Book Review: An Emerging Threat by Mark E. Lein

AnEmergingThreat_CoverTitle: An Emerging Threat
Author: Mark E. Lein
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

An evil stirs, casting a shadow across the Islands. Two men begin quests to find the source of the darkness. One (Oliver) is a young scholar, given no choice but to follow the path ahead. Tragedy shapes him, nearly driving him to despair; an inner struggle pervades his journey. The other (Ethan) is a warrior forced to the task through a sense of responsibility. His royal blood and his knighthood drive his course. Their searches, though separate, have the same goal: to find whatever or whoever may be responsible for the darkening of their world. This book tells the story of their journey and the creatures, both friend and foe, that they meet along the way.

In An Emerging Threat, we meet two men who try to find the source of the darkness spreading across the Islands, a fantasy realm. One of them is Oliver, a young scholar. When the citadel where he lives is destroyed by strange creatures, and everyone he knows dies during the attack, Oliver is an orphan in the truest sense of the word. He has no one to turn to, no one to guide him – nothing except a map left by his master. He goes on a journey, following the map’s route, wanting to find the creatures that destroyed his life.

On the other hand, we have Ethan, who is warrior, a prince of Astar. It’s responsibility that drives him to find the source of the darkness spreading across his world. He has a strong sense of justice, a sense for what he believes is right. While based on the plot one would think Oliver would be more sympathetic (as princes can be stuck up, and Oliver is all alone, which draws sympathy) it’s actually Ethan who comes across as the most sympathetic character, and ultimately, my favorite. It’s understandable though. Oliver is an academic, brave in his own way but not driven by justice as Ethan is. He’s also often sad about what happened – which is, of course, a natural reaction. Both characters are entertaining in their own way, and I enjoyed reading about both their struggles and journeys, but for some reason, Ethan’s story just appealed to me more. I think it’s the “quest for justice” thing, or just that his personality seemed more interesting.

The world building is okay. We only get a little of it, and I assume more will be revealed in later books. The character development was all right, and the plot moved swiftly, but because it’s a short read and the pace was so fast, the book was finished before I could start to really enjoy it.

So far, the book offers a promise for more interesting things to come, and it’s a good start to a new series. Recommended to fantasy fans.

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