99 Days

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 12/06/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

In Keith Ward's 99 Days, proxying is a barbaric act practiced in Slypht where one person is sacrificed so another gets to live longer. The best proxies are considered to be kids below one year as they still have a longer and better life left. Those who wish to live longer pay huge sums for such babies, or obtain them in any other way possible. When Kertram rushes back home to find his entire village slain and all the kids below one year - including his month-old triplets - abducted, he knows the cruel fate that awaits them. In agreement with his wife's dying wish, and with just one ally by his side, Kertram sets off on the impossible task to rescue his kids from the soldiers and from guaranteed death. With deep sorrow in his heart and immense determination, he is ready to do the impossible, but first he will have to travel across villages, forests, mountains and towns, and survive the endless dangers that lurk around every corner. Kertram has exactly 61 days to get his babies back or it will be too late.

Keith Ward's 99 Days is a most captivating fantasy tale and an incredible portrayal of a parent's determination to do whatever it takes to save his children. In Slypht, Keith Ward created an amazing and memorable world, and a perfect setting for this incredible fantasy tale. His writing effortlessly captures moments and emotions to make the story an exciting and flawless read. The characters, the way of life, and the setting all blend together perfectly to bring this thrilling tale to life. Fans of fiction fantasy will definitely enjoy this gripping race against time across Slypht; Kertram's pain will touch your soul and his determination will inspire you. Thank you, Keith Ward, for one of the most outstanding fantasy novels I have ever read.

Kim Anisi

Kertram, the protagonist in 99 days by Keith Ward, finds his wife murdered, and his weeks-old triplets kidnapped. They are valuable as proxies, i.e. their life span will be transferred to the highest bidder. The richest or most powerful person can add the life of the three to himself/herself - the cost is the life of the babies. Of course, Kertram wants his babies back. The dragon herder, however, is (almost) powerless against the system. And when he finds out where his children have been taken, he is not sure whether he can get to them before time runs out. At 99 days, the sacrifice of babies has the best effect - and the 99th day after the babies' birth is soon approaching.

The setting of 99 days by Keith Ward is a fantasy one with dragons and some sort of magic - yet it is also a primitive world in which swimming and boating are thought of as magic and many people do not even know about it. Water is seen as sure death when caught in it. I enjoyed how the world has quirks like that. It is a sign of good authorship if a world has strengths, but also weaknesses. The different regions with different customs are also very well done - it's fantastic to see authors who put some effort into creating the world instead of only focusing on one particular element. Keith Ward got it all right: plot, characters, and setting. He's an author who would be very good at creating a longer fantasy series in a colorful and fascinating world! Kertram's babies might well be worth some novels.

Rabia Tanveer

Keith Ward's 99 Days is the story of Kertram, a man who lived a very simple life, but everything changed in a blink of an eye. He was just a man who loved his life. By profession, he is a small dragon herder and at home he is a doting father to his newborn triplets and a loving husband to his beautiful wife. But when his twins are kidnapped and his wife is murdered, Kertram is turned into a beast of a man who wants revenge for his wife’s murder and to get his children back.

They live in a world where one person’s life can be taken away and grafted into another person's. If Kertram does not hurry, his children’s life spans can be grafted into someone else's. On the 99th day, he will lose it all if he does not do something. With the help of unlikely allies, Kertram moves forward and tries his best. But is his best enough? He is just a dragon herder, after all. Will a father’s love conquer all?

This novel was definitely intense and creatively written. I felt really happy after reading it because the story is great and the characters are very strong. It was a race against time and I was literally biting my nails to see what happens next. Another great thing about this novel was the fact that we get a very creative and well constructed world where our hero lives. The story is focused on Kertram, but at the same time, it gives so much more. I was just as much in love with Kertram as I was with the world he lived in. It is definitely one of the best novels I have read in 2016. It was fantastic!!! And I loved the cover, it suited the plot brilliantly!

Romuald Dzemo

Sometimes when things start going awry, they escalate until they blow out of proportion. Yes, like there is nothing to stop them getting worse. This is what a brave warrior, Kertram, is about to discover. After the murder of his lovely wife, he couldn’t imagine any pain could sear deeper, but when his children get kidnapped and with only ninety-nine days left before they become sacrificial fodder, he knows he’ll stop at nothing to set them free. Yes, he must save them, but can he? Keith Ward's 99 Days is a gripping, gritty tale of bravery, of love, and of a warrior’s fight to save what is left of his love.

Keith Ward is, no doubt, one of the best authors I have read this year. Not only does he create compelling characters and an interesting plot, but also a world filled with magic — beautiful sounds, a unique way of looking at life, and peculiar ways of running a community. Readers can’t miss walking with the protagonist along the Arrow River right out of Raven Wastes, feeling the bustling of men as they go about their businesses in the City of Spoonta. The story is created masterfully to allow readers to experience both the tension and the biting suspense. The love between Kertram and Rabiniak is so pure and so beautiful the reader will feel the pain of the latter’s death. Kertram is built to be a warrior, the type that will stop at nothing when it comes to defending his family values.

The language is awesome and the descriptions capture the very essence of the story, feeding the reader with beautiful sounds and sights. For instance, listen to this: “Kertram looked at Rabiniak, trying to see if she shared his apprehension at Danak’s uncertain reading. But his wife was looking instead at the new daughter in her arms. Then she looked at their other two children. When she looked at Kertram, her eyes were shining with joy. “Omonu has given us three times the blessings today, Kertram,” she said.” The author knows how to caption emotions without telling too much. Keith Ward's 99 Days is the kind of epic story readers would love to see on big screens; emotionally charged, gripping, and downright absorbing.

Divine Zape

How far will a man go to fight for what he loves? And how far would he go if what he loves happens to be a family — loved ones with beating hearts and the very home he comes back to after long and tiring journeys? Keith Ward's 99 Days is the story of a brave man, Kertram. The first crushing blow to his life has been the murder of his wife, and as if it wasn’t enough to break a man who has loved so deeply, his children are kidnapped and a painful fate awaits them. Only 99 days are left. Can Kertram muster enough courage to face the obstacles stacked against him to save them? Can he fight the odds? Can he tread the slippery path of betrayal and wrest his kids from the cruel fate of death by sacrifice?

Keith Ward's 99 Days is a story that will undoubtedly arouse deep and powerful emotions in readers. Why? Because the author creates characters that are believable, like Rabiniak and her maternal love — simple and pure like the gentle moon. Danak, the Seer, is another compelling character who plays an invaluable role in the plot — she is mysterious in a way and readers would want to know if her readings are certain. Kertram is well explored and readers watch him as he grows through the conflicts, right from the very beginning of the story until things escalate.

I enjoyed the emotional and psychological depth of the story, the setting that evokes a primitive period when gods lived among men and when sacrifices were the order of the day. The names of people and places have some magic in them, something lyrical, and readers will easily visualize such a world. Keith Ward's 99 Days features powerful themes like love and family, hatred and revenge, and of course the struggle for justice. It is fast-paced with intense action punctuating the moments of suspense. A beautiful story beautifully told, one that will entertain readers and make them travel new worlds in their sleep.