Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be plunged into a dangerous fantasy world?
The Blackwood brothers from New Orleans are about to find out. Youngest brother Will dreams of escaping his mundane life as an apprentice contractor. Caleb is a bartender whose charm and good looks see him through life. Val, the eldest, is a high-powered attorney who hides the fact that he can perform parlor tricks with his mind.
The brothers’ lives are changed forever when they receive a belated inheritance from their father: a staff with a mysterious stone on top, a pair of rogue’s bracers, and a sword that Will can barely lift. Searching for an explanation, it is not until a strange key whisks the brothers across time and space, into a terrifying version of New Orleans ruled by wizards, that the brothers accept the truth and undergo a perilous journey home. With the help of an alluring but deadly adventuress, they must break into the keep of a sorcerer known for his love of diabolical games, find a trio of enchanted talismans, and somehow defeat an evil wizard who can raise legions of the undead to do his bidding.
I’m a fantasy geek. I grew up immersing myself in Middle Earth, Narnia, comic books, Star Trek and Star Wars. I ran around my house dressed up as Wonder Woman, Princess Leia or Galadriel pretending I was a heroine fighting off evil.
Will Blackwood the youngest of three brothers is a fantasy geek like me, who enjoys losing himself in the tall tales of knights, wizards and engaging in pretend battles of wit and magic. The fantasy world provides him with an escape from his dull life as a contractor in New Orleans and he indulges his need for adventure by attending cons, cosplaying, hanging out with gaming groups and going on police ride-alongs with his best friend, New Orleans officer Lance Wesson. As interesting as his fantasy world is, it is a safe world where he doesn’t have to worry about real villains and beasts attacking him, so when his fantasy world becomes a reality and a villain with powers beyond his understanding is after him and his brothers, Will has to learn how to overcome his panic disorder and become a hero just like in his favorite fantasy stories.
The story mainly narrates from Will’s point of view but occasionally it transitions into narration from his two brothers. The oldest of the three brothers is Val. He is the over protective one who knows how to work a deal. Caleb is the kind hearted, flirty middle brother who would rather be on a beach relaxing with a drink and a lady. Will is the youngest, a panic induced dreamer and puzzle solver. Together they make up a team that is faltering their way around their new reality while trying to defeat an evil villain who is after three magical elements willed to each brother by their deceased father. The supporting characters recruited for the Blackwood Brother’s epic journey are an interesting lot. They add another layer of excitement to the story and help the reader along with the brothers understand the new world they have been thrown into. My favorite supporting character is Mala. I really hope we get to see more of Mala in the next books!
The storyline is like any great fantasy novel. It is full of magic, adventure and an appealing yet scary strange new world. If you enjoy epic fantasy adventures then you will find yourself engaged in this one, willing the characters to run faster, jump higher, and hurry up before disaster strikes. I plan on reading the next book. It will definitely be interesting to see how the series progresses and how the brothers adapt to their new identities as well as how they balance their lives now that they are existing in two similar yet completely different worlds.