Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Ventifact Colossus’ by Dorian Hart organised by Storytellers on Tour, which is the first book in the Heroes of Spira. The fourth and final book in the series – The Infinite Tower – is out later this year and can be pre-ordered now (Amazon UK | Amazon US) .
I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE). The Ventifact Colossus will be on sale for $0.99 on Amazon during the week of the tour, and there is an opportunity to win yourself a bundle of the first three books in this series in paperback at the end of this post (US/CA Only).
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review, all views are my own.’*
Banished to an otherworldly prison for centuries, the monstrous Emperor Naradawk is about to break free and wreak havoc upon the world of Spira. The archmage Abernathy can no longer keep the monster at bay, and has summoned a collection of would-be heroes to help set things right.
Surely he made a mistake. These *can’t* be the right people.
Dranko is priest-turned-pickpocket, expelled from his church for his antics. Kibilhathur is a painfully shy craftsman who speaks to stones. Aravia is a wizard’s apprentice whose intellect is eclipsed only by her arrogance. Ernest is a terrified baker’s son. Morningstar is a priestess forbidden from daylight. Tor is a young nobleman with attention issues. Ysabel is an elderly farm woman. Grey Wolf is a hard-bitten mercenary.
None of them are qualified to save the world, but they’ll have to do. Even Abernathy himself seems uncertain as to why he chose them.
What starts with a simple scouting mission soon spirals into something more far-reaching and sinister. The heroes will contest with dream warriors, evil cultists, sentient gemstones, and a devious yet infuriatingly polite gentleman with a perfect mustache, on their way to a desperate encounter with the unstoppable: The Ventifact Colossus.
The Ventifact Colossus is Book One of the Heroes of Spira.
I’ve been very much in the mood for this kind of adventure fantasy lately, I blame it on all the D&D that I’ve been playing recently, and it’s easy to see the influence here in The Ventifact Colossus with its wonderful group of unlikely heroes.
This was a very character-driven story, and there are a lot of POV characters, but Hart does an excellent job of handling them all as individuals, giving them unique voices, motivations, and struggles. I very much love the idea that this ragtag group was not quite what the archmage who gathered them had been expecting to choose and might not be more than possible heroes. I also liked that it took time for the group to find it’s dynamic, rather than instantly falling into place, and that each of them found their own role, even if some like Mrs Horn weren’t necessarily a traditional ‘essential’ part of a party such as a healer or a fighter. As the party grew and developed, so did the characters as individuals, and we continued to learn new things about each of them.
It is difficult to choose favourites among them, because Hart’s characterisation is fantastic, and I enjoyed all the different viewpoints. I did adore Dranko – the first POV character that we meet, in part because he’s such a fascinating amalgamation of different elements, a priest-turned-thief, part human and part goblin, and with hidden depths to his character that we kept discovering throughout. I also loved Morningstar and Tor, and really all of them for different reasons.
Such a fantastic cast of characters!!
The world-building was just as fun as the characters, and although there were a few places where I might have liked a little more depth, this is the first book in the series and there are more books to explore this world through. There was a lot of fun aspects to this world, and we got to visit quite a few different places during the course of the adventure, and there were certainly glimpses of depth beneath the surface which was more than enough for now. In terms of the magic, it did go back to that D&D feeling with the way that it works, but it was fun to read, and fitting for the world and characters.
I enjoyed the writing, and while there were a few places where the pacing slipped – either events happening a little too soon or a little too slow, for the most part, this was an adventure that was easy to lose yourself in. Hart has an easy, entertaining writing style, and there was plenty of humour and action, in amongst the more serious moments, and it was a page-turner because of that and because of the characters that pull you into their story.
I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a more traditional fantasy adventure, with a delightful twist of something new. And a refreshing read with a little less darkness and a nice sprinkling of hope even amongst the danger and threat, and the heartstrings that the author does an excellent job of pulling on. This is a book that will appeal to both younger readers as well as adults, and it was truly a delight to lose myself between the pages. I will certainly be checking out the rest of the series as soon as possible, hopefully in time to catch the release of the fourth book in April.
About the Author:
Dorian Hart is the author of the Heroes of Spira epic fantasy series, which currently includes The Ventifact Colossus, The Crosser’s Maze, and The Greatwood Portal. The fourth book, The Infinite Tower, should be out in February or March of 2021.
In a bygone century, Dorian graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in creative writing. This led circuitously to a 20-year career as a video game designer, where he contributed to many award-winning titles including Thief, System Shock, System Shock 2, and BioShock.
Now he writes books in his Boston-area study, serves as the stay-at-home dad for his two teenage daughters, and happily allows his wife to drag him off on various wilderness adventures. He also spends time torturing his piano, playing the sport of pickleball, losing at board games, making terrible dad jokes, and trembling beneath the shadow of his towering TBR.
Prize: The Heroes of Spira Paperback Book Bundle by Dorian Hart – One (1) bundle of three (3) paperbacks –
US & CA Only.
Starts: February 21st, 2021 at 12:00am EST
Ends: February 28th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST
You can enter here:a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.