The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Ren Once Again

May 7, 2013 at 12:00 am (fantasy, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , , )

Against the Druries: The Belmont Saga (Volume 2) by Ren Garcia

If Ren Garcia writes it, I’ll be reviewing it. He never fails to impress me with his world-building skills, original plotlines and interesting characters. Despite the fact that his writing ventures into genres I don’t usually enjoy reading, like steampunk and science fiction, his work always manages to entertain me.

Against the Druries is the second in The Belmont Saga – Seventh in his League of Elder series – and I found it as equally satisfying as the book preceding it. I’m not going to go into any great plot detail as a lot of what happens in this book would be considered spoilers for the first book, but I will touch on some of the highlights.

One of the first things I liked about this saga was that aside from the protagonist, who is the larger-than-life classic hero typical to Ren’s stories, the majority of the other characters in the book are the type of flawed individuals who appeal to my sensibilities. I was especially drawn to A-Ram, the true underdog sort with something to prove, not just for himself but on behalf of his family. The rough-edged Tarra also made for some necessary comic-relief during very tense times.

While Ren’s not afraid to offer up the darker side of things, this book seemed particularly dark. I prefer my reads grim and messy (not the writing, but the storyline,) so this aspect made me happy. It also leaves us with some rather frightening prospects for stories to come.

The most surprising part of the book was the villains and the revelation of their true nature. They certainly aren’t what they seem to be at first, providing an even greater threat to our heroes and their objectives than first anticipated.

In all, this was an intense, shadowy adventure, filled with intrigue, excitement and extreme ups and down – an edgy joyride. Definitely five stars from me.


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