Hello, and welcome to this Book Blitz where I showcase this wonderful book! An amazing cover, an amazing title, and an amazing plot. It has elves, dwarves, villains and a classic style DND adventure!
More information can be found here:
Eye of Obscurance by Jeffrey L. Kohanek
Published: May 18, 2021
Series: Fate of Wizardoms (#1)
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 300 (Print Length)
Possible Ultimate Tour Experience Tickets: Elves and dwarves and orcs, oh my!, Snark it up, The more the merrier, A villain you love to hate, Storyteller in the house, Bring on the magic
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A rollicking adventure: Can a quick-witted thief assassinate an almighty wizard lord?
Power. The ambitious thirst for it.
In a realm where wizards rule, those able to claim a throne are granted the power of a god.
How can one defeat a god?
A clever thief, a determined acrobat, and a troubled dwarf are joined by an old storyteller as they attempt the impossible: Assassinate a wizard lord. Their slim hope relies on an enchanted amulet, the Eye of Obscurance.
These unwitting pawns are embroiled in a contest of wizards. The stakes: The fate of the world.
From bestselling author Jeffrey L. Kohanek comes the first novel in an epic fantasy saga where magic reigns, wizards scheme for power, and the world teeters on the edge of breaking, perfect for readers who enjoy Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, or Robert Jordan.
Download and prepare for a spectacular, thrilling adventure.
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Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.
Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all..
Be sure to enter the giveaway here!
GRAND PRIZE: Signed copies of all six books in Jeffrey L. Kohanek’s FATE OF WIZARDOMS series (US Only)
RUNNERS-UP: One (1) of three (3) signed paperbacks of Eye of Obscurance by Jeffrey L. Kohanek (US Only)
Starts: May 18th, 2021 at 12:00am EST
Ends: May 21st, 2021 at 11:59pm EST
The fabulous sequel to 2019’s hit debut novel: Master of Sorrows.
Annev has avoided one fate. But a darker path may still claim him . . .
After surviving the destruction of Chaenbalu, new mysteries and greater threats await Annev and his friends in the capital city of Luqura. As they navigate the city’s perilous streets, Annev searches for a way to control his nascent magic and remove the cursed artifact now fused to his body.
But what might removing it cost him?
As Annev grapples with his magic, Fyn joins forces with old enemies and new allies, waging a secret war against Luqura’s corrupt guilds in the hopes of forging his own criminal empire. Deep in the Brakewood, Myjun is learning new skills of her own as apprentice to Oyru, the shadow assassin who attacked the village of Chaenbalu – but the power of revenge comes at a daunting price. And back in Chaenbalu itself, left for dead in the Academy’s ruins, Kenton seeks salvation in the only place he can: the power hoarded in the Vault of Damnation . . .
This review contains minor/major spoilers and are not intentional. Thank you to Will O Mullane at Gollancz for providing me a review. All thoughts are mine.
This is a masterpiece forged in the mountain of Kale. This is a huge sprawling epic that I would not be able to summarize within an entire review, it is that good. Somewhere I just wonder that this entire journey, this entire story is nothing more than Keos himself writing his own story. It was Keos that was cast from the Heavens, Keos that created goblins and un-natural creatures and for that he was deemed unworthy. Everyone swears that infernal God’s name in this book because Annev slowly begins to realize that the world of good is no longer becoming good. All the adults that he looks up to in this novel to aid him become in the end just that: villains. Many people claiming to help Annev are revealed to be some obscure servents of Gods or maybe Keos himself because Annev wears the golden hand of that God. And sometimes, it makes me wonder. What does Keos get out of all this at the end? He may be silent, but he is no fool. Keos is a master manipulator.
And this novel very clearly explains how people who are good-natured can turn into evil. Annev’s whole journey is like a parallel to this. Let’s not forget however, that Kenton is swearing revenge against him, for what obscure reason I am not particularly impressed with. Kenton was in love with Myjun, but did she ever return his affections so favorably once he was scarred? Myjun learns with her mentor, Oyru, and she discovers truths that are far more shocking when you read this story. I urge you, to read ALL the lore of this book. All the special manuscripts, the notes, every single thing. It makes sense as you read and as you discover along, you find so many secrets. I also was the type of reader going, ahhh and oooh and dammn. Writing a fantasy epic like this over 800 pages, keeping atop of all the orders, the names, the characters, this is no work that is rushed, but it shows a lot of hard work and dedication. I want to have this type of dedication. I can see why it took a year, it’s good! Really good. But a novel of this scale would have been proof-read, redrafted, edited many many times. I would take this into consideration. You have to read book 1 in order to understand the events of book 2.
I was not impressed with the way Annev made his decisions sometimes. In the novel, Annev, Titus, and Therin make their way to the Dionarchs. All I can say about the Dionarchs is that they are far worse than what Tosan and the Academy at Chalenbeau were. They are a bunch of self-hypocritical arsehole immortal beings with no sense of direction but to awake the silence of the Gods. And Reeve, who shall we say, is the leader of that presumed order, wants to use Annev as a tool. And this is where it goes worse. Annev is intelligent and realises when he is being used, but sometimes when he turned evil, I completely disagreed with what he was doing, and there were certain acts that he did that seemed a bit off-paced. I’d have gone with some different choices to show how he transitions to that type of villain. Many times you will see him doubt, you will see him worry, and you will not like what he is becoming. I was still satisifed with the fact that he can still retain and control his thoughts. But this is all Keos’s doing. Never mind all the damn Gods in this world, Keos is like the Loki of this world. Hidden but never seen, he is not present no. But he is there. In every step of the way.
