Rating: 3.25 stars
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Length: Novel

Lord Morgorth is a mage who lives in the forest of Vogoroth on the planet of Karishian. He prefers to spend his time alone in his dark forest. His life consists of protecting his forest as well as the nearby village, fending off “heroes” sent to slay him for being a “villain,” allowing very little contact with those few close enough to call friends, and protecting the Stones of Power he has in his possession. The Stones of Power are several precious gems that contain strong magick created by the first seven mages in existence.

When Morgorth is attacked by a sorcerer who has possession of a ruby with power to destroy the world, Morgorth begins a quest to hunt down this sorcerer and retrieve the Stone of Power. But Morgorth finds he will not be alone on his journey. Aishe is a dialen who has been tracking the sorcerer since he slaughtered Aishe’s family and entire tribe. He seeks revenge for his family, but needs Morgorth’s help to kill the sorcerer. Morgorth reluctantly agrees to help Aishe.

Morgorth eventually realizes that he likes having Aishe around, but is frightened of what that means. He’s been alone for a long time and trust does not come easy to him. Traveling with Aishe proves to be both good and bad. As Morgorth’s feelings for Aishe get stronger, he begins to wonder how he will be able to leave Aishe when the sorcerer is finally defeated.

This is the first book that I’ve read of M.D. Grimm’s and I must say the world he created was fantastic. With odd creatures both big and small, the dark forest with nightmares lurking in the shadows, the outrageous monsters and strange races of beings, castles that blend in with mountains, kingdoms ruled by crazy kings, it’s an extremely imaginative and unique world. This world of Karishian comes from a truly creative mind. My imagination was almost overloaded trying to picture this new place.

That said, I wish there could have been a little less description and a little more action in the early chapters of the book. The first half of the book read really slowly. The plot was good and I ended up liking the way it ended, but I really wanted the story to draw me in somehow and it took a long time for me to get to a point where I was actually hooked into the storyline.

Morgorth is a great character. He is a loner. He has a history of abuse and serious trust issues. He retreats at every possible sign of attraction or intimacy. Yet when Aishe comes along, Morgorth realizes almost immediately that Aishe is different. Aishe has lost everyone he’s ever loved and everyone who ever loved him. Even though Morgorth doesn’t want to get close to Aishe, he can’t seem to help himself. Aishe is very patient and sees a kindness that Morgorth doesn’t see in himself. He believes in Morgorth even when the mage doesn’t believe in himself. They are both damaged in different ways. Whereas, Morgorth is afraid that Aishe will be his weakness, Aishe becomes a strength. The contrast between the two main characters even brought a sort of comic relief at times. Morgorth spent some time on Earth so he used a lot of “contemporary” English. I found it humorous when he would teach Aishe what certain words meant and then Aishe would use them. The dialect of the rest of the characters seemed to be sort of a proper Medieval English. It was an interesting contrast between Morgorth and the rest of the characters.

My complaint within the storyline, other than the pacing, is somewhere near the middle of the story there is a mention of Morgorth and Aishe meeting some time in their past. Morgorth doesn’t remember the meeting and Aishe states that he can’t tell Morgorth about them meeting. But by the end of the book, this one mystery is never solved. We never find out how Aishe knew Morgorth or where he met him. I would have liked that question answered by the end of the book.

I’ve gone back and forth over the rating and finally settled on 3.25. Whereas, it started out slow and stayed that way well over halfway through the book, when the plot really came into play it became an interesting story with a good ending. The world and the characters were both of the redeeming qualities of this book. But the slow pacing of the story and the plot hole were problems I couldn’t overlook.

Cover: I’ve been unable to find the cover artist of this book. I think it is a good cover but I feel like it may have been a missed opportunity to show the creative world that the author described instead of only the two main characters of the story.