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In Siege of Daylight: Book One of Light, Dark & Shadow is an epic fantasy with richly developed characters and a strong debut for a promising new series. Calvraign, the hero of the tale, is an apprentice to the king’s bard. His studies are filled with prophecy, romance, mythic enemies, and magic, and he contents himself with such fantasies until the day that he is suddenly called to the capital city. His best friend Callagh, the most skilled huntress in their village, senses something isn’t right with Calvraign’s hasty summons and follows him. Her instincts prove true, as his arrival throws the king’s court into chaos, and the two are abruptly torn from their simple country life and plunged into the real-life version of Calvraign’s tales.
A dead wizard’s menacing prophecy reveals that an all-encompassing dark magic has already been loosed upon the world, and there is only one way to stop it. Calvraign and Callagh must protect the life of the crown prince, Hiruld, at all costs. They are forced to contend with the realities of the king’s court—a constantly shifting web of intrigue, romance, and carefully executed maneuvers hidden behind the glittering façade of royal life—while simultaneously battling dark forces to keep Hiruld alive. Calvraign must find a way to ensure that all is not lost and that evil cannot triumph for all eternity. And Callagh must keep him alive long enough to do it….
It doesn’t take long for author Gregory S. Close’s greatest strength as a writer to reveal itself as characterization. His hero and heroine, along with a plethora of memorable characters, are complex individuals who accomplish the greatest task of literary figures: making the reader forget that they are fictional. His writing style is highly literary, calling to mind the boggling imagination of J. R. R. Tolkien but more easily readable in many ways, making this book an easy one to consume.
Close manages to take a genre sodden with tired plot lines and offer a number of refreshingly original takes on them all, keeping the reader guessing even while in seemingly familiar territory and intrigued with its highly entertaining plot twists. One of the novel’s most important and enjoyable characteristics is that it does not always choose the most obvious outcome; happy endings are relative.
In Siege of Daylight is a strong debut that is sure to captivate die-hard fantasy fans and create a generation of brand new ones. The book boasts a number of strong female protagonists; a departure from many fantasy tales that cast the women in the hapless wench or sidekick roles. This should be a strong draw for female readers in a literary genre with an overwhelming number of males within its fan base.
Book 1: In Siege of Daylight is on sale now.
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