their king, in defence of the kingdom of Arinford, sends out a call for priests to join up and fight using their special skills. Matilyn accepts which changes nt only her life as she knew it but the very essence of who she is..

I have mixed feelings about this book. There are definitely some good aspects such as the idea of being able to manipulate flesh, fire, wind, water and more; just think of all the physical damage that could be wrought on the human body and the surroundings with such an ability! Really cool. I just felt this most unusual aspect wasn’t explored extensively enough, wasn’t put into action enough which could really have taken the whole story to another level for me being a sucker for magical systems.

I found the general plot somewhat unconvincing that I had to work hard to suspend my belief. The main characters are new adults but the dialogue and thought processes came off as being very juvenile and I seriously couldn’t imagine them leading others into battle. Some of the slang used felt too contemporary for the whole sword and sandals feel of the novel. Also, this book could have really benefited from a map since it was, for me, confusing trying to imagine where all the lands mentioned where in relation to each other.

Overall, a good start to a series with a lot of promise with a very interesting and likeable main character, diverse characters, an awesome magical system, romance,  and lots of political intrigue. I look forward to reading the sequels to see the potential herein realised and possibly surpassed.