Book one of the Legends of the Carolyngian by Joseph S. Samaniego is a deep Fantasy-Adventure that chronicles a heroes journey to claim a new home land.
Title: In the Time of Standing Stones
Author: Joseph S Samaniego
Release: June 7, 2019
Goodreads Link: Here
Kings Theodorif, Fenir, and Haakon lead their people, the Gota, to new lands with the hopes to raid and conquer the lands but what they find instead of opportunities is an ancient evil bent of devouring the world, but the once-fertile lands have been damaged by centuries of war and the people are blinded by distrust and hate. The Gota have to join forces with unfamiliar faces to ensure the survival of the mortal races while also trying to establish a new home for their people. Succeed and perhaps they will flourish but to fail would mean the extinction of all that was good in the world.
I enjoyed all the characters in the story and they were very well fleshed out. The story has a big cast but Samaniego did a good job sorting the group with his storyline. Basically, it is as the olden days suggest that royalty cohabitates with royalty, soldiers cohabitate with soldiers. There are a few characters who break those rules, but it’s easy to understand why. My favorite characters were Oleg and Aklima. Their unlikely relationship was the most interesting.
As always, Samaniego creates a great world. In this book, unlike some of his others, the cast spends most of the time traveling and camping out so the challenge of constantly creating the setting is ever-present. Samaniego does a good job handling this. Every setting is well done, simple and easy to envision.
The story covers themes of conquest, family drama, and religion. There are very enlightened discussions about all three topics throughout and Samaniego paints a very non-biased picture of each topic, leaving the reader to pick a side and decide what they think is right. Samaniego keeps it easy for us to read. He never uses complicated language and even the special words pertaining to weapons, armor, or combat which I may not have known, are used in context and easy to figure out what they are.
My number one compliment to Samaniego and this story is always his care for his characters, specifically women. There are some evil women in this book and some angels. Samaniego treats them all with respect, showing them as powerful, smart, and talented. Additionally, his male characters are not demeaned because of this. His characterization is always spot on, staying true to characters and this makes it easy to connect to the story.