Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the ebook from the author prior to its release date. These are my own thoughts on the work and are in no way influenced by Nat’s generosity. I have received no compensation for providing this review, nor am I affiliated with any parties involved in its creation, marketing or distribution…
Title: Necromancer Awakening: Book One of the Mukhtaar Chronicles
Author: Nat Russo
Publisher: Erindor Press; 1 edition (April 9, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU
Necromancer Awakening is the first book of the Mukhtaar Chronicles, a dark fantasy series from the pen of Texan author, Nat Russo.
The story revolves around Nicolas Murray, an archaeology graduate, who finds himself ripped from his comfortable world and tossed head first into a world populated by the risen dead, skeletal warriors, tyrannical leaders and other monsters beyond imagination. Reeling from the recent death of his adoptive father and batting terrifying visions, Nicolas struggles to make sense of the rising power within him and the dangerous, foreign land he finds himself trapped in.
The novel explores the themes of loss, penance, oppression and genocide. The necromancers have been driven underground by the ruling religious monarchy, suffering severe losses and plagued with persecution. Small pockets have gathered together for protection, ruled by the Mukhtaar Lords, brothers Mujahid and Nuuan. The regular tête-a-têtes between Mujahid and his new apprentice, Nicolas help to lighten the mood of these heavy themes. The clash of cultures between modern Texan, Nicolas, and Erindor’s own, Mujahid, is also used to great effect when the author wishes to inject his off-brand humor.
The story is well-paced and action packed. Nat does an excellent job of unveiling not only his characters but the world and the systems at work within it, whilst managing to avoid overwhelming the reader with page after page of heavy description. It’s obvious that the author invested a significant amount of time in the creation of his world and it has paid off. There are few authors that know the whole of their creations the way that Nat Russo does.
I’m not usually a big fan of epic fantasy but this book has made me take a new look at this genre. All the elements are there: grand battles, furious magic, alien creatures and culture. The rich histories and geography of the world are immense and yet it is meted out in a way that keeps the reader absorbed. If I had any criticism, it would be that the characters aren’t as developed as I would have liked. Besides Nicolas and the Mukhtaar Lords, most characters encountered aren’t very memorable and are often forgotten once they’re off the page. That being said, I loved this book and am eagerly awaiting the next installment of the series.
The book is available now for kindle and in paperback and I urge any of you with an interest to check it out.
Nat is already working on the second book of the Mukhtaar Chronicles.
About Nate Russo (taken from the author’s bio on Amazon)
Nat Russo was born in New York, raised in Arizona, and has lived just about everywhere in-between. He’s gone from pizza maker, to radio DJ, to Catholic seminarian (in a Benedictine monastery, of all places), to police officer, to software engineer. His career has taken him from central Texas to central Germany, where he worked as a defense contractor for Northrop Grumman. He’s spent most of his adult life developing software, playing video games, running a Cub Scout den, gaining/losing/gaining/losing weight, and listening to every kind of music under the sun.
Along the way he managed to earn a degree in Philosophy and a black belt in Tang Soo Do.
He currently makes his home in central Texas with his wife, teenage son, and mischievous beagle.
For more information on Nat Russo, check out his website at www.nat-russo.com.