Review – Of Blood and Fire by Ryan Cahill (spoiler free)

The Blurb

Born in fire. Tempered in blood.

Epheria is a land divided by war and mistrust. The High Lords of the South squabble and fight, only kept in check by the Dragonguard, traitors of a time long past, who serve the empire of the North.

In the remote villages of southern Epheria, still reeling from the tragic loss of his brother, Calen Bryer prepares for The Proving – a test of courage and skill that not all survive.

But when three strangers arrive in the village of Milltown, with a secret they are willing to die for, Calen’s world is ripped from under him and he is thrust headfirst into a war that has been raging for centuries.

There is no prophecy. His coming was not foretold.

He bleeds like any man, and bleed he will.

The Review

It’s been a busy year for me – and I’ve read less books this year than planned. Of Blood and Fire has been high on my TBR list, but it took until December for me to read it. It’s chunky! It’s epic!! And I felt I needed a block of time to get through it.

This, however, turned out not to be required – I literally flew through this book. At over 540 pages, it is a page turner. Not something I usually say about epic fantasy, but in the case of Of Blood and Fire, it’s true.

What makes it so readable?

I really think it’s the successful mix of likeable characters, likeable fantasy tropes, whilst also telling its own story. It’s got a nostalgic feel, yet the prose is modern and the writing pulls you along. This book will certainly appeal to fans of Wheel of Time and Tolkien – whilst also calling to fantasy readers who like dragons and dragon riders.

And so – honestly – you want something epic and fun – give this a go.

I’d also add that Ryan Cahill is carefully building his world. While the start may feel reminiscent of other famous fantasy series, it deviates and builds as the story progresses. For those who want to read more about this world, there is also a fantasy novella called The Fall that is a prequel to Of Blood and Fire – and which can be read before or after the first novel.

I’ve also read The Fall, and I can really see the world that Ryan has created and where the story might take us! An epic 5 books await, with book 3 (Of War and Ruin) being released in January 2023.

So that’s my review – this was hugely enjoyable and I will be continuing with the sequel Of Darkness and Light in the new year!

If you like the sound of this – I’d also add that Ryan Cahill has his own discord group – which is lots of fun and has a nice community feel. If you want company as you read, or have questions, go to Ryan Cahill’s Twitter bio or website and find the link.

Thanks for reading!

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