This is a bit lengthy, but it is a review from the #55 reviewer on Amazon. Boom and Wow.
North Carolina author Christian W. Freed, born in Buffalo, NY, has recently retired from a twenty-year career in the U.S. Army, a factor that makes his use of technical language especially in the realm of science fiction more credible – or at least more logical to the untrained sci-fi reader. The fact that he is a combat veteran from his service in three tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq adds to his ability to recreate frightening situation, even if the combatants here are dragons and such. His educational experience – a degree in history from Campbell University his pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in Military History from Norwich University – adds to his ability to transport the reader into past times with alacrity. He has sixteen novels of various themes to his credit as well as being included in anthologies – a distinction in itself. He recently won an award in the L Ron Hubbard Writer’s of the Future Contest!
THE DRAGON HUNTERS is Book 2 in the A HISTORY OF MALWEIR series. Christian is an experienced fantasy creator and understands the importance of creating names for his characters that seem frustratingly foreign at first, but as the chapters progress he manages to pull us into the cast. Not having read Book 1 of this series, it is important to review the synopsis of the beginnings of the series: `Malweir was once governed by the order of Mages, bringers of peace and light. Centuries past and the lands prospered. But all was not well. Unknown to most, one mage desired power above all else. He turned his will to the banished Dark Gods and brought war to the free lands. Only a handful of mages survived the betrayal and the Silver Mage was left free to twist the darker races to his bidding. The only thing he needs to complete his plan and rule the world forever are the four shards of the crystal of Tol Shere. Having spent most of their lives dreaming about leaving their sleepy village and travelling the world, Delin Kerny and Fennic Attleford never thought that one day they would be forced to flee their town in order to save their lives. Everything changes when they discover the fabled Star Silver sword and learn that there are some who want the weapon for themselves. Hunted by a ruthless mercenary, the boys run from Fel Darrins and are forced into the adventure they only dreamed about. Ever ashamed of the horrors his kind let loose on the world the last mage, Dakeb, lives his life in shadows. The only thing keeping him alive is his quest to stop the Silver Mage from reassembling the crystal. His chance finally comes through the hearts and wills of Delin and Fennic. Dakeb bestows upon them the crystal shard, entrusting them with the one thing capable of restoring peace to Malweir.’
Now it is comfortable to follow the story of Book 2: `The Mage Wars are a fading memory. The kingdoms of Malweir focus on rebuilding what was lost and moving beyond the vast amounts of death and devastation. For some it is easy, others far worse. Some men are made in battle. Grelic of Thrae is one. A seasoned veteran of numerous campaigns and raids, Grelic is a warrior without a war. He languishes under mugs of ale and poor choices that eventually find him locked in the dungeons of King Rentor. His only chance at redemption is an offer tantamount to suicide: travel north with a misfit band of adventurers and learn the truth of what happened in the village of Gend. Grelic, suddenly tired of his life, reluctantly agrees and meets the only survivor of the horrible massacre: Fitch Iane. Broken, mentally and physically, Fitch babbles about demons stalking through the mists and a terrible monster prowling the skies, breathing fire and death. What begins as a simple reconnaissance mission quickly turns into a quest to stop Sidian, the Silver Mage from accomplishing his goals in the Deadlands. The last of the dark mages seeks to recover the four shards of the crystal of Tol Shere and open the gateway to release the dark gods from their eternal prison. Grelic and his team are sorely outnumbered and ill prepared to deal with the combined threats of a dark mage and one of the great dragons from the west. Not even the might of the Aeldruin, high elf mercenaries, and Dakeb, the last of the mages, promises to be enough to stop evil and restore peace to Thrae.’
So here we have make believe well woven with military tactics – a combination that explains why Christian’s books are growing so popular. If there is a need to condense and clarify interactions, then that will come. He has the ability to get inside our heads with his stories and that, after all, is the purpose of reading! Grady Harp, January 15