Zephyr: The West Wind (Book One), by R. J. Tolson
I was amazed to discover, having finished this book, that author R. J. Tolson is just eighteen years of age. Zephyr’s story is a complex one, one of loss, vengeance, greed, and ancestry. It is a true credit to the author.
Having finally completed his three trials into adulthood, seventeen year old Zephyr is sent on a special quest, which leads him to discover new friends and foes. R. J. Tolson’s first person narrative is friendly and holds a personal tone, as if Zephyr were confiding in the reader like a friend or journal, holding nothing back. Their style is descriptive, yet does not waste words.
I enjoyed the plot and found it fast-moving, with plenty of twists and turns, in addition to deadly secrets. The characters were well-rounded and for the most part, likeable. We see Zephyr develop from a shy young outcast, into a strong and courageous young warrior that will stop at nothing to save what he holds dear.
What I liked most about Zephyr’s story was the imagination behind the complex magical system. I found myself willing magic to be real once more as I did back in my childhood. The principles and inner-workings of the magic were easy to understand and beautifully described.
I was also particularly taken with the idea of a soul mirror, a paradise where a few hours in real time can be weeks within the mind.
As far as dislikes, I had but one. I hated Leon’s character from the start and never grew to like him.
Overall, this was a thrilling tale by a talented young author. I would recommend this to any book lover, no matter what your preferred genre. You’re sure to rediscover your sense of imagination in Zephyr’s thrilling tale.
I would rate this title 5/5 stars.
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