Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Review: An Empire in Runes (The Runes of Issalia #3) by Jeffrey L. Kohanek

An Empire in Runes (The Runes of Issalia #3)

34670250A Long Forgotten Magic That Might Save the World…Or Destroy It

Led by a boy named Brock, a small team of teens urgently assembles a force to confront an army of monsters, one that ravages and destroys anyone or anything in its path. 

In a race against time, Brock attempts to train a group of recruits to wield the powerful magic known as Chaos, a magic that he himself is still learning to master. All the while, they must remain vigilant against a secret organization within the Ministry that will do anything to prevent the return of Chaos.

As foretold by an ancient prophecy, the human army must face and defeat their ancient enemy on the Tantarri Plains. For if they fail, all will be lost.

My Take:

When Brock Talenz, member of an outcast class known as the Unchosen, pays to have a rune tattooed into his forehead to mark him as Chosen instead, he unwittingly embarks on a journey not just to save himself from a life of starvation and poverty, but to save the world. A world that is governed by those who resist saving at every step. Brock soon discovers that he can wield a powerful magic known as Chaos, a magic too unpredictable and powerful to be considered 'safe' - a power banished hundreds of years ago, its very memory stamped out.

In a race against time, Brock must gather what forces he can, from all corners of Issalia, to face an invading horde of giant monsters, Banshees ten feet tall with razor sharp claws, who can freeze their enemies with fear by simply screaming at them. But can he stay ahead of The Hand, the mysterious secret organization bent on stamping out Chaos?

As the final showdown battle looms dark on the horizon, Brock gathers Unchosen Chaos-wielders beside the Tantarri raiders of the plains, and the remnants of the Holy Army of Issal for a last stand against impossible odds...


Drug Content:
G - Some drinking occurs, very light.

PG-13 - The Banshees use razor-sharp talons to rip faces off, slice people in pieces. Banshees are decapitated pretty often, and have a habit of bashing people's heads together. Fireballs and bombs set enemies on fire, war is pretty violent. The Banshees also eat people, sometimes while they are alive.

G - squeaky clean.

Adult Content:
PG - Some kissing, and a few off screen assignations. There's a girl vying for another girl's boyfriend, wearing revealing clothing to get him interested.   

Christian content:
None. Most of the religion in the book centers around the god Issal, who developed the runes and the power behind them. While no specific prayers are voiced or quoted directly to Issal, praying to the god happens quite frequently in the novel. Many characters depend on their faith in this god, others are not really believers in anything but their own abilities. 

Final analysis:
I must say, I looked forward to this third installment in the Runes of Issalia. It did not disappoint. Like the other two books in the series, the action was rapid fire and the characters well-developed. The stakes could not have been higher, the plot solid and constantly twisting. I read most of this in one sitting, and that's saying a lot as it weighed in at 286 pp paperback. fast-paced, immersive, edge-of-the-seat action, I couldn't put it down! Five Stars!

About the Author:
Jeffrey L. Kohanek

Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer's imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all.

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