Today I am pleased to present Valley of the Shadows: Kingdom of Hillael by Amre Cortadino.
Valley of the Shadows:Kingdom of Hillael
Paperback and eBook
Fantasy / Action – Adventure
Purchase Now: Amazon
About the Book:
Cousins Claire and Barloe had almost forgotten the enchanting adventures their Aunt Mim told them of as little girls. Her tales always began with, “Long ago in a far away land…” A priceless treasure, meant to forge an accord between the kingdoms of the KinKades and the Kaebreans, was taken. Betrayed, the enraged KinKades warred against Kaebrea and slaughtered its inhabitants. Though victorious in battle, the KinKades failed to recover their cherished offering. Their consuming hatred eventually transformed the KinKades into a secretive, mythical, feared society – the Shadows. Bordering both countries, Hillael vowed to remain neutral and accepted all survivors. Secure within a prosperous nation, life in Hillael flourished. But now, conspiring to become King of Hillael, the ambitious, self-serving Rokhana forms an evil pact with the Shadows. An epic battle of good versus evil begins as Prince Gildeon ascends to the throne of Hillael.
In a complex and beautifully detailed world, this fantasy can most certainly be a favorite for those who are fantasy fans. While the first chapter didn’t seem to fit the rest of the story for me, and the slow pacing in the early chapters did help to clearly define the world and give the reader plenty to question and remember, the need to know more was a feeling that grew with each passing chapter.
Although firmly planted in fantasy, many of the issues and relationships are defined in such a way as to be reflective of modern issues that readers encounter, and the twists and turns will have your head spinning as you wonder who can be trusted. Characters are multi-dimensional, and their portrayals are intertwined with the action as a whole, with ripple effects that are clearly (and in some cases) or not so clearly apparent. With a glossary that helps to settle in some of the more obscure terms and their meaning, although involved, the story was not as difficult to follow as I originally feared it might be.
As a lead in for a series, this has some great potential. I would like to see why (as it was not clearly defined) the characters first introduced in the start of the book seemed to be forgotten, and expect that their story will be developed and roll into a subsequent book. A great read for die-hard fantasy fans who are looking for that next series to sink their teeth into.
I was provided an eBook copy from the author for honest review as part of the Indie Authors Rock promotion on I am, Indeed. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
For Amre, growing up in small town America during the 1950s was a magical place to learn and draw from. Amre has been blessed with the beliefs, values and drive that come from sitting on the front pew of a small church in an even smaller town in NJ. One of three children born to a milkman and an accordion teacher, from large Italian families, God, family and friends were the mainstay of existence. Throughout grammar school and high school, every occasion had been celebrated by parades, school plays, Sunday School picnics, and tons of family. Married 30+ years, with four children and two grandchildren, Amre infuses her faith, friendships, humor, previous business and life experiences in her passion for writing. Some of Amre’s previous opportunities include home-schooling her four children, one of whom is autistic/pervasive developmental disorder; medical transcription; a bachelor’s degree in health science; and certifications and service as a childbirth educator (ICEA) and lactation consultant (IBCLC). Keeping chickens is also one of Amre’s pastimes.