The Riddle of the Storm

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
472 Pages
Reviewed on 05/31/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Glenlock: The Riddle of the Storm by R.L. Snyder combines medieval knights and science fiction fantasy adventure. When ex-Special Forces Operative Hal Bennet couldn’t face the demons of his last mission in Afghanistan, he takes solace in a rustic Maine cabin high in the mountains and is completely isolated from civilization. During a massive thunderstorm, Hal is shocked to hear someone banging on his cabin door in the middle of the night. He is more astounded when he opens the door and faces a fully-dressed medieval knight who tells him he is looking for his cat. His beloved cat, it transpires, is nothing less than a legendary saber-toothed tiger. Something is seriously amiss. The storm whisks Crown Prince Henry Lackland away from Glenlock and his dear cat before Hal can truly comprehend what is happening. A year later, haunted by his encounter with the mystical prince, Hal returns to the mountain where this thunderstorm still rages and never leaves. He also finds himself whisked away to Prince Henry’s home of Glenlock on Tera. On Tera, he finds a medieval world not unlike his own world’s history with dueling kingdoms and is quickly caught up in a plot to overthrow Prince Henry’s father, the King of Cent. Throw in some evil demon-like creatures hell-bent on roaming the Glenlock countryside, causing death, destruction, and abducting children and you have all the elements of an exciting, action-packed thriller.

Glenlock: The Riddle of the Storm is unusual, principally because of its mixed-genre conception combing a medieval setting with the ideas of parallel universes and a rampaging horde of demon-like creatures. Author R.L. Snyder has come up with a unique and compelling scenario that quickly draws in readers. The pace of the narrative, plus the large cast of characters and constantly changing perspectives, combine to keep readers both interested and on their literary toes as they follow the twists and turns of the story. I particularly enjoyed the character of Hal, whose special services training and his Japanese upbringing allowed him to fit quickly and seamlessly into a world where everything was alien to him. I also appreciated that despite Hal’s technological advancement and the fact that he carried a modern weapon with him, a pistol, he was cautious in using these advantages unless necessary. The combination of medieval knights, characters based on Roman Legionnaires, and even a group that appeared to be based on Vikings was handled exceptionally well, and the entire narrative flowed seamlessly. The action is fast and furious at times, but equally, there are warm, compassionate, gentle, and funny aspects to these hardened characters. This balance gave the story real depth and breadth. This is no small read; it is a substantial story, but the action, the plot twists, and the character development combine to make this a compelling read. I look forward to this story's sequel and highly recommend Glenlock.