Aaron Dennis, author of the sci-fi Lokian series, has now ventured into the realm of action-adventure. And his readership will not be disappointed with this dramatic divergence. For his first foray into this new genre, a legend entitled From Blood, surpasses his previous literary works in every way.
New friends are quickly made and lost. Hardened criminals are converted to the side of goodness through the power of God. Beasts of every shape and size emerge to feast on human blood, turning the island of Volgunther into a desolate ruin. And Dysart, one of the original descendants of this dreaded place, lands on the island intent on destroying the sole entity responsible for all this bloodshed and destruction: the eternal Daemon named Salamandrus.
“The Daemon wants me to despair, but I will not. No, I will not let this man perish. We will not succumb to fear. We will not succumb to the Daemon, nor his treacherous ways.” With these words Dysart vows to kill the menacing monster, Salamandrus, who has caused his family and the native islanders unspeakable sorrow and loss of life. Dysart is a protagonist who personifies guts and determination. Yet more importantly, he is a noble character who desires to use his strength and magical powers, not for mere bloodlust (after the fashion of his fellow, and now fallen, Cayneian forefathers) but to rid the island of evil.
Dennis’ story of the knight-like Dysart–and the brave, and sometimes traitorous, men and women he encounters on his daring quest–possesses all the elements of true legend. At times the dark imagery and visceral violence of the story, along with the myriad monsters, curious incantations, and rustic peoples of the land, reminds one of the first great action story of western literary canon, namely, Beowulf. Like that heroic epic poem, the romantic setting of Volgunther familiarizes the reader with a more dangerous and primeval time and place. Yet From Blood is also reminiscent of more recent legends, such as Excalibur, The Fellowship of the Ring, Vikings, and even the Harry Potter books and movies.
From beginning to end, this novel captured my imagination and kept me glued to the page. It is by far Dennis’ best literary work to date. I’m deeply drawn to the mythic characters and world of From Blood. The novel ranks up there with the best I’ve read in this genre. I sincerely hope there will be a sequel, and perhaps several prequels, to this fine story.
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