Eagle En Garde by Olga Godim

Eagle En Garde by Olga Godim
Publisher: Burst Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (303 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Darin, a mercenary officer, lives in Talaria, a kingdom surrounded by a magic-resistant spell. While some people wish to break the spell and invite magic back into the country, the fanatical sect of Cleaners is determined to prevent the return of magic. Darin doesn’t agree with the Cleaners’ doctrine but he doesn’t dispute it either. He is a soldier, not a philosopher. Then he accidentally overhears the Cleaners’ hidden agenda to destroy all magic workers in Talaria, including witches and elves, and his orderly life is turned upside down. His sweetheart is a witch, his daughter is a half-elf, and he has many elven friends. He can’t allow the Cleaners’ murderous scheme to succeed, can’t allow innocents to suffer from the rabid zealots. But what can a lone mercenary do against a horde of extremists? His only choice lies in trickery and deceit to outsmart his enemies. And the anti-magic spell on the border suddenly becomes his only ally.

Can one man change the fate of an entire country?
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Darin knows that the odds are against him when he decides to take on the traitorous sect of Cleaners, but he absolutely cannot ignore a plot that would endanger his country and the people he loves. Darin abhors the Cleaners and their agenda. He’ll do whatever he can to stop them, even at the cost of his own life.

Darin exemplifies what a true hero should be. He is smart, brave, and fierce when he needs to be. However, he is also kind and considerate. He’s the sort of man who stands up for those in need and does not tolerate bullying of any kind. I particularly like that he treats others with respect and generally tries to give others the benefit of the doubt. While Darin always strives to do the right thing, he does have moments when he is selfish, rash, or makes poor decisions that cost him dearly. These flaws only serve to make Darin a wonderfully well rounded character. Perhaps the thing I like most about Darin is his genuine appreciation of life and the world around him. Darin’s time as a mercenary hasn’t hardened him. His curiosity and delight in discovering and learning new things was a pleasure to watch. I would be proud to call him my friend.

I love the world that Ms. Godim has created. As I followed Darin on his journeys, I could clearly see all the places he traveled through. I particularly like the description of Neazdal, a city where elves live. “Every house…glowed with its own color. The number of different shades was unbelievable…The colors blended in the middle, coalescing into each other. Violet transformed into gold, azure into dawn-pink, malachite into orange.” With descriptive language like this, Ms. Godim painted a picture of an absolutely breathtaking city that I dearly wish I could visit.

The pacing of Eagle En Garde is excellent. There is plenty of page turning action and adventure, but Ms. Godim sprinkles in some slower moments throughout the story when Darin spends time with loved ones or simply needs to recover after his many battles. The mix of the mundane and the epic gives this fantasy a realistic feel.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Eagle En Garde. Darin is a great character, and I had so much fun following him on his adventures. I must admit that I was a little sad when I finished reading. I hope that Ms. Godim has plans for a sequel because I wasn’t quite ready to leave Darin and the beautiful world of Talaria behind. I highly recommend Eagle En Garde to anyone looking for a compelling and engaging tale of adventure.


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