Empire of One

Volume One of the Wandering Invader Series

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
351 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Empire of One (Volume One of the Wandering Invader Series) by Thaine Chase takes the reader on a journey through the mists of time, principally in ancient Ireland, via the eyes of a man who has lived thousands of years in a myriad of identities. Even though he is finally beginning to age, he still holds the key to saving the world from destruction. This man of many names has led kingdoms, seen civilizations rise and fall, and even been instrumental in the destruction of some of them. Enchanted with ancient magic that gives him immortality and incredible self-healing powers, it has been his blessing and his curse to live through the eons of humanity’s existence, witnessing the tragedies and follies of humanity’s excesses. Even now, with his slowly aging body beginning to fail him and his recuperative powers slipping away, he will face the biggest fight of his long and illustrious life. He must find a way to defeat the impending invasion of earth by an alien race intent on the colonization of the planet and the total annihilation of humanity. He understands that the only chance he will have lies back in the mists of time, somewhere in his beloved Ireland.

Empire of One is an exciting introduction to what promises to be a series full of mystery, magic, and the downright weird and wonderful. Author Thaine Chase has done an extraordinary job of weaving a labyrinth of mysteries and folklore into a story that spans almost the entire history of mankind. He has created a world populated by monsters and magical creatures that thrill and excite a reader while at the same time provides a stern task for the main character to confront and ultimately defeat. What I particularly enjoyed about this character was that he had seen the highs and lows of a person’s existence. During the tale, we see the main character as a king and a mighty warrior but also as a lowly servant and a slave. The deep introspection of his failures, in all aspects of his life, allows the reader to identify and empathize with him and his journey. The whole idea of eternal life being both a curse and a blessing was well structured and brought out by the author’s skill. The pace of the story is frenetic and the battle scenes frequent and violent. For action junkies, there is plenty here to give a needed fix but there is more depth to this tale than just a mere action, fantasy novel. Much thought has gone into the character’s personal makeup and his inherent humanity that at times pushes him to make selfish and stupid decisions but at other times allows him the full range of courageous action – he may be immortal but he is still quintessentially human. I really enjoyed this tale and can highly recommend it. Bring on Book 2 in the series.

Risah Salazar

Empire of One by Thaine Chase is told by a mysterious narrator who holds incredible power. Readers get to know him first as one of the many slaves working on a mountain. He recalls his story three centuries earlier when he was king, but he can't let anyone know his origins. Fast forward to 20th century America when he still hasn't reclaimed his title but he is also not a slave anymore. However, he is in a much worse situation -- he's being hunted down. Doctors and scientists have discovered his enchanted nature, and they are doing all kinds of unimaginable tests which are painful and dangerous to him most of the time. Will the magical narrator get his freedom back or will he forever be locked up under prying eyes?

Thaine Chase starts Empire of One in an inviting way. The narrator's identity draws the curious reader into his world. Right from the get-go, there is a suspense that makes the book unputdownable. There's great imagery that feels like the reader is inside the book, experiencing the story first-hand. The narrator's present condition is juxtaposed with his adventures from many years ago, but Chase writes in a way that does not confuse. The main character forms a deep connection with the audience as his background and motivations are carefully laid out. This nice flow makes the complex story easy to digest and consistently engaging. Empire of One might be a short read but there's actually a saga waiting to be discovered in its pages.