The Wulver’s Library‘s Review of Of Blood and Fire by Ryan Cahill
Of Blood and Fire by Ryan Cahill is a brilliant book from the get-go. The cover for this even caught my eye immediately and it didn’t take long to jump to the top of my TBR. I’m a sucker for in-world illustrations, maps and chapter headers and Cahill presented this beautifully from front to back.
I’ve been itching for a classic epic fantasy adventure for a while; a story about friends journey into realms unknown on an adventure of a lifetime. A story about long-lost dragons that wrap up stories of nostalgia bringing me back to the likes of Earthsea and The Hobbit. We are drawn into a magical world full of different races. A world of elves, dwarves and other creatures. Cahill uses these to build on the fantasy setting he looks to explore throughout the foundations of this series but each author needs a unique twist that he weaves throughout the story.
Being the first book in an obviously vast series, it suffered from the usual slow-starts that beginning a fantasy series has. There’s a lot of legwork and pacing issues at the start of the book whilst our world and characters are being established but this felt necessary. There was never a boredom, more an intrigue, when Cahill set to exploring the potential of this novel. When this book got going, needless to say I was not able to put it down and this is hopefully set to continue in future instalments.
Cahill crafted the world-building elegantly and dealt with bring the land of Epheria to life. I enjoyed spending time listening to the history and magic of the world. We have definitely only scratched the surface of this series true potential and I look forward to seeing that in the future. The characters played a major part in this and the dynamic between Calen, Dann and Rist was a strong aspect throughout this book. Sometimes it can be hard to show these characters as individuals but the banter between these characters was top notch.
Cahill has a talent for a gripping story when he hits his stride. The gripping action sequences to the emotional character moments are a great way of building tension in the second half of this. Cahill has produced a strong debut and start to a new favourite series of mine. This was a fantastic read and the worst part is going to be the wait for book 2.