The Sherangivan
by Jacqueline Fellows
Mathias Key Fantasy

"The axe smashed her spear in half, but she stepped back to gain room and jabbed the spearhead into the warrior’s face while she drubbed his temple with the butt end."

When Caleb wakes in the forest with blood on his hands and three dark-clothed warriors brutally murdered around him, he is confused about what has happened but knows he needs to report the strange warriors and their deaths. Neither he nor any of the Esseduin people have any idea how much chaos and bloodshed will come from this event. When the capital city is attacked by a large and savage band of these Buredna warriors, Caleb and his friends find themselves in the middle of the action. The residents realize their only survival option is to flee the city. As the refugees resettle in the port city of Oray, they realize they’ll need help from their neighbors to have any chance of driving the invaders out of their home. In addition, Caleb needs to find answers about why he blacks out when his life is threatened but wakes to mangled bodies and numerous injuries.

Fellows has created an exciting low-magic fantasy with thrilling action and epic, large-scale battles. Few fantasy books can capture city sieges as well as this author. Although the book is lengthy, once the plot takes hold it moves with great pacing. The characters are well-written, especially the supporting cast. The main character’s berserker-themed ability isn’t particularly new, but it is thoughtfully written. There is one emotionally charged event that seems to be more of a plot point than a fully realized moment of character development, but most readers will be willing to overlook this in the face of the novel’s overall excellent action and worldbuilding. This is an easy book to recommend to fantasy and adventure fans.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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