The Shong Wars: Declaration by George P. Lung

This is another epic fantasy book for my bedtime read, and my fascination for this kind of book is getting stronger.

REVIEW

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What is it about?

The Shong is known to be warriors of extraordinary powers, serving the Mongol elite troops. Zhang Ma is a young prince of the Shong, though not by blood. Naturally, his older brothers are fond of belittling and challenging him to prove himself worthy of the name and honor. Until his adoptive father assigned him the task of finding the girl who might be their only key to dominate the world. As Zhang’s journey of finding the girl progresses, he also realizes that he should do everything in his power to protect the girl.

What I Think About It

I am not sure which era this story has taken place, it wasn’t mention in the book. But the names and the scenes of battle heavily reminded me of Korean epic telenovelas that have recently gone famous in the Philippines. I imagined Zhang to be wearing that Korean old costume. 

As in all the epic fantasy books I’ve read (well, there’s just a few of them), the main character is always the mediocre creature without enough experience, who only rely to his instincts and trusts that he would be saved from tight spots by someone he used to save because he is a merciful prince. Okay, I have nothing against this and I write romance. The main character’s introductory qualities must be in a formula that epic fantasy authors are following in writing their masterpieces. I liked Zhang, though. True leaders must not just be tough, he also has to have a heart.

The game of Cheau is something I detest, though. It felt ruthless and inhumane. Though Zhang was kind enough to protect the prisoners in his side, which I think is one of Zhang’s admirable traits.

Recommendation:

The Shong Wars: Declaration is a book to add to your collection of you are a fan of epic fantasy novels.

(This review also appeared in Amazon.)

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The Quest of the Thirteen by John DeFilippis

I haven’t read an epic fantasy book before, so I should say this is my first time. And as much as I wanted to have myself confined into reading romance, horror and suspense, I realized that adventures when it comes to book reading is quite satisfying too. The Quest of the Thirteen is another breath of fresh air into my now wide-ranging genre of book collection.

Review:

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What Is It About?

The Kingdom of Mavinor needs a new king, or at least, that’s what Onestus, the current King of Mavinor thinks. Gone were the days when he could protect the walls of his kingdom, due to the lessened strength and capability to join the battle because of his age. Having no children to succeed to his throne, he assigned The Scribes of the kingdom to look through The Scrolls on how to choose the next ruler of kingdom. Then they found out about Haggiselm, the old Mavinor ruler and his quest for the warriors to determine the rightful heir to the throne. Onestus then chose thirteen warriors and assigned them the ultimate quest of finding the Medallion of Mavinor, and whoever find it shall succeed Onestus in ruling the kingdom.

What I Think About It

Like I have mentioned, the book is a breath of fresh air for me since it is my first time to read epic fantasy. I thought this would bore me off, but it surprised me because it caught my interest. It was a struggle for me in the first part, yes, and it didn’t help that I have this impression that epic fantasy books have a knack of using heavy but not too Shakespearean English words. At first I imagined myself watching that old Ten Commandments movie, but as I made progress, I find myself like I am watching episodes of Once Upon a Time. I love the fact that the author used light words, and this is advantageous for epic-book-beginners like me. Needless to say, I ended up reading the book up until the end. I should add that this is not the kind of book I would normally have for my bedtime read, but it worked.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommendation:

If you are a big fan of epic fantasy books, then this is definitely a gem to add to your collection. If you are like me, who haven’t read epic fantasy all his life but need a new genre to read, I’ll recommend this as well. It’s not too light nor too heavy so you’ll absolutely enjoy it.

(This review also appeared in Amazon.)

Armageddon by Don Mardak

I’m starting to train myself not to judge the book by its cover. When I saw the cover of this book, I immediately thought of another modern sci-fi book. But after several pages, I was brought to another dimension conjured by the creative mind of Don Mardak.

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What Is It About?

A nuclear holocaust is going to happen, and as the United States military is doing everything in its power to prevent the said world destruction, Eric is being trained by a Tibetan monk called Shimahn to travel back in time to stop it from happening. Eric has to try to go back in time three times – and change something in there that would prevent the possible “end of the world” from happening.

What I Think About It?

The first few pages of the book made me feel like I was reading a scholastic material, something more of a non-fiction academic book and it was an info-overload-kind of experience for me. What caught my interest in this book is the manner in which Eric has to save the world – time travelling. The concept of time travelling in this book is different from the other books I’ve read (e.g. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), which I think is great, because then we have lots of ideas and means on how to travel forward and backward in time. I wasn’t sure though what kind of religious belief Shimahn has for he talks about God and archbishops, and Catholics do not have reincarnations and past life in their doctrines. Anyway, the concept of time travel to keep the world from destruction is a little bit tricky but exciting. First, what if Eric failed to undo or redo whatever it was that that he needs to? Surely there would be a different outcome in the future. What if Eric wasn’t able to come back forward in time, or killed while he’s back in time? Well, this was explained by the Shimahn in the book, but these were the questions that kept me thinking. I mean, I might consider going back in time if it’s really possible.

RECOMMENDATION:

Armageddon is a fascinating read. I am not a fan of sci-fi and war books (I’m a big fan of romance), but this definitely got me intrigued. The little patience I had with sci-fi books seemed to have grown, I think.