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Saturday, September 13, 2014

CC Rogers' Wizards and Kings: Sacrifice Hits like a Thunderbolt to the Heart

I just thought I'd let you know

In case you never realized it...

Love spells are kind of risky.

So, uh... Don't ever cast one. 


This next review takes us on a journey into a land on the brink of civil war.

image via http://riverfiction.com/_Media/wizards_and_kings_400x600.jpg

Wizards and Kings: Sacrifice is a fantasy novelette written by C.C. Rogers.

So what's it about?

The king is dead, murdered by bandits with a crossbow. Justin couldn't protect him. As if that isn't enough, the entire kingdom is now on the brink of civil war, and the only path he can see that would keep it from crumbling is to take up the throne and marry the manipulative daughter of a neighboring ruler, a ruler that considers invasion to be a valid option. Not an enjoyable choice, but one that would protect the kingdom and its inhabitants from war.

But in the realm of politics, even basic facts such as these aren't always cut and dried, as Justin soon discovers.

Quite a bit to cover in a single novelette, right?

Rogers, though, dives in without fear, creating a short piece that not only covers everything within the description that I've given, but delves into the territory of the heart. This is not to say that Sacrifice is a romance - far from it! 

Love spells are at the forefront in this, but rather than turning it into a story that's loaded with mushy declarations of love and dialogue filled with longing, Rogers gives us something different: she shows us how changes in daily life can come about when a person's perspective is altered, and how that modification can affect everyone around us.

Throw an entire kingdom into the mix, and things become interesting!

Can love bring about positive change on a large scale? Can it change a nobleman's entire territory? What if the love is false, only occurring due to the power of a spell? Can it still do so? And if so, will that alteration hold once the spell has run its course, and is no longer active?

Rogers attacks these questions, head first. Whether we actually get the answers or not, she makes us consider them. She makes us ask, "But what now?"

I don't have those answers.

But what I do have is an overwhelming need to find them. I want to know what happens to the kingdom in the long run, and those answers aren't apparent in this short novelette. Fortunately, Rogers gave me some good news that kept my curiosity from overflowing and drowning me.

This isn't all she's written about these characters. 

Rogers wrote and illustrated Rune: A Tale of Wizards and Kings from 2010 to 2012, and it's now available as a graphic novel.

Here's the trailer for it:

Looks good, huh?

This webcomic answers a lot of the questions that occasionally sprout up as we read this story. More that once, I found myself asking what happened in the past to create a given situation. I asked what history caused specific pieces of dialogue. The webcomic answers these questions.


There's so much more that I want to know. Many loose ends were left for a reader to think about, leaving me to believe that Rogers has plans to write more in the future. These felt like leads into the next installment.

And I hope I'm right!

Rogers' work is quite well done. The pacing within this novelette is perfect. Dialogue is smooth, and believable. Each character feels real, and I was able to see and feel the scenes that were written. And I didn't find a single proofreading error!!! One might be there, but I certainly didn't notice it.

I believe that if Rogers had wanted to expand this novelette into a full novel, ensnaring us even more deeply into the web of her universe, this story would have earned Treasured Tome status.

I really hope to see more from her in the future. This is an author well worth reading.

Wizards and Kings: Sacrifice can only be found on Kindle.

Update (9/16/2014): I made an "Oops!" Originally, I claimed that this novel was written within the Bloodchained universe. I misread a couple of statements, and decided that two plus two equals the negative square root of 3... plus or minus four. 
     What's the truth, then, you ask? Diana Laurence's Bloodchained novels are set in an entirely different universe. CC Rogers collaborated with her on a webcomic based on the universe, but only did the illustrations for it. The Rune webcomic is an entirely different affair.
     Changes have been made within the review, and I deeply apologize for the confusion.

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