Fiction - Fantasy - General
275 Pages
Reviewed on 02/09/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

Kevin Tomaszewski’s Solace starts with a lone Warden named Alexander falling from the sky. He lands in what once was the resilient kingdom of Termina and is mistaken as a raider. Surrounded by unfamiliar and terrifying weapons, Alexander is saved by a hooded, masked man named Dresden. They barely escape with their lives and head to the tavern which was once the palace of the kingdom of Termina. Alexander is shocked to learn how different everything is from what he expected. The lands were ravaged by war and the people are broken down and beaten. Aside from the war-torn lands and the never-ending night, Alexander also has worries of his own. He came down from above the clouds for a reason, with a compass that has the ability to point whoever holds it in the direction of their destiny. He seeks to save another soul but finds that he may need to face hard truths and opposing forces in order to do so.

Solace is set in a fantasy world where people have been torn apart by human greed and circumstance. Alexander is so human despite the fact that he is a Warden, a protector some people may even view to be godlike. But he is flawed like all human beings. After the death of a loved one, he throws himself into this world where, even though people barely had anything left, they still continued to fight amongst themselves. I loved so many things about this book; its setting, its plot, its characters, and its development. My heart broke on Fifle’s death and on each character's struggles and painful pasts. That just goes to show how much impact this story had on me.

Kevin Tomaszewski's inventive story fascinated me and captivated my attention from the first few chapters. There were so many hidden gems in this story. This quote from Aeneas is one of my favorites: ‘Temptation always has its victories over the best of us. The key though is making sure those are only battles and not the whole war.’ This is a book that pits darkness against whatever remains of light, what you want versus what needs to be done, fear versus hope. Overall, this is an outstanding work that moved my heart and taught me so many important lessons along the way.

K.C. Finn

Solace is a work of fantasy fiction with themes of life and death, magic and dystopia penned by author Kevin Tomaszewski. Written for mature audiences due to its level of moderate violence and some explicit language usage, this epic and exciting otherworldly, yet poignantly familiar, fantasy introduces us to Alexander, a lone Warden from a race of protectors who are the stuff of legend. Alexander is determined to bring a dear soul back from the realm of the dead, but in doing so he enters a dangerous quest where his own life will be at stake. As he delves into this other world, the obstacles and atmosphere he encounters are nothing like that which he imagined.

Author Kevin Tomaszewski delivers some really fantastic messages about the destructive nature of humanity, hidden deep within a superbly layered and really exciting fantasy quest novel. Alexander begins as a typical brooding hero, but his character development along his journey changes him in true Odyssey fashion, and the threats made to his psyche and soul feel visceral and frighteningly real. Dark by the very nature of its plot, this novel also offers great moments of light and clarity amongst its many trials, playing on tropes from mythology and quest-like tales, but reinventing itself into an original and lavish world which is brand new, but also familiar enough to fully engage its readership. Overall, Solace is a work not to be missed and is highly recommended for fans of serious fantasy fiction with strong emotive messages.