These two stories I’m about to present you were my first meeting with authors Mark Gelineau and Joe King and oh, how good a meeting it was! They are creating a fantastic world closed in seemingly too little pages. It’s fascinating how much goodness can be presented in such short stories.
I received a copy of both books from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A Reaper of Stone (A Reaper of Stone #1) by Mark Gelineau, Joe King
A Lady is dead. Her noble line ended. And the King’s Reaper has come to reclaim her land and her home. In the marches of Aedaron, only one thing is for certain. All keeps of the old world must fall.
Elinor struggles to find her place in the new world. She once dreamed of great things. Of becoming a hero in the ways of the old world. But now she is a Reaper. And her duty is clear. Destroy the old. Herald the new.
The first story of the series and the first one that shows us Elinor with all her might. She’s a fascinating character. Strong minded, loyal and good with her sword. The first time we meet her she does the impossible – kills two of the creatures everyone’s so afraid of. What’s the better way to present a heroine, right?
From that point on the story only gets better.
Elinor will have some hard decisions to make. Some of them will change her life. Some will almost kill her.
Broken Banners (A Reaper of Stone #2) by Mark Gelineau, Joe King
Slaughtered and left for crows, soldiers of the King’s Army lay dead in a field. A grim reminder: the king’s law ends at the gates of the capital.
Elinor fought for what she believed and now she is an outcast. No soldier will follow her. No officer will stand with her. Yet when she finds her brothers and sisters slaughtered, she cannot turn her back on them.
Long ago, they swore an oath. Not to the king, but to each other.
And woe to those who break that bond.
After what happened in Timberline, Elinor and Con find themselves without a team. They wonder through the kingdom until they find their slaughtered brothers and sisters. What else could they do, but to find out what happened and avenge them?
This time, we’re introduced to a new character – Aldis. A former friend of Elinor from the academy days. He’s supposed to be leading the 95th regiment to deal with yet another keep that’s supposed to be destroyed. It so happened the keep was taken by a new ruler – a bandit leader and his hoard.
Elinor seems to be unstoppable when it goes to bringing justice and saving people. No matter the consequences she’s willing to do the right thing. Even if the situation seems hopeless. But is it really? Her reputation surely is on her side. And the people she’s with won’t leave her either.
Both of the stories have a proper amount of world building that will help you understand how it all works, why everything is happening and what would happen otherwise. I’m really surprised how great job was done here to keep a balance between the action and the world building. And let’s not forget about the characters. Each of them has their place and meaning. Obviously, Elinor is the most important person in both stories, but we have
And let’s not forget about the characters. Each of them has their place and meaning. Obviously, Elinor is the most important person in both stories, but we have a chance to observe the world from other points of view too. It might be bothersome to some, but I think it was a good solution to reveal some parts of the story and to show how others see Elinor. Oh, and you know what? No romance! It’s extremely refreshing to find a story where main characters can be just friends.
I wish I could already read the next installment of these stories. There’s a hint at the end of what might come. Can’t wait!
Have you read any of Mark Gelineau and Joe King’s stories? Are they as good as these two?