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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
A story that begins with a curious encounter between a hooded, somewhat nameless man, and a hag who seems to know what he really wants, and in a place where names are not told, already arouses the curiosity of the reader because of the sense of mystery in the setting and the encounter. Such is the opening of The Battle of Barkow by Paul Simmonds, a story that explores the complex nature of a person, the curses and the blessings it suffers, and what ultimately defines this life. Two powerful men set out on a quest for the one thing that burns within their hearts and soon become embroiled in realities and challenges they never expected. How they emerge and who they become is what this book is about. It is a story, a very allegorical and philosophical story, that explores what drives a person, set in a parallel and exciting world; it will speak a lot to the human emotion.
The Battle of Barkow is a well thought-out novel and I did love the concept behind it, the originality of the characters and the plot lines. I enjoyed the great story, the wonderful setting and the compelling characters, but this book could do with editing. I did enjoy a lot in the writing, including the vivid descriptions. Some of them are terrific. For instance, when the author talks of the character with “the look of a man possessed with an indescribable evil.” There are characters that readers will love, symbolic and memorable characters like Bolan, Hogarth, Fr. Jonas, Kheli, and many others. Paul Simmonds displays a powerful gift for plot and character development. This is a brilliant story. I did love it.