A little birdie recommended Valyo Rising to me, and man they were spot on!
R.A. Mendsen has crafted one truly fantastical journey that will give you The Witcher and Game of Thrones vibe. And, if you LOVE LOVE LOVE fantasy, you’ll be totally addicted to this book.
Now, you need to keep in mind that fantasy is not a genre I venture into often. I haven’t found much luck with fantasy so I’ve avoided it unless I absolutely want to read the book. That being said, my views on fantasy are definitely not the end all, be all. I’m not some book reviewing wizard about what works in fantasy.
I’d like to use the word swashbuckling for this book because it seems fitting, but that gives me pirates vibe. The level of fantastical fun that Pirates of the Carribean gave me the first time I saw it was the same level of fun I had reading this book. It’s packed full of high stakes, maxed out fantasy and a wicked hunt.
Now, what is this book about?
The seventh son of the seventh son has always been said to have magical gifts according to lore, and in Valyo Rising this appears to be accurate. Our lead has visions of death and fear, and must try to survive in a brutal world with his siblings. There’s drama though, is the seventh child the magical one, The Valyo? Or is the seventh son? These siblings try to survive in a wicked world full of evil people, all the while trying to deal with the fantastical world elements coming at them from all angles.
This book is one hundred percent R rated, so I don’t recommend if you don’t like brutal scenes. I relate it to the rating Game of Thrones would have, for a comparison. This isn’t a book I’d go recommending to your middle grade and YA fantasy lovers. Dayne’s horror is absolutely brutal and should be read with careful eyes.
I picked two parts of this book I really enjoyed, even though the entire book is absolutely delightful:
1. Desyderia is a pretty name that I have no idea how to pronounce.
2. Linnea is sinister, scary yet sultry and I am totally enchanted by her character.
My biggest flaws were:
1. Similar names. I literally had to keep a little note to myself since I was reading this book on and off for weeks. Having lots of characters has always been a turn off for me, and similar names made it more confusing. Most fantasy readers are used to this though, so it shouldn’t be an issue for anyone else. The characters are well written and have lots to do on their own, so don’t be worried on that front.
Overall, this story about a group of kids trying to survive in a fantastical, dark world is a real hit! If you love epic fantasy then you’ll absolutely adore this book. I can’t recommend it enough! R.A. Mendsen has a way with words.
Be warned though, this book is long! Just the way epic fantasy should be.
Five out of five stars.
I received a free copy of this book from the author, R.A. Mendsen, in exchange for an honest review.
If you love fantastical fun, here’s some other books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Fantasy Reads, Part 1
Book Review: NYV: Punk by K.D. McQuain
#BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt
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