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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Legend of the Storm Hawks: Book 1 of the Rootstock Saga is an epic fantasy by L. H. Leonard. In the south of the medieval-like kingdom of Innis, a king sits on an uneasy throne. Forces human and otherwise, treacherous and true, struggle for dominance. In the discontented north, a powerful clan allies itself through marriages with three others. The king takes notice of this possible shift in allegiance even as his sister threatens his rule through religious and military backing abroad. The king’s Minister of Diplomacy plays an old game of strategy on a board filled with hidden pieces as ancient forces add to the conflict and the kingdom teeters on the brink of war. A map of Innis brings Britain to mind, and the northern clans have a definite Scottish flavor.
If you like epic fantasy with stunning world-building, dramatic characterization, a suspenseful and surprising plot, and a strong thread of fantastical elements, Legend of the Storm Hawks is for you. Described as the prelude to three novels which will take the saga to other lands and cultures, this first novel in the series is utterly engaging. The narrative moves at a good pace and is highly descriptive. Each chapter unfolds another layer of the story and dives deeper into the hidden recesses of the plot, places, and characters. Leonard alternates between the viewpoints of different characters, giving the reader insight from different angles. The main characters are three-dimensional and relatable. I quickly found my favorites. I look forward to reading the subsequent novels in the series. Highly recommended.