Title: War of the Staffs (War of the Staffs, #1)
Author: Steve Stephenson & K.M. Tedrick
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anyone out there love Lord of the Rings? If so, this is the book for you. Wizards, elves, dwarves, humans, orcs, dragons, and (a new twist)…vampires!
As legend goes, there existed siblings, one good and one evil. Adaman, the good god died at the hands of Adois, the evil goddess. Many years later, Adois sends a powerful, vampiric wizard, Taza, to bring evil upon a new planet. The only way to defeat Taza, along with the influence of Adois, is to assemble the two pieces of Ancient Staff of Adaman. Prophecy states that a young Prince may have the power to overthrow Taza and the grueling influence of Adois.
So, I feel like the easiest way for me to review this novel is to compare it to Lord of the Rings when describing the protagonists:
- Tarquin: He is our youngest little prince of Partha who happens to be our focal point of the prophecy. Raised to be an Elven diplomat since birth, Tarquin disappoints his father when deciding to join the armed forces of the Borderers, which happens to consist mainly of dwarves. As our prince climbs up the ranks, he is then tasked with leading a unit into the Underground to recover a Dwarven city, Brackas, lost to the evil while assisting Celedant uncover ones of the missing pieces of Adaman’s staff. To me, he will one day be like my beloved Aragorn.
- Celedant: Comparable to Gandalf, he is there when you need him and has the potential to do more harm, but stands by as the others perform the greater deeds. Finding it his duty to restore the balance between good and evil, he is tasked with reuniting the two parts of the Staff of Adaman. One thing that surpasses Gandalf is his relationship with his dragon!
- Morganna: Illanni rebel, her father put a warrant out for her head after she showed her disgust with her family being turned into vampires. Approached by her long-time friend, Kalsti, she decides to help the rebels free the human slaves. Barely surviving a critical injury, Dolgar, the god of the dwarves and healer, saves Morganna and provides her with the power to heal. With her new power, she heals Tarquin after a deadly blow when the two first meet.
- Taza: The War of the Staffs version of Saruman…except for a vampire. With his ultimate goal being of working for Adois (through her staff) to bring evil upon Muiria, he has turned all of the dark elves into vampires to do his bidding.
Let me just say, there has to be another book! I need to know how Celedant and the others recover the last piece of the Staff of Adaman! Please, please, bring some more dragon action! And, while there wasn’t any romance in this novel (what a relief!), I’m feeling some sexual tension between Tarquin and Morganna (didn’t see that coming since the beginning of the novel…not!). Besides for a few grammatical errors and the beginning being confusing with keeping the characters straight, this was a great read that was even-paced, exhilarating, and sucked you into the story.
The expected publication date is July 16, 2018.