D.L. Jennings uses tight language and well-paced action to move his hero, Thornton Woods, along on his quest to save his father in Gift of the Shaper.
This is very much a coming of age tale as Thornton comes into his own, alongside his friend Miera, at the beginning of the book. But Thornton is not a stranger to hardship, as the son of a blacksmith.
Jennings’ world is fraught with peril and his writing reminds me somewhat of Robert Jordan. The lands of Derenar and Gal’Dorok likewise have original races and creations that differ from the traditional fantasy ones, although some of the timeless tropes remain. Like Jordan and Sanderson, Jennings uses seamless world-building pieces including old myths, histories, and prophecies in order to firmly establish his realm and its people. The language elements are beautiful and consistent and Otherworld is much greater and larger than the slice that we are treated to; we will likely see more of it as the Highglade Series unfolds.
If you’re looking for a good but of mythopoeic fantasy, and a solid story about good vs evil, check out Gift of the Shaper. I got my copy for free to review on Inside the Inkwell blog.