Rise of the Ranger by Philip C. Quaintrell
Genre – Epic Fantasy
About the Book – Rise of the Ranger, A Modern Epic Fantasy
“A brand new trilogy from Philip C. Quaintrell, author of The Terran Cycle.
The Echoes of Fate, a prophesy uttered unto the world a thousand years ago, cannot be denied…
Mankind has lorded over the land of Illian for a thousand years, enjoying what was left to them by the elves, as if it were their birthright. A thousand years is a long time for an immortal race to see the error of their ways and realise a truth that has remained unsaid for a millennia – elves are superior! They are faster, stronger and connected to the magical world in a way that man could never grasp. Illian is their birthright. The six kingdoms of man are fractured, unallied and always clawing at each other’s doors for more power.
War is coming…
Thrown into the heart of this war is an Outlander of the wilds, an assassin, a ranger. Asher was born a thousand years ago, but he doesn’t remember. Forty years of brutal training and killing for money has beaten the earliest years of his life away, leaving his ties to the oldest of evils a mystery to all.” – Publisher’s Blurb
The Review – Oh Asher
Mister Quaintrell has given us an interesting tale. Asher is anything but an everyman, and wish-fulfillment issues aside, we wish there was a bit more to him. We want authors to challenge their characters, and we just don’t see that with Asher. At one point bodies were literally piling up at his feat due to his prowess. None of it felt earned to us, and we must admit, as much as we want to learn more about the land of Illain, Asher is a bit flat.
On top of that, the races that fill the land of Illain, Humans, elves, dark elves, etc. are a little too dungeons and dragons for our tastes. There is nothing inherently wrong with these, but if done half-heartedly they can feel derivative. On top of that, except as a plot device, the different races didn’t feel like they added much to the world and that is a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps this will change as the series continues forward.
Now, if this story depended solely on Asher and the feats of elves and men, then it would be in trouble. Fortunately for Mister Quaintrell, he has delivered much more.
The Bright Side – A Colorful Supporting Cast
While the blurb says this is Asher’s story, and it is for the most part, his is not the only point of view we get. Numerous characters take the lead in this story. Those characters provide additional context and deepening the story in a way that Asher alone could not. Honestly, some of these supporting characters, such as Gideon and Nathaniel, shined brighter than Asher in our eyes.
This extends into the world building, where much of the story, and the mystery, relies on the history of the land of Illain. These characters provide different venues through which we receive information, learning new, fascinating details. We hope to see the story strengthen and evolve over the course of the series.
The Rating – A-
As we said previously, its nearly perfect. Though we love to highlight our gripes, Mister Quaintrell is a fantastic writer who pieces together snippets of imagination and inspiration into an enjoyable read. We highly recommend this book to lovers of the genre, it is accessible while not too derivative. The only downside is that you will be getting into this series early and that means it may be some time before we see book two. This is an epic fantasy that you won’t want to put down.
Want to read Rise of the Ranger? You can find it on Amazon.