This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Layton Green. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Brothers Three by Layton Green
Series: The Blackwood Saga #1
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: Cloaked Traveler Press
Source: Author, Layton Green
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be plunged into a dangerous fantasy world?
The Blackwood brothers from New Orleans are about to find out. Youngest brother Will dreams of escaping his mundane life as an apprentice contractor. Caleb is a bartender whose charm and good looks see him through life. Val, the eldest, is a high-powered attorney who hides the fact that he can perform parlor tricks with his mind.
The brothers' lives are changed forever when they receive a belated inheritance from their father: a staff with a mysterious stone on top, a pair of rogue's bracers, and a sword that Will can barely lift. Searching for an explanation, it is not until a strange key whisks the brothers across time and space, into a terrifying version of New Orleans ruled by wizards, that the brothers accept the truth and undergo a perilous journey home. With the help of an alluring but deadly adventuress, they must break into the keep of a sorcerer known for his love of diabolical games, find a trio of enchanted talismans, and somehow defeat an evil wizard who can raise legions of the undead to do his bidding.
It seems the brothers have found their adventure. But will they live to tell the tale?
I wanted to read The Brothers Three because I was curious to see how the author would take three brothers, Will, Caleb, and Val, from current times and translate their lives into a fantasy adventure that included magic, wizards, and necromancers. This story was truly an adventure! Will is the youngest of the brothers and also the main protagonist. This story is told mostly from his point of view but it does switch from time to time to include other points of view.
I really enjoyed the sibling relationship between the brothers. They had lost their father when they were young and their mother had a mental breakdown that she has yet to recover from, so the brothers had always relied upon each other. Growing up though they did have their father’s friend, by the name of Charlie, who looked after the boys. Will had always considered Charlie as a father figure and had a close relationship with him. The other brothers liked Charlie but the relationship was not the same for them. The brothers grew up to be very different men and were living their lives in their own fashion but they still remained connected.
Will was the youngest of the brothers and he was also the one with his head in the clouds. He always had an active imagination and he desperately wanted his life to be less commonplace. Only thing was, he suffers from debilitating panic attacks that occur when anything stressful or frightening happens. Due to his limitations, he had to live vicariously through his friend Lance who is a police officer. Lance would sometimes take Will out with him when he was not expecting much excitement. One night while on a call about a disturbance in the cemetery Will saw something that defied all rational explanation.
To compound matters further, the brothers were brought together by Charlie who then explained to the them about the true heritage of their father. Val and Caleb were skeptical about the reveal but Will was not. He did not understand what was going on necessarily but he had already seen enough to consider the possibilities. It was during this time that the brothers were attacked by a magical creature and Charlie was taken hostage. Will was determined to save Charlie and he decided to take a chance and see if what Charlie revealed was true. The next actions are what broke open all the secrets and tore what the brothers considered reality wide open.
Will and his brothers lived in New Orleans, Louisiana and after Charlie was taken he learned that the abductor was from a parallel universe. A fraternal universal that shared many of the same characteristics to Will’s world. There were some evolutionary differences, the biggest being that the alternate universe had magic and that there was a time difference between the worlds. So cool! Will had been given a key that would access a door that would lead them to the other world. It was there that he would learn what was needed to defeat the monster that held Charlie captive.
The rub in all of this is that his brothers still did not believe that anything taking place was real, despite what they had seen. It was because of their disbelief that Will decided not to tell them of his plan for their involvement regarding the use of the key. One moment they were in their world and the next they were in an alternate New Orleans with no way back but to find the creature holding Charlie. In order to survive, the brothers need to adapt to this new world and find allies. They quickly learn how to use their unique weapons left to them by their father and unlock parts of themselves that they did not know existed.
This story is truly a fantasy filled with action and adventure set in a world unlike any they could have imagined. The brothers are tested and none of them will ever be the same as they battle wizards, minions raised from the dead, battle hardened warriors, and other creature of magic. The characters in this story are unique and engaging. I found myself being invested in them and rooting them on. When trauma strikes, I found myself grieved for them. This is a fun, entertaining and magical read! I would highly recommend this novel!
*Thank you to Layton Green for this complimentary copy of The Brothers Three*