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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Mountainroot is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy, adventure, and interpersonal drama subgenres, and it forms the opening novel of the Saga of the Laymonk. The work is best suited to the mature reading audience owing to scenes of fantasy violence and other adult content. Penned by author M.A.B. Wyman, this immersive and inventive introduction to a whole new fantasy world sees us following the life path of our young protagonist Genshai. When his expected path is turned upside down by his being named as the new Laymonk, a legacy of heroism awaits, and it’s a heavy mantle to adopt under the tutelage of the wise old Taisan, but Genshai must face his personal truth to save his land from unspeakable evils.
Author M.A.B. Wyman has crafted a superb work of fantasy that weaves a lot of classic heroics into an innovative new storyline celebrating the ways of monkhood, martial arts, and spirit realms beyond our imagination. I really liked the sense of harmony and balance that runs through the book as a central dynamic, from the two worlds that Genshai must walk to the duality of the emotional battle he faces within his own heart, mind, and soul. The good versus evil trope is well-managed here to craft a mature tale with a lot of introspection, and the work is layered with vivid, cinematic descriptions of nightmarish curses, psychological horrors, and tests of strength as they come to life before our eyes. Overall, Mountainroot is an accomplished and sophisticated fantasy epic that will please fans of original fiction that still pays homage to tradition, and I can’t wait to see what else this exciting series has in store.