Rise of Dresca

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
283 Pages
Reviewed on 08/19/2023
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Author Biography

Tim McKay is an author, editor, and marketer from Ottawa, Canada. He used to be a pastor, still cares about good and evil, and still strives to create meaningful experiences for himself and others. Now he does it through writing.

He has degrees in history, theology, and public policy, along with a diploma in professional writing, but likes nothing more than hiking in the woods, running along the Rideau Canal, and connecting with the people he loves.

Oh, and reading a good book.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Rise of Dresca is an epic fantasy by Tim McKay. Left for dead by Athamein Tarvor and his cult, Valdaris Drascar, a former artillery captain of the fallen nation of Ceremai, rises from the throes of death to transform into someone who spells doom for anything and everything that crosses his path. After a devastating battle with dragons and humans alike, Vald finds himself in the company of a small group, which includes a few Selvan scouts, a scheming captain, and two high-born Siilvalan twins who are sword masters. As the little group makes its way to the Kartumol fortress, an imperceivable evil follows them that leaves blood and carnage in its wake. With everyone having their schemes, a little orphan girl's power and Vald's unquenchable rage are the only things standing in the way of monsters.

Action-packed and filled with a healthy dose of magic, mayhem, and fantastical lore, Rise of Dresca is a phenomenal start to what promises to be a riveting epic fantasy series. Author Tim McKay knocks it out of the park with a story that sets the stage perfectly for an expanded fantasy saga rich in world-building, epic storylines, and characters who leap off the pages. McKay uses a multiple-POV narrative style that helps readers get into the headspace of different personalities and showcases the varying factions and the stakes involved. Each character has their agency and motives that add layers to their personas. The book ends on a cliffhanger, making me even more eager to read the sequel. If you enjoy action-packed dark fantasy, don't miss out on Rise of Dresca.

Bryone Peters

Rise of Dresca by Tim McKay is about a mysterious male protagonist, Valdaris Drascar, who displays excellent swordsmanship, or kossa skills. Since dragons are a menace to the citizens, having good sword-wielding skills is a great advantage. Drascar meets Bendan, one of many antagonists, who betrays Drascar by throwing him into a mountain cave where a dragon lives. Later, when someone murders a fellow traveler, everyone is alarmed and no one understands what happened. Sevora, a member of the team of hunters, seeks revenge while everyone contends with dangerous dragons appearing out of nowhere. But that is the least of their problems.

Rise of Dresca by Tim McKay is a good read for those readers who love intrigue, action, and a bit of sci-fi. Secrets are everywhere. The undertone of mystery will keep the reader captivated while attempting to unravel the plot and understand what is happening. Events unfold bit by bit and many of the scenes take place in the forest. The sword-fighting duel was a great scene. Later, there is another clash that was even more absorbing. The dialogue was interesting, and the mind spheres added a new dimension and distinctiveness to the plot. The descriptions of the swords and scabbards were captivating. I enjoyed the imagery of the golden orbs. It was also fantastic that two women, Sevora and her twin sister, were also kossa masters.

K.C. Finn

Rise of Dresca is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, and adventure subgenres. It is intended for the older end of the young adult reading audience and contains some moderate profanity, sexual situations, and some scenes of violence. Penned by author Tim McKay, we find ourselves following Valdaris Drascar, a former artillery captain, as he faces the aftermath of his nation's fall to invaders. He crosses paths with a cult whose members unknowingly harbor parasitic organisms that thrive on chaos and suffering. Sacrificed to these draemeir, Valdaris undergoes a transformation that grants him unexpected abilities. The narrative unfolds through multiple perspectives, exploring the question of who the true villain is in this tale of shadow, intrigue, and destiny.

Author Tim McKay’s skillful wordplay creates an enthralling experience that is sure to immerse readers in a world filled with darkness and intrigue. One of the novel’s major strengths is its complex and multi-layered narrative, with each character's storyline contributing to the larger plot. I found that the gradual revelation of secrets and the interconnectedness of the characters kept me engaged and eager to discover the mysteries at play. The world-building is skillfully executed, allowing readers to envision the vivid landscapes and immerse themselves in the intricate cultures of the various characters through some enjoyable cinematic and multi-sensory descriptive work. Overall, Rise of Dresca is a riveting opening to a fantasy series, offering a mix of epic battles, character development, and moral dilemmas. As a reader, I found myself captivated by the story's intricacies and eager to continue exploring this dark and fascinating world.

Essien Asian

Valdaris Drascar, a soldier left for dead in a war whose final years he cannot remember, teams up with an unusual group of warriors as they navigate back home in a world overrun by monsters. He must be wary because not everyone he sees is who they claim they are, and as his distrust for them increases, so too does theirs for him, his unusual gifts, and his uncanny ability to survive in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Nevertheless, Vald will not stop until he finds the man who killed him in Tim McKay's Rise Of Dresca.

Tim McKay introduces us to a fantasy adventure in Rise Of Dresca. From the unique yet similar-sounding names of the political entities involved to the highly detailed mythical creatures that populate this story, there is something for every avid fantasy genre fan. He begins the story with a hint of mystery as the major players are neither obvious nor are their origin stories fully fleshed out. This approach, though unusual, does an excellent job of piquing the reader's interest to seek a better understanding of the overall story plot. Even that pales compared to the extensive attention to detail that goes into the entire novel. The battles are vivid, the descriptions of locations make you feel like you are practically walking those streets beside Vald and his colleagues, and the conversations between the characters have a distinct edge to them, which lets the reader know that McKay is deliberately saving the big reveal for the latter stages of the novel. Ultimately, McKay's unusual delivery in his storytelling gives Rise Of Dresca a unique appeal that readers will find fascinating.

Miche Arendse

In a chaotic world, a misfit group of individuals must do their best to survive and overcome the evil they face. Rise of Dresca by Tim McKay follows the story of Valdaris Drascar, a former artillery captain, who faces the monster responsible for ruining his homeland. These creatures of darkness, known as the draemeir, seek to bring about ruin wherever they go; however, Vald and the comrades he meets along his journey are determined to end their treachery.

Rise of Dresca by Tim McKay took me a while to settle into; however, once I dug my heels in and got into the story, I found that I couldn’t stop. McKay did an amazing job with the world-building for this story, having such detailed descriptions of the various landscapes and the creatures encountered throughout the book. I also really enjoyed the build-up of Vald awakening into his newfound abilities and how he interacts with the other characters. While he is the main character, I couldn’t help but find Rhyn extremely charming and enjoyable to read. She had so much personality that I immediately took a liking to her when she showed up. The story progression is a bit slow in the beginning but quickly picks up the pace by the third chapter, and by the end of the book, you are dying for more. I can safely say Rise of Dresca is a book worth reading, and I look forward to seeing what happens next.