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29 June 2022

Publisher: Dragon Moon Press

Written By: J.V. Hilliard

RRP: £12.82 / $19.95 (Paperback) | £3.77 / $4.63 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

The Last Keeper (book 1 in J.V. Hilliard's 'Warminster' series), is a thrilling fantasy, rich in plot, detail and character, but more than this - it's the beginning of a promising series of gripping adventures.

I'm coming into this book as a fully-fledged, paid-up fan of the fantasy genre. The Lord Of The Rings was a staple growing up, and just a few pages into The Last Keeper and I instantly felt that warm, familiar comfort in Hilliard's storytelling.

It's a classic tale of good vs evil, but on a much more multi-layered canvas that is constantly throwing fresh twists and turns, and - perhaps what I loved most - unpredictability.

The story focuses on Daemus Alaric - a young, blind Keeper with the gift of foresight, who must use his abilities to counter the dark motives of Graytorris the Mad. Daemus is an incredibly likeable character who you never tire of during the story. He, like many other characters in the book, is multi-faceted, and oozing with depth and colour.

Nothing in the story feels accidental; everyone who steps into the pages of this book has purpose and meaning, and bring different, complimenting flavours to this rich world. And speaking of the world, I have no reservation in saying that I've read scores of fantasy books over the years, and the world-building that Hilliard shows here, is among the very finest...even Tolkien would be proud! From place names to the details of the magic system, we are constantly treated to layer upon layer of immersive storytelling.

What goes hand-in-hand with the world-building is the author's fantastic grasp of the English language, and his almost poetic style through description. I defy anyone to read the first two paragraphs and not get instantly swept up in this magical realm.

I love books that end on a cliffhanger, and without wishing to spoil anything, we get that here. The idea that you achieve the end of a truly thrilling story, only to find you have to wait to discover what happens next is a wonderful tool in an author's arsenal, but it has to be executed carefully. And execution is something that Hilliard wields masterfully, much like most of his approach to writing. I simply cannot wait to read the next instalment in the series, and strongly recommend The Last Keeper as THE summer read for all fans of fantasy!

+  The Last Keeper is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.com!
+  Follow @JVHilliardBooks on Twitter.
+  Follow @SebastianJBrook (Sebastian J. Brook) on Twitter.
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline (Doctor Who Online) on Twitter.  

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