By: William Heinzen
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Williams Heinzen’s Warrior of Light was an excellent, albeit a little dark, epic fantasy. It centers around the age-old tale of good versus evil, the reluctant hero, and the hero’s journey. Warrior of Light spins its own twist on this tale, weaving together a story that drew me in from the first page. The story has very good world building, a unique magic system, and well-developed, likable characters. Our reluctant hero is Tim Matthius, who lives a peaceful life in the South with his parents, Daniel and Rosalie, training with his father so he can join the army. That peace is shattered one day when brutal, non-human, slave drivers from the North come and burn their home, along with the dwerion town of Raldoon, where their dear friend Quentiin lives. Despite the ensuing fight, many dwerions are taken as slaves. Tim, Daniel, Rosalie, and Quentiin set out to find where they were taken. If it was to the North, they will have to find a way to cross the Northern Rampart, an impenetrable wall separating the North from the South, which no one has ever crossed. There is no way through, around, or over, and going near the rampart, they all feel the evil that lurks in the North, and it is now spreading south. I enjoyed this book, and although it is a standalone, there is a sequel set in the same world with the same characters that I am looking forward to reading. Warrior of Light does, however, wrap up in this book.
There are many different races in this book, each with their own characteristics and Mr. Heinzen did a great job developing them all. Tim and his family are human. Quentiin is a dwerion, and their description is much like dwarves. What I liked about this portrayal was that they were not underground miners as they are usually portrayed. They live much like Tim’s family, in towns where they have the same type of community. The next are the elions, tall and lithe, who live in the North beyond the Rampart. The danger in the North makes them very skilled in combat, in both weapons and hand-to-hand. To counter these races, are the malichons, the inhuman, red-eyed creatures created by the ruler of the North, the Dark Lord Zadinn Kanas. They are constantly looking to capture anyone, where they are taken as slaves or to be used for horrific experiments by Kanas. Races in the North have never seen those in the South and vice-versa.
The character development was well done. Tim is the Warrior of Light, but struggles to understand what he is and his power. With light, there is dark, and Kanas is dark. Tim can grasp the dark of the Lightsource, and it is a choice he must make. I liked how Mr. Heinzen wrote this part of the novel and Tim’s struggle with choices he alone can make. One of my favorite characters was the elion, Boblin. The Rampart is crossed, the all the races do meet, and Tim and Boblin become fast friends. Boblin is funny, loyal, and the “person” you always want to be around. His thoughts as he enters danger are always amusing, but he is not a coward and throws himself right into the fray. Quentiin is unbreakable, which is the best way to describe him. He refuses to give up hope of finding the dwerions who were taken. He served in the army alongside Daniel, and he is incredibly adept and fearsome when he fights. Daniel and Rosalie are both well capable of taking care of themselves in a fight, and I loved that Rosalie could swing a sword with the best of them, while also being a healer. I would have liked to know a little more about Daniel and some of his abilities.
The Lightsource was a well thought out and unique magic by Mr. Heinzen. The source comes from energy all around, and those with the power can draw upon it. I like magic systems where there is source to it, and consequences. While there is energy in all things, the user can choose to use it for good or bad, and the most powerful can cause a great deal of damage when wielding it. It made for very exciting scenes when the Lightsource was used.
The pacing and prose were excellent, as well as the many different parts of the North that Mr. Heinzen created. The pacing was even, and there was never a dull moment in the book. Action was interspersed with character development and reflection. It kept the story moving forward and I was always engaged and invested in it. The North had so many different places, some frightening, some beautiful. For much of it, it was bleak, with dark forests of evil magic, a mountain pass with hideous creatures, and the “city” where Kanas lives is horrifying. Boblin lives in the only fort not under Kanas’ control, The Fort of Pellen, which is not pretty, but a respite for his people to be safe. Tim, Boblin, Daniel, Rosalie, and other elions, traverse the mountains and forests in search of the mysterious Army of Kah’lash. They wait for the Warrior of Light, where they will serve to fight the forces of Kanas. The journey is difficult and dangerous, and there are many twists and turns along the way. The creatures that Mr. Heinzen made to thwart the travelers were very creative, and were obstacles to prevent them reaching their goal. Overall, it made for an exciting adventure.
Warrior of Light is great epic fantasy by Willian Heinzen. The Lightsource magic was unique, where pulling the use of this powerful source came from the energy of all things, both living and non-living. It can be used for both good or bad, and that depends on what the wielder chooses. Tim Matthias is the Warrior of Light, an unexpected role he is thrust into and must decide for himself what path he will go down. It is both a mental and physical journey for him, mentally he must choose, physical as he searches for the Army of Kah’lash. On this journey, he is accompanied by his parents, and a group of elions, a race from the North. Boblin, an elion, soon befriends Tim, and they form a close bond. Boblin was a wonderful character. He was funny, loyal, and truly helps Tim find his way. The North was a barren, depressing place with forests of dark magic, mountains with horrific creatures, and little in the way of any green growth. It is ruled by the Dark Lord Zadinn Kanas, who wields the dark of the Lightsource and is more than cruel. Does there need to be a balance between light and dark? The group must go through the forests and mountain if they are to find this army, and if it actually exists. This all made for a truly great adventure, with both action and character development. I enjoyed Warrior of Light and would recommend it to any fans of fantasy. Even though this was a standalone, I look forward to reading the second book.
Summary (from Escapist Book Tours)
Tim Matthias has only ever known the peace of the South, but that peace is shattered when a group of mysterious creatures destroys his home. In search of answers, Tim discovers the poisoned wastelands of the North, where the Dark Lord Zadinn Kanas rules over all. It is here that Tim joins forces with a band of freedom fighters on a quest to find the Army of Kah’lash, a mythical force destined to serve those in need. At the same time, Tim must learn to use the magic of the Lifesource, for he is the Warrior of Light. As Tim struggles to accept his destiny, those around him must battle their way across the North, seeking a means to wage one last, desperate stand against Zadinn and his armies…
My sincere thanks to William Heinzen providing me with a copy of Warrior of Light
My sincere thanks to Escapist Book Tours for providing me with an eBook
To find out more about William Heinzen, please visit his website at https://www.williamheinzen.com/
Purchase Warrior of Light on Amazon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
William Heinzen is the author of the epic fantasy novels Warrior of Light and City of Darkness, as well as the short stories Malichon Manor, Nightfall, and Shadows in the Snow. He has been a guest at FanExpo New Orleans, Tampa Bay Comic Convention, ValleyCon, and iMagicon. He has also presented at North Dakota State University’s Creative Writing Camp. William lives in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he works as a cybersecurity professional by day and writes by night. In 2018 he was named to Prairie Business Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list.