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Monday, October 2, 2017

Blog Tour: Reapers of Souls and Magic by R.E. Fisher @REFisher_writer

Title: Reapers of Souls and Magic
Series: The Rohrlands Saga Book 1
Author: R.E. Fisher
Genre: Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Published: September 29, 2017
Page Count: 472 Pages
The Gods created the Rohrlands. Then they created the Elfaheen to give breath, and life to their once barren world. Endowed with the power to create life, the Elfaheen created mystical and wonderful creatures of legend to fill this world. Until pride, envy and rebellion crept into their idyllic realm.

Led by Lavalor, thirteen Elfaheen used the power the Gods gave them to create Asmordia, in their arrogance they inadvertently created the multitudes of multiverses, including Earth…and for every one of those worlds, they created their own eventual dooms as well as their own.

Tetra, another of the original children of the Gods, having followed all the tenants of the Gods must now save them all. Filled with innocence and naivety she is forced to ally with Lavalor to save both, the Rohrlands and his corrupted realm, Asmordia. To do this she must find the three outworlders from the realm of Earth and send them home, or kill them, to prevent the Im’Shallene, the end of all things.

Tetra must also face the realization that she not only battles Lavalor’s dark desires of rule and independence from the Gods, but also her own inner demons.


Reapers of Souls and Magic: A Rohrlands Saga © R.E. Fisher 2017

Arrival to the Guarded Isle
They drew closer to the Guarded Isle, where the Dragon Magi had their order and practiced their arts, in the early evening of the thirteenth day. As they neared the island, they could see the nine mages’ spires and the simple dwellings in which the other mages lived and trained. She could also sense the power that place held.
Telerex flew close enough to the towers to enable Tetra to see the layout, hoping she would remember it without his having to ask her to. They both looked at the main tower, which was sitting in the center of a large hexagon; it was joined with what appeared to be a confusing series of paths connecting them with one another. If you were patient, you could see that each point of the hexagon where each of the outer towers had been built connected with the others, forming a large square with tens of triangles within.
Each of the eight outer towers rose more than a hundred feet into the air and were topped with parapets. Within the walls of the parapets, the stone had been painted with the sigil of each of the disciplines of magic.
The tower in the center stood half again taller than the outer towers, and it, too, was topped with a parapet rather than a roof. Tetra realized that if you flew above the center tower, the lines on the ground continued onto the stone of the parapet, each line connecting to a couple of squares drawn in gold and surrounding a painted sun with a multi-pointed compass over it.
“Impressive, is it not?” Telerex asked his rider.
“It is! I had no idea they could build such structures!” Tetra said.
“That center tower belongs to the Master of Towers. He is the mage in charge. The outer towers house the masters of the various magic disciplines that they have vast control over. The one painted as a lantern’s flame is the Tower of Divination. The yellow-and-black one that resembles the face of a bird is the Tower of the Dead, and that symbol represents the Blackwing; he’s the master of necromancy. I can’t remember the rest of them.”
“What’s a Blackwing?” Tetra asked, not remembering any of her brethren or sisters creating a beast with that name.
“It’s how they see death. A demon bird for the dwarves, a beautiful avian woman for the humans, and a giant raven for the elves. Each is different, but really, they are the same thing,” Telerex answered.
“What do you mean? They have a death magic?” Tetra asked.
“Not like you’re thinking. Their magic can kill, but they can raise the dead, speak with the dead, and sometimes give the dead an immortal existence in this realm—preventing them from going to their heaven or Asmordia. Whichever would be appropriate. They try to cheat death, too.”
Unsure of what to say to such a foreign concept, Tetra said, “Let’s land away from them; I don’t think I wish for you to frighten or anger them.”
Telerex turned away from the compound and looked for a secluded place to come to rest, not wishing to gain the attention of the mages. He knew that would be dangerous for both. Upon landing on the outskirts of the island in a small clearing, Tetra threw her leg up over the dragon’s neck and slid down, not waiting for his customary courtesy of dropping a shoulder for her climb down. She landed gracefully on her feet and turned to Telerex.
“Rest, my friend! You did wonderful! I’ll come back when I’m done,” Tetra stated.
“Be careful, my lady; mages are a suspicious lot and can be dangerous,” Telerex offered.
Tetra winked at him and turned toward the direction she had last seen the mages’ keep. She spied the tall spires with their lit windows climbing high into the night sky and began her trek toward them. As she walked, she examined the plants by the moonlight and saw that they were somehow different from those around her isolated village. These plants didn’t move to make way for her as they did at home, which was a little disconcerting to her. On numerous occasions, she had to actually force her way through them as if they were trying to block her way forward. She placed her hand on her sword and began pulling it from the scabbard to cut away the brush, wondering why they were behaving like that. Using the black blade that had been the weapon for her attempted murder, she hacked her way through the thick brush that was impeding her. It sliced through the massive underbrush with great ease. She managed to keep the view of the towers in front of her as she worked, until she made her way into a clearing on the edge of the small village that lay outside the towers.
After a brief rest, she passed through the village and started to enter the Circle of Towers when she was met by a young elf dressed in a brown robe and carrying a simple staff. He looked up at her as she towered above him.
