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    An Epic Fantasy

    For the record, I received an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) of this book with the request that I leave a voluntary honest review for other potential readers. That having been said, here is my honest opinion and review of this book. What an interesting plot line. The intricacies of the story mixing so many different subplots with twists, turns and surprises is wonderful. Creators, Gods and Mortals battling amongst themselves for the survival of the world. With incredible world building and character development, this story comes to life as you read it. Arman, Alea, Bren and the other characters (both good and bad) just jump off of the pages into your minds eye as you read about them. This is what an epic fantasy is supposed to look like. I loved it. The book is absolutely worth the time it takes to read it. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
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    Literary Titan

    Alea has darkness inside of her. After a mad king destroyed her home, Alea is on the brink of insanity trying to figure out how to end this brutal war. It’s only a matter of time before the darkness takes over her mind. In the enemy territory, little does Alea know that a lieutenant by the name of Brentemir Barrackborn is guilted for his actions and wants redemption. But, how is he going to get his redemption amidst this terrible war? Grappling with their sanities, Alea and Barrackborn have to figure out how to come to terms with their grief. V.S. Holmes hits the mark with this incredible fantasy adventure that utilizes a unique writing style to tell a vivid story. We're introduced to some rather complex, and rather bleak, characters that we get to see develop throughout the story from multiple perspectives. And with this I felt a lot more connected to these riveting characters. Having such lively characters makes the intense battle scenes all the more dramatic and theatrical. Alea is a strong character that I rooted for consistently. Arman, Kam and Wes bring levity to an otherwise dark novel. But what I really enjoyed was the depth to which the backstory is created. If you like intricate world building then you'll enjoy this book. Most of the world building happens in the beginning of the book, but it pays off once you get through it and feel immersed. Sword & sorcery fans will find what their looking for in V. S. Holmes dark fantasy novel Smoke and Rain. A bit slow to start, but with memorable characters, a rich world, and sharp storytelling, this is easily my favorite novel of the month.
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