A riveting page-turner that’s high on anticipation…
Jay gracefully blends history with archeology, fantasy, and non-stop action in his first installment of The Forerunner Saga series as he takes readers on a rousing, adventurous journey with mighty Viking warriors and deadly ghostly curses. Practicing martial skills, grumbling over chores, listening to scary stories, and shadowing his older brothers everywhere, ten-year-old Thorfinn lives a normal life in Midgard, the Viking Kingdoms of 9th-century England until a mishap turns him into a vardoger after a witch’s curse comes alive. Now haunted by his own forerunner ghost, Finn finds himself traveling between realms with the witch still seeking revenge and dangerous enemies pursuing death of his loved ones. Will Finn find the courage to defeat his enemies and accept his new ghostly existence? Jay’s success in balancing the elements of fantasy against a medieval historical background is on full display as he weaves deeply researched details of the Viking Kingdoms of 9th-century England into this epic fantasy tale. The authenticity of Viking era comes to life vividly, submerging the reader completely. Considering it’s the series opener, Jay skillfully and painstakingly does a lot of groundwork in the form of non-battle machinations—detailing the Viking’s ways of living, their customs, and myths of the period. He also captures the high tension and sheer anticipation of a fast-moving, well-crafted fantasy. Initially, Finn is a regular ten-year-old, timid and lacking the courage of a fantasy hero, but his calculated cunning and the act of bravery toward the end leave scope for his character’s growth in the upcoming installments. The ghostly figures in the novel are drawn vividly, bringing a sense of doom with them every time they appear. The Viking Warriors come out as stirring, larger-than-life action figures driven by ambition, fidelity, and thirst for violence. Yeru who seems the noble woman of purpose and dedication, is a complete darling. All the major and ancillary characters are well drawn, and the battle scenes are finely constructed: both the Viking battle scenes and witches’ encounters unfold quickly and vividly. A deft mix of historical details, customs, culture, and myths and superstitions of Viking period authenticate the saga further. Jay drops in a slick twist toward the end, paving the way for Finn and Karl’s stories to continue. Fans of well-crafted fantasy and medieval historical adventures won’t want to miss this intriguing series opener. Highly recommended!
Note: This title is free on Kindle Unlimited.
Thorfinn and the Witch’s Curse
(The Forerunner Saga Book 1)
by Jay Veloso Batista
Pub date September 10, 2019
Price $2.97 (USD) Kindle edition, $12.49 Paperback