Book Review: Jaeth’s Eye by K.S. Villoso

Title: Jaeth’s Eye
Author: K.S. Villoso
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

It has been years since his brother’s accident. Kefier was only just beginning to live a normal life–at least, as normal as it could get for a mercenary from a run-down town. And then an errand goes wrong and he finds himself holding his friend’s bloody corpse. Already once branded a murderer, he is pursued by men he once considered friends and stumbles into the midst of a war between two mages. One bears a name long forgotten in legend; the other is young, arrogant Ylir, who takes special interest in making sure Kefier is not killed by his associates. The apex of their rivalry: a terrible creature with one eye, cast from the womb of a witch, with powers so immense whoever possesses it holds the power to bring the continent to its knees.

Now begins a tale with roots reaching beyond the end of another. Here, a father swears vengeance for his slain children; there, a peasant girl struggles to feed her family. A wayward prince finds his way home and a continent is about to be torn asunder. And Kefier is only beginning to understand how it all began the moment he stood on that cliff and watched his brother fall…

Jaeth’s Eye is the fast-paced, intriguing start of a fantasy series that will leave you wanting more. Kefier is on the run from people who once were his allies and friends and who now consider him a murderer. He’s aided by an unlikely ally, Ylir, who takes special interest in Kefier and making sure he’s not killed. Various different storylines come together and connect, sometimes in surprising ways, sometimes in ways I could slightly anticipate, forming a rich, multi-layered story that begs to be read.

The characters, complex storylines connecting, all of it reminded me of Game of Thrones – but not in terms of plot, this book is far different from that, but just in the way how all the different storylines just seemed to connect at some point, overlap, cross, and form one bigger story to be told from different perspectives. The characters also remind me of the characters in Game of Thrones, although they’re unique, they do share one common denominator: they’re all flawed, and none of them are true heroes. Not in the way you had Frodo in Lord of the Rings, or Pug in Raymond E. Feist’s celebrated Magician series.

Here, in Jaeth’s Eye, in the Agartes Epilogues, there is no true hero. Instead, there’s a collection of characters, some of them with potentials to be heroes, others with potential to be villains. It’s a much more realistic world we see here. We see characters with ambitions, characters thirsting for vengeance, characters seeking justice.

The storyline is complex, and the world-building is rich and detailed, but equally complex. It’s not the kind of book you can read brainlessly, almost skimming through the pages – no, you have to really keep focused on it. A bonus point for the book was how it embraced diversity between the different cultures in the book and didn’t just focus on one culture.

Recommended to readers who enjoy the more complex, epic fantasy tomes. I, for one, look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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