Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with. – Brodi Ashton
Renwald Mallorian wants nothing more than to be a Hero. He’s read all the books, after all, so what more could he need? Oh, right. He needs someone to hire him so he can get practical experience; he needs to get himself hired for a Hero’s Quest and prove that all his reading hasn’t been for naught. He even has magic-infused weapons to call upon in battle, elemental weapons of fire and ice that practically guarantee his Hero status. I mean, come on, swords forged of Elven silver? What could be more hero-making than that? The only problem is that the vampire he copped them from wants to be paid for them or to get them back from Ren, and being a little low on funds, with no prospects for Hero-ing on the horizon, Ren has no choice but to surrender his swords and concede the fact that nobody is going to hire a Hero who doesn’t even have his own weapons.
Well, you know the old saying: When a door closes, a window opens? In Ren’s case, it was another door that opened, but it wasn’t the open door as much as it was who walked through it that put Ren on the path to greatness.
Celestrian is a Unicorn, but not just any Unicorn. He’s the Lost Unicorn, and he was taken in as an infant by Mother Dragon, who taught Celestrian many things about life, including how to transform into a man. But now that Mother Dragon has gone, Celestrian must travel far and wide to find what few Unicorns may remain following a war that decimated their population. When he ambles into the Rusty Cutter with plenty of need and more than enough money to procure exactly what—or whom—he’s looking for, Renwald Mallorian transforms into Ren the Resilient, and it’s then and there that an unlikely hero is born.
With a magical emporium of imagination and a menagerie of fantastical creatures, Beau Schemery has created a world that pays homage to fairy tales and folklore and high fantasy, from The Wizard of Oz to Harry Potter to a little Dr. Moreau, and everything in between. It is a battle of good vs. evil, an epic score of danger, intrigue, misplaced loyalty, zealotry, and radical allegiances that also happens to weave together a lot of humor and a sweet—but incomplete—romance in its pages. There’s much more that needs doing here to get Ren and Trian to their happily-ever-after, so don’t expect this episode of their saga to be tidily wrapped up at the end, but do expect to find a story that’s clever and creative, in which both young men become Heroes and prove that fantasy is reality and their reality is the stuff of legends.
There isn’t a single thing about this story that didn’t make me ooh and ah and cheer, and I’m so looking forward to the next book in the series.