Blackthorn Knights by Stewart Felkel

Blackthorne KNights
Blackthorn Knights by Stewart Felkel
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (104 Pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

A MAN OUT OF HIS WORLD:

When Robert Temple proposed to his college girlfriend Portia the last thing he expected was to find himself following her home to El’Ori. Especially considering her home is an island kingdom in another universe; a kingdom that is part of the much larger Rhavinian Empire.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE:

Unfortunately the two of them find their new home in troubled times. For a small kingdom it has more than its share of problems. For starters there is the horde of part demon barbarians who have begun raiding the island from the sea. To compound matters the Rhavinian Lord Deputy of the island, in his paranoia and greed, believes the raids to be the work of rebels. He refuses to provide aid while enforcing the ban on personal weapons and stripping the island bare of its wealth and resources.

DESPERATE MEASURES IN DESPERATE TIMES:

Seeing no relief in sight Temple decides that his only choice is to risk everything he has grown to love by forming a warrior brotherhood known as the Blackthorn Knights. It’s a desperate gamble, for even if they drive off the invaders they’ll still risk their fates at the hands of the Rhavinian Empire as rebels. In a land of scheming nobles, wizards, powerful empires and ancient monsters can one man save everything that he holds dear? With his bow in hand Temple is determined to try.

Drawing heavily from Irish myths and history, as well as the timeless tales of Robin Hood, the story of the Blackthorn Knights is a lighthearted, fast paced fantasy tale. For fans of Terry Brook’s Landover series, Harry Turtledove’s Videssos Cycle, and Rick Shelly’s Varayan Memoir.

This is a fun fantasy novel with a great premise. I like the mixing of our world with another universe, and Portia makes for a most commanding princess. I actually found her to be more believable and three-dimensional than the hero, Robert Temple. Portia has been at school in the United States when she is called back home to her island kingdom of El’Ori, bringing Temple with her. Temple is a graduate student in medieval history and his idea of the medieval world fits pretty closely with the reality of El’Ori.

There is lots of action in this short novel, and it is interesting to see how Temple uses his learning to fashion the Blackthorn Knights, circumventing the laws of the occupying forces. He is able to win the loyalty of his men very quickly and soon he is leading raids against marauding pirates.

I do feel that this novel could definitely use another round of editing. There were enough mistakes that, if the story hadn’t been so engaging, I would have put the book down. And I do wish the author had stated from the beginning that this book was just the first in a series because it came as a surprise to find the cliffhanger ending.

But Blackthorn Knights is fun and the premise is worth pursuing, so readers who enjoy fantasy which take them to parallel worlds will find this to be a nice read.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the review. It is most appreciated.

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