Morning all! Today I’ve got three posts for you (I’m a busy bee!). First up is The Summoned Ones by Darryl A. Woods, and I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for this epic fantasy novel, the first book in the Flight to Bericea series…..
book blurb & Info
The Bericean army was in Malabrim for the ninth straight fighting season. Over the past 9 years, Zybaro, the leader of a small band of unknowns, had evolved from his days as a minor usurper of a tiny kingdom. Now, almost the entire country of Malabrim was under Zybaro’s control, and his army was large enough to easily challenge Bericea’s army. Still, Bericea continued its raids into Malabrim, hoping to stem Zybaro’s methodical progress and thwart his tyrannical means of control. Zybaro had seized village after village, forcing anyone capable of joining his army and enslaving all who remained in deplorable working conditions to supply his army.
This latest conflict with Zybaro had pushed General Darnon to a decision, one he had resisted making for over a year. Though he still held grave reservations about the Prophecies, he was willing to support the clerics who would attempt the summoning. The details of the ritual had recently been discovered in an ancient tome. The clerics were confident they could bring forth the Summoned Ones of Prophecy, those mysterious beings who would aid Bericea in its time of greatest need.
Darnon also had concerns about the location of the summoning. It would have to take place farther into Malabrim than they had ventured in many years. And even if the ritual was effective, it would be a great challenge to get the Summoned Ones safely back to Bericea, in addition to the soldiers sent to protect them. However, Darnon felt that morale was so low, if they survived this battle, he owed his troops the hope the summoning ritual could bring.
Join the soldiers of Bericea and the Summoned Ones through a life-or-death struggle. The Summoned Ones was made up of a small college aged group of friends from a small Kentucky town near the Daniel Boone National Forrest, who find themselves somehow brought to a chaotic world through magic. Their epic journey will push the Summoned beyond the limits of their endurance. This unlikely group will discover many truths about themselves and experience another world beyond their imagination.
Published by: Bresford Ridge Publishing on 29th February 2020
Available formats: Paperback & Digital
The story follows eight friends, Pattie, Brandon, Mike, Will, Jeremy, Josh, Steve and Gloria as they hike through Daniel Boone National Forest to fulfil one of their friends final wishes. Having found the right cave, and delving in deeper than they’ve ever been, they suddenly find themselves in a perilous situation; but they’re not on earth anymore……
They find themselves in a strange place with people they don’t understand. Once they’re finally able to understand them, it only adds to their confusion when the people surrounding them refer to them as ‘The Summoned One’s. As their lives are put in danger, the group is split and it’s a race against time to get them to safety. But as they discover things beyond their imagination, and learn more about themselves they are each tested in their own ways. Will they be able to live up to the prophecy? And will they make it to safety?
I really enjoyed this story. The world building was pretty good, and the descriptions of the creatures and things the group encounter are described well, which helps the imagination to bring them to life. The story did start off quite slow as we’re introduced in depth to the characters and some of their backgrounds; and the hike to the caves seems to drag on a little, but once they reach it the story picks up pace. Don’t be put off by the first 10%, it’s worth it and it will help you get to know the characters and their strengths.
There is a lot of action going on with many battles taking place, and again the strategies were described in-depth. I found this a bit much as I was getting lost (and sometimes had no idea what they were talking about) for those of you who love detail, this will be right up your street. The same goes for some of the descriptions of things the characters get up to, for example blacksmithing. The processes felt like they were described in quite a lot of detail and personally, I would have liked a bit less as I just wanted to get on with the story and see what was going to happen.
I really loved the characters though. As I’ve mentioned we learn quite a bit about the in the beginning which helps to build the relationship with them. My particular favourites are Pattie, Mike and Brandon! I’m rather suspicious about one of them but I think more will come to light on them in the next book so I’m not mentioning anything! Some of the clerics were brilliant! I really like Varis and Elinack, and I love Phomel & Kail! It’s brilliant to watch the characters learn so much about themselves, grow and have the endurance thoroughly tested. I was so proud of some of them and can’t wait to see them develop further in the next book.
I really enjoyed the fact that the author hasn’t used names that are hard to pronounce! I found them easy, even though they were strange which really helped with the flow of the story. And although I’ve mentioned the detail above, the positive side to it is that it really helped me to understand what each creature was, the characters and the magic. I also really enjoyed the mix up of the two worlds. The characters relate back to what is similar on earth, but it’s also clear what’s really different. Especially the amazing magic!
Overall, this was a fantastic read albeit a bit too detailed in places for me. Having said that, I would love to read the second book in the series as I want to know what happens, and what some of the characters are up to! If you’re a fan of epic fantasy then you will enjoy this, and if you love detail then this is definitely for you.
about the author
Darryl Woods is a storyteller who hones his craft entertaining coworkers. He also enjoys regaling family and friends with stories of his upbringing in rural Ohio, of the motorized contraptions his father fabricated, and of the timber cutting and sawmill work he did with his father-in-law. With an appetite for reading fantasy, it was inevitable he would choose to write about an epic journey in a world dominated by magic and sword fighting. Join my newsletter to get a short story every 15 days.
tour hosted by
Thanks to Emma for inviting me on to the tour, and to Daryl and Bresford Ridge Publishing for gifting me with a copy of the book. All views are my own.
More from me soon!
Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you). This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.