“The Five Warriors” follows five warriors on a mission–some more reluctantly than others–to save their world from the an evil immortal being. Only some of them may be working for the enemy…
Like “The Blended Ones,” the second book in this series (but which I read first), the world-building in “The Five Warriors” borrows elements from Tolkien and Brooks, but is marked by an exuberant imagination that gives it its own stamp. The characters race from adventure to adventure, roaming through wildly diverse landscapes and battling all kinds of monsters, barely stopping to catch their breath in between fights and plot reveals. There are two basic plot strategies for epic/heroic fantasy: spend lots of time dwelling on the details of the world the characters slowly travel through, or have the characters gallop from adventure to adventure. This book falls into the latter camp, so how you feel about that depends on where you stand on epic fantasy plot structure.
We get the point of view of all five of the warriors, all of whom are lightly sketched but are still distinct characters. The Four Worlds of this series are populated by the Four People Groups, and the characters come from all the different People Groups, making it a multiracial group. Refreshingly, it is in fact a multiracial group, with Alaireia, one of the warriors, possessing the dark skin and dark hair of her people, the Ezincks. The inclusion of what is essentially a woman of color (the idea, of course, is one limited to the “real” world, but you get what I mean!) as a main character in an epic fantasy book is always a welcome development, and Alaireia is presented very naturally and integrated into the plot structure, rather than being jammed in there as a token or a sex symbol. Although she, like the other characters, is largely a fantasy archetype, she is not the archetype of the exotic, foreign, and dangerous dark-skinned woman, but rather the archetype of the bold warrior, while still being sympathetic and unaffectedly feminine. All in all, a fun fantasy tale with some unique elements.
My thanks to the author for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Buy link: Amazon