That said, I am glad that most of the characters got their own time to shine as well: Therin and Titus got their own time, and they really are fun to read. I do wish they’d find some proper girlfriends, because they need it. And we got to see Crag, but I want MORE of him. He’s a fun character. Fyn and his gang of Ashes crew were brilliant, and I loved Fyn begin to mature, to question his previous behavior, and to also fall in love! I loved Sodja, and the entire story that is crafted around her. I didn’t enjoy Myjun at all, because I don’t agree with what she’s doing and her prejudices, but I respect what she seeks to find out, but she should have been an Assassin from the start. What was the point of her being raised by her father if she was nothing more than turning out to be someone who does horrible actions? While I can see why the morality of this world goes awry, I would ask that at least some morality, some sense is established. Because it seems to me, the Gods of this world are more evil than anything else. All fighting each other, all doing away with each other. If I was a character I would rage and start my own religion and be free from all this chaos. This world is chaos. Slavery, thievery, all of it! This is not a fun world to be in, and it makes me sad. I want to see the characters at least get a small measure of peace.
Oh, and I thought I would never enjoy Elder Tosan again. He is such a brilliant villain that I want to see more of him. I really miss Sodar, and I want him to come back. Sodar has to stop Annev, because he is the only sensible father-figure that can stop Annev from becoming too evil. The story is excellent, it is large, and it is huge. There’s a lot of lore as well. There’s gore and brutality as well, there’s love, loss, hope and misery. I didn’t like Annev becoming jealous of his friends, Therin and Titus when they stood up for him against Fyn and Kenton. Sometimes I wonder if Annev quietly contemplates using his powers to travel back into the past and change it. Would he prevent all that had happened?
This story is amazing, the worldbuilding is fantastic, the writing, description and prose is great. I really enjoyed this. 10/10 from me!
You have heard the story before – of a young boy, orphaned through tragic circumstances, raised by a wise old man, who comes to a fuller knowledge of his magic and uses it to fight the great evil that threatens his world.
But what if the boy hero and the malevolent, threatening taint were one and the same?
What if the boy slowly came to realize he was the reincarnation of an evil god? Would he save the world . . . or destroy it?
Among the Academy’s warrior-thieves, Annev de Breth is an outlier. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the small village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents’ killers.
Seventeen years later, Annev struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. When he is subsequently caught between the warring ideologies of his priestly mentor and the Academy’s masters, he must choose between forfeiting his promising future at the Academy or betraying his closest friends. Each decision leads to a deeper dilemma, until Annev finds himself pressed into a quest he does not wish to fulfil.
Will he finally embrace the doctrine of his tutors, murder a stranger, and abandon his mentor? Or will he accept the more difficult truth of who he is . . . and the darker truth of what he may become . . .
Masters of Sorrows is an unusual book for me. On the one hand, it’s a slow pace at the beginning for me. Many times, I felt when the story would move. On the other hand, as soon as I got halfway into the story, then it started to make sense. It’s got fantastic worldbuilding, great dialogue, and an easy-to-follow-along story. I resonated much with the imagery, the message of an unfair society, and the fact that disabled people have long been treated as impure in human history. It is a shame we live in a world where your disability is seen as your weakness when it is not and I applaud Justin for writing a fantasy that did just that. Then I could see the complex plans, the plots, the complexity involved and it gave me a much better appreciation of what the story is about. I thoroughly enjoyed the story once it started going and then on, it did feel slow-paced in some areas. Some scenes weren’t needed in my opinion, and some scenes could have been phased out. The story was slow-paced in description, scene, and dialogue, which I felt sometimes detracted from what the story was trying to do and tell Annev’s story. Many times, I also felt the narrator had his own bias about Annev as well.
The worldbuilding was rather complex at the beginning, however, it began to make more sense in the later stages of the story, I would have wanted a glossary at least for the names of places and a cast of characters which would have helped. Moving onwards, Justin has an eye for detail, noting the nooks, crevices of architecture, and the academy of Chaenbelau in which Annev studies. I was immersed into the father-son symbolic relationship which Sodar, his mentor, and a priest that runs the secluded village chapel in the Academy which is locked away from the rest of the world. He has been caring for him since he was a baby and he holds a secret that if revealed, would damage Annev’s life forever. Sodar was one of my most favorite characters and I eagerly await to see more of him in book 2. A man like him doesn’t die so easily. Sodar is always looking out for Annev, whether he is in this world or the spiritual world. I enjoyed that chemistry. The Elder Tosan who runs Annev’s academy is the biggest hypocrite in the world. The fact that these Ancients run an academy to retrieve magical artifacts and steal them, but declare magic a sin and anyone that’s deformed a Son of Keos is the stupidest thought. It’s no wonder why the Gods in this world look down upon humans in this world. I really enjoyed Crag, I love his name that Annev came up for him: Crack-Crack
Annev battles through constant emotions, turbulent circumstances that throw wrenches into his plans to marry Mjyun, Elder Tosan’s daughter. It, of course, doesn’t help that he’s trying to become an Avatar, battling the other boys that will become his companions in some form or the other. The entire story wrestles through that conundrum because Annev is talented, but he is held back by Tosan, who views Annev as being corrupted by Sodar’s influences. Annev can think for himself, something which I like. This novel could be characterized as a YA novel, but it isn’t. Quite frankly its characters can think for themselves if I’m rather honest. I enjoyed so many characters, some scenes made me laugh. Scenes which made my eyebrows go up, scenes in which I did not enjoy Annev’s love obsession with Mjyun when he can find the right woman, and I was right there with Sodar groaning at Annev’s mistakes. But when you’re young, you don’t know half the time what is right and what is wrong. When you’re an adult you realize the world is a blank slate, not everyone is good or evil, but there are plenty of humans willing to do more for greed and desire than anything else and that’s where Annev finds himself to be really.
Overall, this is a great story. To try the summarize the entire story would take eons because it is a fantasy epic. I enjoyed this, and I think you will too