Windcatcher: Book 1 of the Stone War Chronicles by A.J. Norfield – 5/5

Title: Windcatcher: Book 1 of the Stone Way Chronicles

Author: A.J. Norfield

Rating: 5/5

Purchase: Amazon Link

Synopsis: 

“Far away from home, under the command of his brother, Raylan and his squad must retrieve an ancient relic stolen from their kingdom’s trading partner—the Tiankong Empire.

Traveling deep into unknown enemy territory to complete their mission, Raylan learns that the ancient relic holds unexpected life; a creature buried in legends, one not seen in their world for more than two hundred years.

With their enemies closing in, Raylan and his friends search, desperately, for a safe way home. Danger lurks around every corner: Warriors larger than any man, predators stalking them through the night and soldiers determined to hunt them down. Leaving them all little choice, except to keep moving as they plot and fight their way back to those awaiting their return.”

Review:

“Windcatcher: Stone War Chronicles – Book 1” captured my attention from beginning to end.  Many times fantasy, especially with delicate cultural topics, can end up being poorly researched and written, but this was not the case with this novel.  Instead, author A.J. Norfield had a strong grip on his story and the cultural aspects that it involved.  While reading the novel I felt that I could visualize the setting of the story through his descriptions and his own mind’s eye.  None of the descriptions were excessive or tiresome to read, and it showed me how mature a writer Norfield is.  A great example of his descriptions is as follows:

“But these new sounds were the unwelcome, the loud cracks of thick wood splitting apart.  They forcefully invaded his hearing as he felt his life slip away.  And as his heart gave its final beat and the world disappeared into nothingness, Master Wen realized – to his horror – the sanctum doors had not merely been opened…they had simply been shattered by a single punch.”

He is also a very compassionate person, and his dedication page warmed my heart:

“For my two greatest – and most wonderful – distractions in the world and she who takes care of them.”

However, my favorite part about this novel was the emphasis put on the mythical creature of the Dragon.  Using this mythological aspect and bringing it to life warmed my heart.  I have not read a novel that captured the essence of dragons as well as this book has, and mixing both cultural and mythological aspects gave this novel power.  On A.J. Norfield’s Goodreads page he talks about how he is trying to give life to a story he has had in his mind for years, and with this book he has done just that.  All of his characters are well developed, and the storyline wasn’t lacking in any way.  This novel is full of action and adventure and fantasy fans will eat it right up.  While reading this novel, I could easily see the storyline being converted into a movie because of how in depth it was.

I highly suggest this novel for mythology buffs as well as fantasy fans, and I will be reading the sequels in this series as well.  This series is bound to go far.

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