"If you were to take that one heart and divide it among a dozen men, they would be a dozen to be reckoned with."

Renshaw’s talent for building unique worlds and characters, and simply letting them loose to face their circumstances, is on full display in Dawn of Wonder. The story revolves around Aedan, whose picturesque childhood in Mistyvales is interrupted by the vicious Lekran slave traders. The adventures he often sought, such as jumping off bridges with his friends, now seek him, and the stakes are higher than ever.

As the son of a forester, Aedan knows the woods of Mistyvales like the back of his hand. Though he lacks great physical prowess—considering he is still a child—his strategic thinking is leaps and bounds ahead of most soldiers. After his best friend, Kalry, is taken by Lieutenant Quinn and the Lekrans, Aedan shows courage beyond his years. The ensuing events harden his resolve to become a marshal and a fixture of justice against all forms of tyranny.

The relationship between Kalry and Aedan is beautiful, pure, and undying. Her impact on Aedan is clear as he gradually progresses from a bright strategist and dreamer in the Mistyvales to a child who will not be intimidated despite facing children stronger or faster during training in the academy. Running away from the wolves and the disturbing, eerie environment of Kultuhm, a once prospering fortress of domination, or coming face to face with deadly creatures normally residing in the imagination all represent a coming-of-age for Aedan. More than anything else, however, Aedan’s success is dependent on his ability to overcome the inbred fears born from emotionally scarring abuse. Throughout his adventures, he is supported by strong authority figures, particularly the wise and powerful General Osric and Fergal, who has a knack for supplying motivation and confidence when Aedan needs it most.

Dawn of Wonder’s crisp flow coupled with constant plot and character development in a fascinating world will reel readers in for a wonderful reading experience.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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