Welcome to Reviewing the Indie Author, where we look at books by small, self-published authors.
The Northern Alliance is a country of unending winter. A wasteland. Joseph Lallo’s The Book of Deacon opens with young Myranda Celeste finding herself in the middle of this tundra, holding on the final few days she has. She lives in the midst of a hundred-year war between the cold north and the warm, dry south; the reason for this war has long been forgotten, but it still wages on and ravages the land. Men are noticeably missing from towns, and when they do return, they are broken and lifeless.
Close to death, she stumbles upon the remains of a dead knight, whose pack of food can save her life. However, it is pinned beneath a shield, which she desperately tries to remove it with her frozen fingers. Slipping on the ice, she falls upon a sword. This one moment in time will change her fate.
From the first paragraph of The Book of Deacon, you are brought into its vivid world of magic, mysterious creatures, and a feeling of dread. Myranda’s adventure starts out quickly and develops richly, and you find yourself lost in her world. Each character, including those shrouded in mystery, is well developed. The cold and desolate land is conveyed through not only description of the environment but also description of the characters and people. It is a new look on the realm of fantasy, having the traditional elves and wizards but also introducing a new and almost extinct race called Malthropes, who can be described as fox/human hybrids.
As you read through this book, which is the first in a series, you can tell that it is a rich and fun introduction to what is going to come in the next two installments. The character development and pace make it something you don’t want to put down. The antagonist is well established and sends chills through your heart. Evil is found in a traditional way, but it will develop into something that is spectacular.
The biggest complaint reviewers mention on Amazon, which I noticed as well, are the spelling errors. The author has corrected a lot through user feedback, and they should not be distracting any longer. I noticed a few, but it wasn’t enough to change the pace or cause pause in the book. The Book of Deacon can be read by young adults, but adults will have just as much fun reading it.