“Beggin’ your pardon, ma’am; what business do you have here?”
“I would speak with your Master of Towers,” she replied, also in the common tongue. She looked past him, sensing something amiss.
“I gather that your need is important for you to have journeyed here, but none may enter who isn’t of the orders. If you wish to leave a correspondence for his eminence, I will be happy to pass it on to him, my lady,” the acolyte informed her.
She studied the acolyte—as well as several spots behind him—for a moment before uttering something in her native language and then saying in common, “Enough of this charade!” She waved her hand as if brushing away an annoying insect.
The vision of the acolyte was replaced by a regal wood elf that was dressed in ornate robes of royal blue trimmed in gold. Several human and elvish mages dressed in various colors and whose robes were less regal also appeared behind him. She saw one who wore robes trimmed in black with the sigil of the Blackwing on the cuff of his robe, while another mage wore red with what looked to be a stick figure stretched over a rack on his cuff. Others wore robes of grey, green, and indigo, but she was unable to see their sigils.
With looks of shock and anger, they began to raise their staffs as Tetra spoke again. “I mean you no harm,” she said.
The wood elf raised his hand; the mages paused but held their staffs ready for action should the need arise. The ornately dressed mage rested the butt of his staff on the ground. Leaning forward, he asked, “How did you do that?”
“As I said, sir, I mean you no harm.”
“T’isn’t every day a myth flies into our little realm while sitting atop a legendary beast. You will forgive us for being cautious. Again, what is it you seek? We shall not ask again, madam,” he threatened.
“There is little need for threats. I have come among you to learn of the young races.”
“Who are you?” the mage asked.
“I’m Tetra, sir,” she answered. “I need information. There is much about your realm I don’t know and have need to learn.”
“You are one of the ancients? An Elfaheen?”
“I am. Will you help?”
Sensing her sincerity and knowing it was an unprecedented learning opportunity for those earliest beings of magic, the mage answered, “We would know more before we can agree to anything. I am Lleward Coreon, master of this school. Please, come with me.”
Lleward led her between the outer buildings and through a small gate, then into a courtyard where the towers sat. The other mages followed at a respectful distance in case their master needed them. Tetra looked upward at the spires, in awe of their height. The buildings themselves held no magic, but the contents within held all the power she had sensed. It was amazing to her that a structure could be built to such a height and could stay standing without the use of magic. In that moment, she realized how little she knew of these beings that she and her sisters had long referred to as the “lesser races.” She was amazed at what they had accomplished in what seemed to her to be a short amount of time. They weren’t as ignorant or as incapable as she and her sisters had come to believe. They had grown, and were growing still.
They entered the center tower, and she was escorted to an ornate room that was filled with thousands of books. Along each stone wall, she observed numerous burnished cabinets that housed all the books in an orderly and tidy manner. Throughout the room were also various chairs, tables, and couches. It was well lit by a large central fire pit and hundreds of candles and sconces. Lleward led them to a set of plush chairs, sitting next to the fire. He indicated for her to have a seat as he sat in the chair across from the one he had offered her. She took a seat, adjusting the malevolent sword on her hip as she did so.
He leaned forward and stated, “There are so many questions I would ask.”
“What would you know first?” Tetra offered.
“Where have you been all these centuries?” he asked.
This debut novel sets up a good person and a bad person together as they work to achieve their goals. I think this is a relatively fresh concept in fantasy. Similarly, while the central plot involves a prophesy, this novel shows most of the key actors in this prophesy taking actions out of self-interest as opposed to fulfilling some kind of preordained destiny according to the prophesy. Somewhat to my surprise, it also sprinkles in elements of alternate history (although it's speculation on future Earth history rather than looking to our past) and soft science fiction. I'm not a fan of either but I rather like the speculative history parts of this book for throwing perspective on society systems in a non-intrusive way.

The fresh concept of a good 'guy' and bad guy working 'together' to achieve separate goals is the main attraction of this novel to me. In addition, I appreciate good dialogue, humour and reflections of morals and values that are elements that I've always loved in fantasy and have enjoyed in this novel.

This is a complex novel. While I think aspects to do with character interactions between Tetra and Lavalor, our main good 'guy' and bad guy respectively, can be improved upon (currently it feels a tad rushed), I recognise that the author has handled most of the complexity in switching between different perspective and plotlines and other aspects well.

I would recommend the book and I look forward to the next book.
R.E. Fisher left home early, and began discovering the wide range of experiences that this wonderful world has to offer. He loves to wander, settling down in places for brief visits or stays. Thanks to Uncle Sam he has been to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and the Tower of London. He’s drank wine on three continents, and has never found one he doesn’t like! These are just a few of the many things that he has experienced in this wonderful life. Europe, check. Asia, partial check. He has tippy toed into Mexico, and found that the culture is awesome! He enjoys wandering and learning, as well as the feel of two wheels under him while he is rolling down the highway with classic rock and metal, blasting in the earbuds!
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