Reviewed by Dan
SERIES: The Shifter War Book One
AUTHOR: K.K. Ness
LENGTH: 150 Pages
RELEASE DATE: March 22, 2017
For centuries, the deadlands have separated the kingdoms of Roldaer and Amas, enforcing an uneasy truce. But the deadlands hold their own secrets.
Danil is a deadlands scavenger, his days spent scouring a barren land for ancient battlefield relics and mage-crystals. When the brutal magi of Roldaer take over his village, Danil becomes the key to unleashing a powerful enemy set on plunging both kingdoms into war.
Desperate and on the run, he finds unexpected aid from the Amasian shapeshifters. Among them is Hafryn, an irreverent shifter who fights the magi with sword, tooth and claw. But safety with the shifters cannot last. As the magi set their plans into motion, Danil will have to embark on a terrifying mission to a broken citadel where an ancient enemy awaits. Failure to stop the magi may cost him far more than his life, and Danil discovers that courage and determination may not be enough…
I really enjoyed reading this book. Messenger by K.K. Ness, which is the pen name of identical twins from Australia, is one of those books that just grabs you and drags you into the story.
I really felt for Danil and his plight, right from the first page when he was described as hopeful and then his shoulders fell when he didn’t find what he was looking for in the pan he was using to try to find the rare mage-crystals. When we first meet the shifter Hafryn and he is taking the only crystal Danil found, and we know that Danil will be beaten by a member of the magi for failing to find one, I wasn’t sure about him. I did though kind of guess that this might be the introduction of the future love interest based on a couple things that were said before Hafryn ran off. When events transpire that force Danil to flee his home village, and he is rescued by that very same shifter the story begins to move even faster.
This one had it all. Good guys, bad guys, ancient evil, and a main character who learns far more about himself than he ever expected. Danil has always been the lowest of the low, spending his time scavenging the deadlands for relics of an ancient battle, and looking for the mage crystals like the one that Hafryn stole from him in the beginning of the story. But he can be so much more when it comes down to it.
Before I knew it, the authors had me at the last page and I am eager for more. Their writing style was very good, it showed me a different world, without getting too caught up in details. I was able to picture it myself in my mind. The pace was perfect.
I was happy to see that there is a second book in the series, and I’m off to read it immediately! I highly recommend this one to readers of fantasy/shifter/underdog type stories. I loved it.