Today I'm stepping into new territory by reviewing a book I recently read. The title is Wizardex I: The North Country and it's written by Michael Perry, a dear friend of mine who I first met in college orientation during the summer of 2005 at SUNY Oneonta. Thanks for sharing your book with me Mike!
In what I hope is the first book in a series of many, Wizardex I: The North Country follows the story of six friends who are granted magical powers by objects known as lesser stones. An evil plot is underfoot to upset the peaceful balance that has existed among humans, elves and dwarves for many years and it's up to Rudgaf the red wizard, his wizard friends and the beautiful elf Ramona to stop it from happening.
The tale starts with Rudgaf receiving a letter from the dwarven king Moldof asking him to investigate an attack that occurred on the elven city of Behnon. Rudgaf begins his journey south and eventually meets the quick witted female elf Ramona who accompanies him. Along the way they are met with great challenges and deadly foes, but luckily Rudgaf and Ramona are no strangers to fighting. Rudgaf is a master of fire-based magic, while Ramona has an expert dexterity when it comes to daggers.
As I read through the story I couldn't help but fall in love with the personalities of both Rudgaf and Ramona and the dynamic that exists between them. Rudgaf, while being wise and cautious, can also be quick to act and compassionate. Ramona on the other hand is sarcastic and playful as well as someone who cares too much and lets her feelings get the best of her at times. The other wizards, notably Danagan, Lord of the Grey and Joem, Lord of the Yellow also captivated me with their thief-like and voice of reason personas respectively.
The encounters that Ramona and Rudgaf have with both a horrifying Hydra and other menacing foes are the most exciting aspects of the book and always had me at the edge of my seat. Without revealing too much about the plot, the main antagonist reminded me of a Voldemort-like fellow who could do great damage to the lesser stone wizards, both physically and psychologically and I can't wait to see what he's planning next. The character development in Wizardex I: The North Country is Mr. Perry's greatest strength and what will have me coming back for future installments in the Wizardex series.
The settings he paints are also imaginative and I could see them vividly while reading as he goes in great depth of detail to describe them in his writing. The 264 page length of the story can be finished in a handful of sittings and while I enjoyed it immensely, I was left wanting to read more about happens next in the intricate story that Mr. Perry has created.
Well done my friend, I only hope that my reunion with Rudgaf and Ramona comes sooner, rather than later.
My review: 4.5/5 Cheese Steaks
Wizardex I: The North Country was released on November 14, 2016 and can be found in both a Kindle and paperback version on Amazon here. The Kindle version is $2.99, while the paperback version is $24.99.