The war priests of Andrak have protected the world from the encroaching darkness for generations. Stewards of the Purifying Flame, the priests stand upon their castle walls each year for 100 days. Along with the best fighters, soldiers, and adventurers from across the lands, they repulse the Omegri invasions.
But their strength wanes and evil spreads.
Lizette awakens to a nightmare, for her daughter has been stolen during the night. When she goes to the Baron to petition aid, she learns that similar incidents are occurring across the duchy. Her daughter was just the beginning. Baron Einos of Fent is left with no choice but to summon the war priests.
Brother Quinlan is a haunted man. Last survivor of Castle Bendris, he now serves Andrak. Despite his flaws, the Lord General recognizes Quinlan as one of the best he has. Sending him to Fent is his best chance for finding the missing children and restoring order. Quinlan begins a quest that will tax his strength and threaten the foundations of his soul.
The Grey Wanderer stalks the lands, and where he goes, bad things follow. The dead rise and the Omegri launch a plan to stop time and overrun the world. The duchy of Fent is just the beginning.
The follow up to the L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future award winning short: The Purifying Flame, the Children of Never is an all new novel set in a world of raw imagination. Get your copy today!
I love discovering new fantasy authors so when The Children of Never dropped into my inbox I was excited to give it a read.
This book finds us in the Dutchy of Fent. Someone/something is taking children from the villages, but for what purpose and why is there no trace of them once they have gone? The beginning of the book takes a little concentration to wrap your head around everything. Quite a few people and themes are introduced quickly.
There is a very strong undercurrent of the supernatural and different magical beings. I personally really love this in a book. Christian’s imaginings of these beings I found to be unique and fresh, as are the magic systems which each use. As you are introduced to a few, some only fleetingly, we didn’t get to know them all in depth. This is the first in a series though, I’m sure more will be revealed in time.
I would say this story is very character driven. We are introduced to many and even the side characters were very well written. I certainly felt as if I got to know all of them. No easy task when so many interweaving personalities are presented.
The characters are all multi-facetted and although it felt almost medieval in it’s setting; the women were just as strong and as equal to the men. Taking on positions as Elders, soldiers and advisers. I especially loved Lizette, a grieving mother who channeled that energy to help the other families of lost children and becomes an important part of the story.
I felt quite sorry for the Baron of Fent, his is a quiet Dutchy, pretty much runs itself, when all this supernatural is suddenly dumped on his doorstep. I enjoyed his character; he has flaws which are allowed to show. However, he wants the best for his people and he is determined to see an end of everything that has befallen them.
It took me a little while to get into Freed’s writing style, the pacing at the start is a little patchy and the view points swap within a chapter. I did find this a little jarring at first but once you get into the rhythm of it, it does work well. Once the story kicks in the pacing settles and I found myself really flying through the story.
This is a world rich in magical lore but I feel we only just scratched the surface of everything Fent has to offer. The ending of the book is very well worked, it ties up some aspects of the story but leaves the door open to extend others. I am very much looking forward to seeing where this series goes.
My thanks to Emma for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Christian for a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
You can see what others think by following the blog tour.
Freed was born in Buffalo, N.Y. more years ago than he would like to remember.
After spending more than 20 years in the active duty US Army he has turned his
talents to writing. Since retiring, he has gone on to publish over 20 military
fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as his memoirs from his time in
Iraq and Afghanistan, a children’s book, and a pair of how to books focused on
indie authors and the decision making process for writing a book and what
happens after it is published.
His first published book (Hammers in the Wind) has been the #1 free book on Kindle 4 times and he holds a fancy certificate from the L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. Ok, so it was for 4th place in one quarter, but it’s still recognition from the largest fiction writing contest in the world. And no, he’s not a scientologist.
Passionate about history, he combines his knowledge of the past with modern military tactics to create an engaging, quasi-realistic world for the readers. He graduated from Campbell University with a degree in history and is pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in Digital Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He currently lives outside of Raleigh, N.C. and devotes his time to writing, his family, and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs. If you drive by you might just find him on the porch with a cigar in one hand and a pen in the other. You can find out more about his work by following him @ https://www.facebook.com/ChristianFreed or on Twitter @christianwfreed.
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