I am so excited to share this review with you. This is one of the best books I have read this year. It blew me away, spoiler alert – 5 Stars! I drank “Dont Be An Idjit” (Supernatural Fandom loose tea) with it. Which was citrusy and uplifting, perfect to pull me through the darkest moments of this tale.
Without further ado, onto the review.
The Brothers Three:
Book One of The Blackwood Saga
Author: Layton Green
Category: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Supernatural, Adventure
Suitable for: Adults
My Rating: 5 Stars
Format Read for Review: Paperback copy provided by the author in return for an honest review.
Description: This is the story of 3 brothers (and their friend, Lance) who discover magic is real the hard way. Will is a fantasy geek who suffers from crippling anxiety and works as a knight at the dinner theatre Medieval Nights in New Orleans. Caleb is a bartender, a ladies man and a pacifist. And the eldest brother, Val is a successful attorney who looks after his brothers. Lance is Will’s best friend, a veteran and a police officer. Together the 4 men accidentally journey to another world to save a dear friend of the brother’s late father from an evil, powerful necromancer. Each using their respective talents plays a key role in this quest but their journey will be far from easy. In the fantasy world they employ the help of a female mercenary and wicked killing machine, Mala along with a healer, a rogue, a wizard and more fascinating characters.
“With practiced flair, Will threw his cape over his shoulder, pulled on his gauntlets, and twirled his sword above his head. Then he shut the trunk of his Honda Civic and trudged through the parking lot to the employee entrance of Medieval Nights, a joust-themed dinner theatre in New Orleans.”
In Short: This is an exciting fantasy adventure that takes you from a familiar world to one you see in video games. A world where magic is real and so is the danger that it brings. Fans of fantasy genres or of games like DND and WoW will love this book. This book is part of a series but it had a solid story and conclusion.
“I do miss home, but when have you ever felt this alive? The excitement, the mystery, the sense of not knowing what’s around the next corner? Monsters exist. Magic is real. What could be better?”
Pros: Incredibly well written. Their adventure is full of twists and turns, with terrifying enemies and deadly puzzles. The settings are beautiful, detailed and immersive. The magic and magical items are awesomely implemented. The characters are rich, diverse and well developed. I loved the deep loyalty between the brothers. I loved that both male and female characters are featured as powerful fighters and heroes. The dialogue is great, contains good banter and each character has their own voice. The story is action packed and exciting. At times it’s funny, scary and even sad. I felt for the characters through their loses and wins. Val is my favorite character and I see so much potential for his skills in the sequel. If this was a video game, Allira is the character I would play as. She is a healer who finds her reagents in nature. All of the characters grew so much in this book. Each of them learns skills that suit their personalities (and take on roles that are like classes you play in video games). That’s all I’ll say about that without spoiling anything you could discover for yourself. Reading this book has left me wanting to go on a fantasy bender, or play video games (oh if I only had the time). The ending had a great solid conclusion for the conflict, but also gives you an exciting set-up into the second book. Which I of course am now dying to read.
Cons: I have no notable issues with this book.
Parent’s Guide: Swearing, violence, gore. (No sexual content).
Blurb of book 2, The Spirit Mage
Valjean thought about how impossible it seemed that there was another world out there from which he had narrowly escaped. A world of manticores and cave fiends, magic swords and potions, spirit mages and necromancers. Wizard-monks who could shatter walls with their fists, a city of colored spires so beautiful it took his breath away . . . and a world in which Val’s brothers were still trapped.
Desperate to help his brothers, high-powered attorney Val Blackwood manages to find a way to return to the world of Urfe. After landing in the dangerous underbelly of New Victoria, he concludes that the only way to find Will and Caleb is to enroll in the Abbey–the school for wizards–and somehow gain access to a portal called the Pool of Souls. Yet to succeed, he not only has to pass the entrance exam and survive the rigors of the school, considered the most demanding in all the Realm, but also avoid a lethal assassin targeting students.
As Val struggles to survive, his brothers undergo an even deadlier trial. Reeling from the loss of Mala, an adventuress lost in the mysterious Place Between Worlds, Will and Caleb and Yasmina are captured by slavers and taken to the mines beneath Fellengard Mountain. Even if they manage to escape, a feat no one has ever accomplished, they must still find their way out of the vast and untamed caverns of the Darklands. A place even the wizards fear.
Trapped in a land of dreams and nightmares, the brothers must somehow stay alive and learn to adapt to their new surroundings–or risk losing their home world forever.