A Tyrant’s Whisper
by J. Robert Byrd
Blue Doc Books

"Sir Loorie smiled…”That was the answer I wanted to hear... almost no one joins the military to be a soldier anymore."

Teridon Jace is a muscular, easily-provoked teen, who seeks a military life outside of Barnstable and away from poverty. Breaking contest rules by viewing the course early, Teridon is disqualified. Jakes Pints, his best friend, and Patrick Lueless, a bothersome enemy, are chosen. Surprisingly, Sir Loorie offers to take Teridon on as squire, having discovered bravery and honesty in this forested edge of the Empire.

The judges and new recruits travel by wagon and coach back to the Empire’s capital city, Capuamundi. Sir Loorie and his squire arrive at the knight’s castle, where Teridon meets the young male heir, Krys. Five years pass. Sir Loorie has retired from the military. He calls a wiser and well-trained Teridon, along with Krys, to discuss a dramatic change. This empire has long been governed by a triumvirate with the titles of Pauper, Advocate, and King. Sir Loorie has been mysteriously nominated and elected King. Teridon will provide him security in Capuamundi, while Krys manages the estate until his father’s return or death.

In the city, Teridon secures the King’s tall, glass building, but can do nothing to prevent Sir Loorie’s recent bout of terrifying dreams. Teridon spots a friendly face. His boyhood friend, Jakes, is now a military officer in the city. What about Patrick Lueless? He went AWOL and hasn’t been seen since. Little do the friends know that Teridon’s enemy now serves the Preacher who uses magic and secretly plots to become the empire’s tyrant ruler.

Byrd’s first novel is fantasy in the Lewis and Tolkien style, while some better editing is required. Good battles Evil in this action-packed beginning tale. The author clearly knows the genre and has well-developed characters all in place. Byrd now needs to produce an equally well-crafted sequel.

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