Title – Wraith (Empire and The Hand #1)
Author – Robert Allen Johnson
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 270 Pages
Publication – Nov 2015
My Rating – 4/5 Stars
In Wraith, author Robert Allen Johnson leaves behind the alleys, battlefields, and politics of ancient Rome in favor of fantastical war-torn lands from ages long past.
Following the tales of two haunted, fragile protagonists, Wraith drops the reader into dense forests scouted by cruel soldiers, abandoned wilds teeming with mysteries, villages burned to ash, and hidden rebel camps as both men fight to escape their tortured pasts.
In Tiro’s tale, a troubled youth known as The Ghost fights to navigate a world of loneliness, revenge, and purpose after losing all he holds dear. In the tale of Arach, a weary traveler in a foreign land meets a mysterious, unwelcome visitor with unknown intentions.
Thus begins the first chapter of Johnson’s new fantasy series Empire and The Hand, a dark emotional ride through failure, purpose, vengeance, and regret that will leave you breathless and eager for the next page.
I managed to read this book in 2 days.. any book I finish that quickly you know I’ve enjoyed
It’s a tale of two stories, one a young boy surrounded by soldiers who seem intent to cause harm. The other an old man wandering the woods.. haunted by a wraith.
Tiro’s tale moves quickly. I won’t spoil anything but you can tell from the synopsis something bad happens and he loses everything he cares about. The twist at the end of his tale in this book certainly hooked me in, I’ll most certainly be buying the next book to carry on his adventure.
He’s an interesting character, like a young Robin Hood, adept with a bow but powerless to change the events that play out.
As a reader you are left with some questions though. How did the Empire and The Hand come about? Why are they at war? I might have missed it but I was left assuming the soldiers were bad and the rebels good but with no real idea why.
Arach is completely different, an old man with a hidden past being stalked by a Wraith. This part of the tale plays out very slowly throughout the book..with a lot of back and forth between the two.
My four star rating is simply because I felt Arach’s tale was drawn out a little and I felt I learned very little about the man.
Credit to the author, he has set up series nicely. The author left it right until the end to show us how these two characters may link up and it certainly peaked my interest.
I’ve read other reviews and see a common point made is that there’s not a lot to this story, not much happens…and I slightly disagree. Yes maybe more could of happened but this is the first book of a series.. there’s plenty of time for this series to develop
A lover of fantasy stories will enjoy this but word of warning.. you’ll be frustrated at the end.. as book 2 isn’t out yet.
Overall I enjoyed the book but was left with a lot of questions.. hopefully the author will give the reader some more background as the series progresses.
I really hope the story develops more throughout the next book to keep the reader interested.
The potential is there.. I look forward to reading the next book to see where this series goes.
My thanks go to the author for the opportunity to read/review his work. I appreciate it greatly