Book I of the Aldariad

Fiction - Fantasy - General
654 Pages
Reviewed on 03/13/2015
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite

In Godhead: Book I of the Aldariad (Volume 1), Greg McLeod weaves a fantasy tale that merges with the real world in a magnificent, gripping saga. Seemingly disparate stories are begun, and then abruptly stop; only to be picked up again as the threads linking the two dimensions are drawn together. In Diggers Row, in the American West, in 2001, a boy named Billy disappears before his friend’s eyes while they’re out hunting. Then we are transported to Vereld, a world grown complacent over time with no apparent threat to make maintenance of the fortifications against enemy invaders seem a necessity. We meet Rather, a healer – although he terms himself more hedge wizard than mage – who is summoned to the house of a peasant couple to attend to their autistic boy. Something is terribly wrong. The boy, a savant, has covered the walls in his bedroom with prophetic sayings. Rather is able to translate and, having an eidetic memory, remember them. Then all hell breaks loose… The reader is swept into a loathsome maelstrom of black magic as a grim and awful dark god awakens and starts to get his grip on a world totally unprepared for the onslaught. There are many sorcerers willing to invest their powers in the creation of hybrid, monstrous creatures to fight in a battle that draws on black and white magic. As the story unfolds, we are introduced to three Redeemers – Anili, Jon and Orrin - whose stories merge so that they can fulfil their part of the prophecy and save humanity. The story moves from Billy’s disappearance - which elicits the interest of the US security forces, and other, more unscrupulous parties anxious to commercially exploit this new dimension’s resources – to events in Vereld that link the two dimensions, to the Nazi interest in Jon’s great-uncle’s castle that holds a great secret, and finally unites the three people who can stem the impending tide of destruction.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s hard to find the words to encompass the scope of this bold and brilliant tapestry. Although there are strong hints of the influence of Tolkien, this story is uniquely the author’s own. Greg McLeod is a true ‘Wordlord’ in that he can describe a scene so beautifully and yet so succinctly that the reader imagines themselves transported there, be it a battle, a moment of quiet beauty or introspection, or the unfolding of a character’s development. I was captivated by this tale and although the abrupt changes in the story, as a new scenario is introduced, take some getting used to, the author deftly draws the reader back and reignites their attention. I loved the side characters who got equal attention in their portrayals as much as the main characters. The seven Unborn, misshapen and frightening to behold, but tender, compassionate and gentle, were wonderful. There is such a vast cast of characters that one is hard pressed to pick out particular names. They are all well developed and serve their purpose, from Baran the soldier tasked with protecting Anili, to Torgrim the wizard mentoring Jon, to the forest folk who saved Orrin from captivity. I also enjoyed the quotes that prefaced each chapter, in which a reader may glean more about coming events as well as information about how the magicality of Vereld works. Greg McLeod has created a compelling tale of good versus evil, with a unique and yet realistic fantasy world, populated with characters that rise to fulfil their destiny for the greater good, no matter what the cost. This story has everything for the fantasy fan, as well as the reader who enjoys a deep, well constructed plot, believable and appealing characters, and imaginative and credible world-building.

Melinda Hills

Ancient forces are at work across the known world and its alternate dimensions that may lead to their complete destruction. From Diggers Row in the American West where a young man disappears right in front of his friend’s eyes, to an ancestral castle in Bavaria and further beyond to the land of Vereld, elements are coming together to fulfill a prophecy recorded by an autistic boy and memorized by his healer. In Godhead: Book I of the Aldariad (Volume 1), Greg McLeod brings pieces together like a chess master, setting them up on a giant playing field to battle for the right to sole existence across the universe. People from different worlds and times, as well as mysterious beings and hybrid creatures created by black sorcerers, follow what seem to be pre-destined paths to a show-down foretold ages earlier. Unfortunately, the world has lost its knowledge of these dark forces and no longer has the power it once did to stand up to the evil that has quietly consolidated its control over malevolent men and vile elements hidden within the earth so that no land is safe. It is only a question of time and if the three forces spoken of in the prophecy can come together to make a stand.

Greg McLeod is a master storyteller who, in a great book, creates vivid images, well-developed characters and fantastic settings in which a plot, millennia in the making, can unfold. Across worlds and times, people have become complacent about goodness and are about to be confronted with pure evil that has had plenty of time and no shortage of devout followers to grow into an overwhelming force. Godhead: Book I of the Aldariad (Volume 1) brings the disparate groups together much as Tolkien does, overcoming obstacles and learning piece by piece what their role may be as the story unfolds. Action, emotion and deep contemplation add to the excitement of this wonderful tale.