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Storms of Vengeance, by John Beachem
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Mundania Press
Published: 2006
Review Posted: 1/16/2008
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10

Storms of Vengeance, by John Beachem

Book Review by Stuart Clark

Have you read this book?

Storms of Vengeance is the debut novel from fantasy author John Beachem. Billed as Book One of "The Lorradda Stone," Storms of Vengeance appears to be the prelude to a sweeping, epic saga.

When intruders break into the city's capital the Kingdom of Faranin is thrown into turmoil. The Merphite councilman Relex Unara lies dead, slain in his own bed and the imposters, who seem to be versed in the outlawed practice of magic, have fled after stealing an ancient artifact which, to the casual observer, seems to be nothing more than a piece of rock. Questions need to be answered. Who is the murderer and why did they want the Merphite dead? And who are the strangers and what do they want with a simple stone?

Thrown into this chaos and turmoil are two young friends, Calton Relanas and Ratel Eresgot. Both members of the city guard, both now being called upon to do their part for their King and the Kingdom. The ensuing investigation will see both of them facing dangers as they travel the Kingdom in search of answers. Answers that hint at something dark and forbidding. Something that has been set in motion and threatens to destroy them all.

Storms of Vengeance is an impressive debut from Beachem. In it he has crafted a complex mystery played out by engaging characters. Whilst it is clearly fantasy, Beachem has succeeded in shaking off some of the genre's cliches, introducing new races over and above the usual fantasy fare and giving elves a working over which sees them as vicious, feral creatures feared by all. It makes for a refreshing change.

The cast of characters is enormous and Beachem handles this aspect of the book well, bringing enough back story to each to make them identifiable and keep the reader interested but never over-doing it to the point where it becomes confusing.

At times I found the book a little slow but I think that was just symptomatic of the need to create the world and characters within the book. Clearly, the Lorradda stone series is an ambitious trilogy. The story definitely hit its stride once Beachem could concentrate more on the story telling than on the world building.

Storms of Vengeance leaves you on a cliff hanger which may irk some, but to those I say the good news is that book two of the series "The Hunter and The Marked" will be released soon.
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