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Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite
In The Black River Chronicles (Level One) by David Tallerman and Michael Wills, the Black River Academy of Swordcraft and Spellcraft is a go-to training centre for rangers, wizards, fighters and rogues. Its current newest group of students has been at the academy for three months and, as such, it is time to group them into parties of four - one from each craft - that would henceforth execute their quests together. Durren - a ranger with a big secret - is grouped with Tia - a rogue who thinks she is too good for the group, Arein - a wizard too emotional for her own good - and Hule - a fighter who acts before he thinks. Together they will be sent on various missions for the academy. After their embarrassingly disastrous first quest, the group is spared punishment only after a staff member desiring a challenge offers to take them on as their mentor. The group can barely stand each other, yet they must work together to prove they deserve the second chance they have been given. But when your tasks include capturing a wicked unicorn and stealing from a monastery filled with crazed priests, a lot can go wrong. Noticing something weird about their tasks, they decide to take on a side quest of their own and get to the bottom of it all.
The Black River Chronicles: Level One by David Tallerman and Michael Wills is a captivating YA adventure that combines an amazing setting, a fascinating cast of characters, and flawless narration to give you a thrilling reading experience. The descriptive narration is very vivid and draws you into this world of magic, adventure and action. The entire story could have been set within the boundaries of the academy and still be a winning setting, but then quests, each set in a unique and memorable location, added even more adventure and thrills. David Tallerman and Michael Wills produced one hell of an adventure - a must-read for all who enjoy thrilling, fast-paced YA adventures. The Black River Chronicles: Level One is a brilliant start to what will no doubt be an award winning series and I cannot wait to see what trouble the group gets into at the next level.