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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thane by Travis Daniel Bow is a Gripping High Fantasy

The fight against good and evil

A kingdom in turmoil.

One small group created to set things right.

Yep!!! It's time for another fantasy.

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Thane, the first installment of the Everknot series, is a fantasy written by Travis Daniel Bow.

So what's it about?

Fifteen years ago, the kingdom of Botan was conquered by the Huctans. The capital city was razed, and the ground salted. Today, citizens of the once proud nation live in fear of Huctan soldiers, cruel warriors that treat the Botani people with scorn. 

Timothy and Robert were raised together as brothers, but when Timothy was sent to apprentice with the fletcher they saw quite a bit less of each other. When the town of Watchton has its Spring Jubilee, the boys go, and happily spend the day together. But immediately after they leave, they're kidnapped by Huctans who are intent on breaking their spirits in order to make them into perfect soldiers, and their lives change drastically and forever.

There was one aspect of this novel that surprised me: No magic.

I'm used to fantasy being filled with swords and sorcery, and while the swords were definitely present, there were no strange creatures, wands, or psychic phenomena. Zero.

But it still kinda qualifies. Why?

Because it's set in a fictitious, medieval world in which kingdoms rule and cultures are vastly different from our own.

Bow crafted a very detailed society in which structure is rigid. Each chapter opens up the world to the reader until any action taken that goes against that society's norm is immediately noted, causing interest levels to increase.

The world of the novel is in turmoil. Citizens of the conquered land of Botan are treated poorly, which naturally means that rebel groups are bound to pop up against the Huctan conquerors. 

That leads us to the Band.

The Band trains people in the skills of the Thanes, the elite warriors that once defended the kingdom of Botan. When Botan fell, a small group of Thanes survived, and over time they began training youth so that they may use their skills for the good of fallen Botan.

It's a good thing they did, too! 

After Timothy and Robert were kidnapped from Watchton and subjected to the Huctan soldiers' brainwashing techniques, A young woman trained as a thane broke them out of confinement and introduced them to the Band, where they trained under the Thanes.

While I may have been a wee bit miffed that I didn't get the high magic that I was hoping for, I have to admit that after a few chapters I stopped grumbling about it. The writing is solid and filled with intrigue. 

If you're looking for a good solid indie novel that can take you away from the stresses of the real world, you'll love this one. There may not be magic, but there is enough action and deceit to keep you happily turning the pages. 

Thane can be found on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords, as well as Scribd.

*quick note: It appears that the genre has been updated to Adventure, which I completely agree with. My original discovery of this title had it listed as high fantasy.

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