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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Heroes or Thieves by JJ Sherwood [4 stars]

 
 
From the Description
 
"War is the action taken to determine who has strength enough to live, and who has strength enough to die. Death can be the gateway to victory, but not all men are brave enough to face this truth."

A dark and ancient magic has resurfaced upon Aersadore, and it serves the new lords of the elven nation. Disgraced and on a land far from home, Jikun yet finds himself in the midst of Sevrigel's inner turmoil. When he accepts the siren call to rectify his past mistakes, he soon determines that to walk the path of the hero, he must first become the thief.

As Sevrigel's new rulers exact genocide upon all who oppose them, the shadow of their reign takes shape. Their necromancer, whose name is spoken only in whispers, is rising in power, striking down all upon Ryekarayn who might dare to offer the elven nation aid. If Jikun wishes to secure his country's future, he must first defeat the man who Ryekarayn has named Death itself.
 
 
 
Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Silver Helm
Publication Length: 488 pages
 
 
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this story.
 
Heroes or Thieves is the second part of the epic fantasy adventure that began with Kings or Pawns. Dealing with the outcome of the battle to stop Saebellus from taking the elven city of Elarium, Jikun and Navon flee across the channel to Ryekarayn, giving us a whole new land to explore and more characters to get to know. I love that Navon has become more of a main character in this part of the story instead of just a side-kick for Jikun! Jikun's struggle with survivors guilt and PTSD has forced Navon to see him as a person instead of one of his heroes from the legends. Alvena has also started to come into her own. Captured and returned to the palace, she starts to realizes that things may not be as they seem. Saebellus' Beast, Jerah, isn't quite the monster he appears, I can't wait to see where his story goes. This action packed book is filled with exciting battles, intriguing characters, fantastic beasts, and a ton of WTF moments. A highly recommended 4 star read.
 
 
Buy the Book
 

About the Author
 
 
On a cold winter night, wind howling into the desert sky, one ordinary hospital gave witness to a historic event. JJ Sherwood was born at 2:30 a.m. on December 31st, just barely managing to squeeze in to supplant New Year’s Eve. JJ has always had a flair for the dramatics.
 
Sherwood began writing in the womb after a harrowing incident in which Mother Sherwood swallowed a pen—and thus, destiny was born. JJ’s first work was completed by the age of 5: a riveting tale of a duck attempting to climb into an apartment during the pouring rain. Unfortunately this book is not in print, but it served as the first spark that spurred on a lifetime of creativity.
 
Much of JJ’s childhood was spent tearing through the woods, playing out fantasy worlds, and tying Barbie to the roof so that the Power Rangers might rescue her. Middle and high school carried on this roleplaying, while college encompassed creating and refining over 250 characters in the world of Aersadore.
 
After escaping college, finally armed with the tools of the trade and a lifetime of development, JJ set to writing what would become the Steps of Power series: it was then that Eraydon slew his first dragon, Jikun battled the warlord Saebellus, and Taranus rebelled against his brother’s throne.
 
When not orchestrating the lives and deaths of the people of Aersadore, JJ’s hobbies include drawing, video gaming, wearing a bathrobe, and eating too many baked potatoes. JJ Sherwood lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with one loving and extremely patient spouse, a bearded dragon, a monk parakeet, and four cats who look far too similar.
 
You can find JJ Sherwood at her website Steps of Power and on Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads
 

Praise
 
This is world building (and character development) at its finest. -- Pure Jonel

I'm a big fantasy fan and as such I find it's rare to see a world of elves that's new and refreshing. -- Drako's Den

[...]you are completely invested in the story as a political thriller before it becomes an action adventure story. Calling it epic fantasy almost seems like an understatement. -- The All Night Library