This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Arel B. Grant, Author. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Razvak Hunter by Arel B. Grant
Series: Razvak #1
Release Date: February 28, 2016
Publisher: BZN Writing House
Source: Arel B. Grant, Author
Purchase at: Amazon
Before… Aelwyd has worked hard to become strong. As the Fairest One of Vallenthar, her power is formidable. Years of battle honed her into a fearsome warrior who never falters in front of an enemy. However, there are shadows that when they come, they can swallow you whole. After a hundred years of praying against it, the minute she walks into the chilling scene of death in front of her, she knows her personal nightmare is back. He nearly destroyed her once, but she isn't a victim anymore. This time, she will stop him, or she will die trying.
Now... Dalbran knows nothing of friends, joy, or mischief. The orphaned ward of a ruthless warrior woman, she’s never showed him love or affection. Instead she fills his days with learning the art of battle, savage teachings of how to survive in their harsh world. Days are filled with pain and exhaustion, but nighttime used to be his own. Even that is now lost, though, for something lurks in the shadows of sleep, clawing at him the moment his eyes close. He tells himself it’s okay, that he can handle it. However daunting the voices may be, however cold the hand that chokes him in the darkness, as long as it stays within the nightmare, everything will be all right.
As long as it stays within the nightmare…
The Razvak Hunter in the simplest terms is about dark creatures versus light creatures and the battle between the two. This story was set in Vallenthar with the continent being split into Myrasia and Easia. The dark ones lived in Easia and the light ones lived in Myrasia. In this world, there had to be a division between the two because the dark beings and light beings were not able to live together. The dark ones could live side by side with other races and suffer no ill side effects but the same could not be said for the light creatures. They would become physically ill if they had too much contact with any dark creatures.
This sickness was the reason for the border that separated Easia from Myrasia. It created a protected place for the light creatures to live without fear of taint from the dark creatures. The most feared of the dark creatures was the razvak. Normally it took time to kill a light creature from exposure to darkness but a razvak just needed to simply touch a light being, a simple brushing of the skin, and it would be enough to kill a light creature. The razvak’s pure dark energy would absorb the light creature’s energy, infecting their blood with the darkening disease and sometimes even turning a light one in to a dark.
This story is told from the voice of two different characters. The past (before) is told by Aelwyd Dol Daranthon, she was among other things The Rose of Vallenthar. Her purpose was essentially to be a proxy for the Gods in the earth. As ‘The Fairest One’ she belonged to all the people of Vallenthar, and could be with no other. Her position was very important but what made her truly unique was that she alone was the only elf to ever survive a razvak attack. This knowledge gave her a keen insight in her duty as a razvak hunter.
The present (now) is from the voice of Dalbran Darod Thord. He was being raised by Eal’harer and every day was its own brand of torture. He has no past because he was an orphan. His guardian Eal’harer was brutal. He was given no sympathy, compassion or quarter. He was trained for what he was not sure but he would become what Harer wanted or he would die trying. I felt bad for this character because he did suffer.
When the story starts out, it’s a bit confusing with the “before” and “now” viewpoints. That confusion doesn’t last very long though. As the story progressed it becomes clear what was at play and as the mystery of the razvak unfolded I was riveted. To finally see the connection between the characters and what they represented was quite enjoyable.
Vallenther is quite a fascinating setting. I was introduced to different countries set within it as well as different creature types. I was a little disappointed that there was not much background information to the creatures in this story. It does leave room for greater exploration in future installments in this series so it was not something that I was too hung up on.
Overall, The Razvak Hunter was a brilliant story and once I got into the flow of the writing I was entranced. There were many parts that struck an emotional cord for me! I loved that I had to follow the story through past to present to see the weaving of the connection between the who and why of it all. The Razvak Hunter is definitely an Epic Fantasy story that I would recommend to fans of that genre.
*Thank you to Author Arel B. Grant for this complimentary copy of The Razvak Hunter*