The Chronicles of Arcanilius

Origin Stories

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
628 Pages
Reviewed on 05/26/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

The Chronicles of Arcanilius: The Origin Stories by Antonia Rapheal finds Naherna on a journey as the new Representative to the scribes. As the wizard Wadzviler rises in power, Naherna embarks on her first mission, which sends her traveling to the Ziggurat of Kir. She appoints herself a team that includes a tracker, a knight, a wizard, a warlock, and a loyal aide. Along the journey, the group faces dragons, mammoths, and a wide assortment of creatures. In the background of the story, the history of this magical place and a prophecy slowly unfold, telling of the arrival of the Malefic.

I loved every second getting to explore every moment of this magical, in-depth, and vivid world. Antonia Rapheal mixes several elements together, including mammoths, dragons, elves, and wizards. The world feels like a lovely combination of fantasy, fairy tales, and science fiction which makes for one spell-binding journey. Rapheal makes all these elements fit together like they were always supposed to go together. You never know what to expect as one moment there's a dragon and another moment involves a magic mirror. This is a hero's journey as Naherna is constantly having to prove herself, which factors into how easy she is to relate to. Every step unlocks something new about the world and it's often something she needs to go up against. In several ways she's just a normal young woman who just happens to have been given this quest and has the weight of the world placed on her shoulders. Over the course of the story, she slowly comes into her own and proves herself to be heroic. It feels like a series of smaller quests that all tie together in this larger adventure.

The humor throughout is fitted to the characters' personalities. Naherna and her group form a close relationship with all their personalities balancing out. Her brother and Zephyr start off clashing, but their relationship evolves into one of friendship which mirrors how close they all become. The characters evolve along the journey both as a team and as individuals. A touch of romance can be found throughout for certain characters, but it's mainly in the background and more of an emotional mention. The actual journey and fight against evil is the focus of the story with a lot of action and an exploration of the world itself as Rapheal introduces several elements each step of the way to round out the world. The Chronicles of Arcanilius is a hero's journey filled with magic and danger, mammoths and dragons, and the fight against evil.

Lit Amri

In The Chronicles of Arcanilius (Origin Stories) by Antonia Rapheal, it’s a tumultuous times on planet Varga. Disturbances are happening simultaneously in the middle of the night in Odgo, Warillog, Lowlands, and Medur. Children are kidnapped, villages are burned, monsters roam freely, and many people are missing or found murdered. The peace treaty between kingdoms is threatened, with each kingdom suspecting the other of foul play. The wizard Wadzviler, the ruler of Degonda, is responsible for this unrest. Naherna, the young princess of Odgo, is selected by the revered scribes to embark on a quest to save their world from Wadzviler. The treacherous journey will definitely test the strong-willed and levelheaded princess, as friends or foes are not easily discernible.

The story starts with a beautifully written prologue. Even though it can be more polished and there are some repetitions, the prose has a balance between flair and clarity which makes the narrative sufficiently engaging. I’m impressed with the vast and rich world building. It has enough information for readers to understand the characters as well as the plot line. I always appreciate authors that add visual elements in their books, and the provided images complement the story and accentuate what's already there. Naherna is an easy character to root for, although it took a while for me to relate to others. Some aspects of the plot have recognizable influences from popular world mysteries. On the whole, The Chronicles of Arcanilius is not without its flaws, but it is highly imaginative and no doubt shows what kind of stories Antonia Rapheal can create for fans of the genre.

Ruffina Oserio

The Chronicles of Arcanilius: Origin Stories by Antonia Rapheal is a story that will appeal to fans of fantasy with elements of science fiction and mythology. The story begins on a starry night with confusion raging on the planet Varga, situated in the Pleiades star cluster in the constellation of Taurus. Evil more powerful than anything they have known is causing havoc in a world that never knew war, where disputes used to be settled by combat. Now children are being torn away from their mothers' arms and people are disappearing without trace. A wicked enemy is about to steal the magic of Varga and a young girl, Naherna, the last princess of Odgo, finds herself caught up in a conflict that threatens to destroy her world; a conflict she never saw coming. A simple errand quickly turns into an epic journey — through unfamiliar terrain and fraught with dangers and evil enemies — to save her people. Follow her and her companions as they fight to save their planet , but how much time do they have with the enemy growing stronger and more villainous?

The setting is an exotic planet, a planet on the brink of annihilation, Varga. It's a place where magic is practiced by many — scribes, wizards, warlocks — and these people can control the five elements: magic, air, water, fire, and Varga itself. But can their magic stand against the science of tinkerers like Old Man Cogs? The novel transports readers into another world, beautifully imagined and laid out in a way so that readers feel as though they belonged there. The author creates a world where different races cohabit with each other —Elves, Vagans, and Galshers — each with their distinctive traits. The conflict is epic and a young princess must bear the brunt of the tensions afflicting her people. It's a story that explores the proverbial theme of the fight between good and evil and Antonia Rapheal's writing is evocative and filled with vivid images. The poetic language is captivating and it excites the imagination of the reader who sees the action unfolding in their mind's eye. The Chronicles of Arcanilius is beautifully plotted and features strong and memorable characters. The tension is strong and it moves steadily with the quick pacing of the story. It's gripping, one of those stories you finish reading and it feels as though you've just watched a riveting movie.