Book Review & Blog Tour: The Written by Ben Galley

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the Ultimate Ben Galley Tour, which is being hosted by the amazing Dave at The Write Reads. There are 140 book bloggers in total taking part in this epic event. Below is the tour schedule for those of us taking part in The Written, so be sure to check out these other amazing bloggers!

The Written

Author: Ben Galley

Publication Date: 01 January 2011

Genre: Adult Fiction – Fantasy

Pages: 418

Publisher: Independent

His name is Farden. 
They whisper that he’s dangerous. 
Dangerous is only the half of it. 

A spellbook has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell – a very old and extremely powerful spellbook from the time of dark elves and demons. Five scholars are dead, the magick council is running out of time and options, and the Arka is once again on the brink of war with the Siren dragon-riders. 

It falls to Farden the Written mage to keep the world from falling into chaos. Entangled in a web of lies and politics, Farden must recover the spellbook before an ancient enemy rises, even if it takes journeying halfway across icy Emaneska and back.

In his fight for answers, Farden will unearth a secret that not only shakes the foundations of his world, but threaten the entire future of Emaneska. Sorcery, death, drugs and the deepest of betrayals await.

Welcome to Emaneska.

The Written was tough for me to get into at first for a couple of reasons: 1) we are immediately thrown into fast paced action, but there isn’t much background information to orient us to the story and 2) the explanation of what Farden is as a Written mage doesn’t come for a few chapters, so it was unclear to what his role was.

The story takes place in the world of Emaneska, which consists of all sorts of magical creatures from lycans to vampyres to dragons, etc. Amongst these magical creatures are mages called the Written. They are so affectionately called this because each of these mages has a special inscription/spellbook (following an incredibly torturous Ritual that not all mages survive) that is literally etched into their backs.

Farden, our MC, is one of the the most revered and feared of the Written since his talents for the craft are legendary as well as his scare tactics. Farden is a bit anti-social and only prefers the company of Chaska, a fellow mage and Princess to another kingdom, but the Written are forbidden to mate, so they are forced to keep their relationship in the shadows. Farden returns from a mission to seek information regarding the mysterious disappearance of an ancient spellbook, but due to unpopular views of Farden, the council begins to suspect that Farden may have been involved in stealing the precious spellbook, so he is sent away to track down its whereabouts.

I really enjoyed the magic and world building of this story because it was so incredibly detailed and well done. Once I was able to orient myself to all of the different characters as well as the kingdoms, I was hooked. It’s not very often that you see authors integrate so many different types of magical creatures and watch them come together in a beautifully, cohesive story.

This is one of those stories that has a little something for everyone. You’ve got epic battle magic, dragons, really old and sarcastic vampyres, adventure, and even some romance. It amazes me that this is Ben Galley’s debut because it definitely did not disappoint. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the Emaneska series.

Thank you again to Dave for the invitation to take part in this epic tour. Thank you to Dave and the author for providing an ebook for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

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