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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Sentinals Rising by Helen Garraway is the high fantasy sequel in the Epic Fantasy Sentinal Series, preceded by book one, Sentinals Awaken. This installment continues to follow its protagonist, Jerrol Haven of Remargaren, as he identifies an engraving of a Sentinal Tree that happens to be a catalyst for a prophetic vision, one which puts him firmly in the role of Lady’s Captain. Three thousand years prior, the Ascendants fought to enslave Remargaren, and are determined to do so once more by employing the mind-control magic of Mentiserium, piercing the protective veil, and seizing control to topple those who have long fiercely secured it. Jerrol will risk life and limb to shatter the hold of the Mentiserium spell and to save Remargaren once and for all.
There is a moment near the midway point of Sentinals Rising that feels even more prophetic than a vision: “Captain Haven and his guards will ensure our safety.” Yeah. That is the understatement of three millennia. I'm not going to beat around the cauterized fingers too much here and will just come right out and say that Helen Garraway is a wildly gifted writer. There are multiple points of view that define each of the characters we meet and each stands comfortably independent of the other. The action is ripe and the tension is enough to keep a reader furiously turning pages without the usual pitfalls of taking it too far. Even fantasy and magic have their limits when it comes to suspension of disbelief and the mark of a seasoned, skilled author is knowing when to say 'uncle.' The visuals and dialogue are all spectacular and the frailty of good when being pushed by evil is executed well. Overall, this is a book and a series that is likely to be adored by all fortunate enough to read it. Very highly recommended.