Hælend's Ballad


Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
679 Pages
Reviewed on 01/12/2022
Buy on Amazon

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.

Author Biography

Ian Conrey is both a teacher and student of history and theology, who actively fights against human trafficking and is working toward an M.A. in Religion. In his free time, he enjoys reading biographies and ancient mythology, discovering early American folk songs, and exploring the Cohutta Wilderness. He lives with his wife and three children in the North Georgia mountains.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

The kingdoms of Daecland and Sunder and those who live within them create the landscape for the dark high fantasy novel Hælend's Ballad by Ian Conrey. The brutality of a war that splinters from a years-long occupation against the Sunderians by the Daecish. The depth of persecution and despair runs incredibly deep, the disparity between the haves and have-nots, and the system established both politically and underground are crushing to those below the upper echelons. The rise of the Silent Hither movement, initially crippled but once more growing in momentum, and the strength of its Dark Horses, are ready to fight back against all odds.

“With brothers, we march this day
For Theos, we shout and pray
Our hearts will kindle and burn
Though few of us return...”

Ian Conrey has undertaken a wildly ambitious project in his steampunk-medieval fantasy tome Hælend's Ballad. The book is expertly written with really gorgeous prose and some of the most authentic dialogue I've come across in a while in the genre. It is the restraint of Conrey's pacing and the focus on characters that truly elevate the story, both the mark of an exceptionally gifted storyteller. The sheer volume of characters requires a bit of homework on the part of a reader, at least at first, to keep them straight and play connect-the-dots with plots and subplots amidst a massive amount of finely-crafted military strategy. War crimes are courageously depicted with no holds barred, but without even entering the realm of gratuitous, and action scenes leap from the page. There is also a top layer of nuanced religious tones that is applied a' la Lewis, Dekker, and Tolkien. I'm not putting Conrey in the space of these titans right now, but this is a genuine 'sit and wait' moment with the world-building that has the potential to get at least 2/3 of the way there. Very highly recommended.