The First Seal

Book 2 in the Verdunmull series

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
425 Pages
Reviewed on 01/07/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The First Seal is a work of epic fantasy fiction penned by author Jared A. Zakarian, which forms the second novel in the Verdunmull Series. After the first novel introduced us to the world of Verdunmull and began to develop its characters and concepts, the plot really takes shape and begins to fly in this second epic installment. As it begins to seem that the prophecies of the Ikalreev are coming true, and dragons awake from sleep to join other ethereal beings that are coming to the surface of the land, our central group of survivors is put to the test and forced to the brink of war.

Author Jared A. Zakarian is really getting into the stride of the Verdunmull series now, and committed readers who enjoy a long, epic-length tale of burgeoning wars, hellish prophetic nightmares and the age-old tales of gods and monsters are sure to relish every page of this second installment to the saga. One of the things I particularly liked in this episode was the description of action scenes (of which there are plenty to sink your teeth into), and of the concepts of mortals and immortals caught up in a powerful war. The imagery used is unique and dynamic, with cinematic qualities that make it easy to picture in your head during the reading experience. Overall, The First Seal delivers on a lot of promises made by The Ikalreev Prophecies, making this an author and a series that you can trust to lead you to greater excitement in the future.

Jamie Michele

The First Seal by Jared A. Zakarian is the second book in the epic dark fantasy series Verdunmull, preceded by its first book, The Ikalreev Prophecies. In this installment, the world of Verdunmull is on the precipice of war, with the forces of evil raining down on the mortal souls that live on the light side of the realm. It is playing out exactly as the Ikalreev Prophecies stated, with a breaking of the First Seal and the descent of darkness throughout the lands. As the varied factions and races of mortals come together to fight, two fallen angels embark on a treacherous journey, seeking out a third angel who has been banished, relegated to a place where his potential to fight—and fight well against an enemy that fears him—cannot be brought forth.

Jared A. Zakarian delivers another incredible episode of the fantasy saga series Verdunmull with The First Seal. The descriptions are exceptional, particularly with every detail of sight and sound, and the battle scenes really just come straight to life. “A strong grip of rage squeezed the first tunneler’s neck, and Zauvek tightly compressed the demon’s neck as his eyes delved into the tunneler’s soul.” There are some genuine parallels to Christian themes in this tale, but if you aren't familiar with the doctrine it will be missed. What I loved most was the unity of characters, whichever side they happened to be on. It's a fight not just for the survival of life, but for all eternity. I'd absolutely recommend this series to those who love a solid, thoroughly fleshed out fantasy series...particularly ones with the chops to grow and thrive in many, many directions.

Liz Konkel

The First Seal by Jared A. Zakarian is the second book in the Verdunmull series. When the first seal of seven opens, a battle ensues as demons emerge into the world. Four guardians will be revealed as they face various tests and trials that take them on the path to who they need to be if they are to save their world. Faolan is captured by demons and tortured, which forces him to come face-to-face with his past and could alter his destiny. Aili struggles with the weight of her sorrow at the loss of those closest to her and refuses to give up hope of finding Faolan. She turns to Waremasu for help in saving her friend, so he ventures out to battle the demons with a trusted friend at his side. As the war wages on, the five chosen endure trials that will test their abilities and their weaknesses, leading them to make decisions that could change everything.

The various characters tackle new challenges and dire situations that will test their limits in the fight of their lives. This is everything they’ve been preparing for as the path that brought them to the first seal quickly spins into chaos and as everything falls apart around them, losses occur, and heroes rise. The book opens with the prophecies and trials that set the stage for a tale of epic adventures and harrowing battles that will be thrown into the path of the guardians. Faolan's story is rooted in self-discovery, the truth of his past, and vengeance. As he overcomes each of the struggles that threaten to destroy him, he faces an even greater danger that could potentially change him into something else. Jared A. Zakarian weaves the story between the various characters' perspectives as the battle rages and various creatures and beings are introduced as the seal gives way to deadly dangers. The First Seal is a thrilling adventure that pushes the series one step further in the fight against demons and the journeys of those chosen to protect the world.

Rabia Tanveer

Verdunmull Book 2: The First Seal by Jared A. Zakarian is about the battle of souls, light and dark, and evil and good. It seems like the prophecies of the Ikalreev are coming true and there is nothing that can stop them from becoming a reality. With the Archangel Azrael’s arrival signaling a terrible war, there is chaos everywhere. Faolan is fighting a battle within while everything is being destroyed right in front of his eyes. They say he is not worthy and not enough, but he just cannot stand back and let everyone he loves die. While Faolan is going through his personal hell, Zauvek and Waremasu are trying to find a way to bring back Razbijen, the Angel of Light and Guardian of Verdunmull. The path is riddled with difficulties unlike any other they have faced before, but they are not going to stop, not until they have the Guardian back and fighting for Verdunmull.

The First Seal by Jared A. Zakarian is an epic fantasy unlike any other I have ever read. Instead of focusing on hard to pronounce names and difficult concepts, the author actually brought substance to the story and ensured the reader had enough material to keep them interested. The world-building is exceptional; the author has created a universe that you can believe in and has filled the story with characters that you can relate to. I haven’t read the previous novel in the series, but the author gave enough background from the get-go so that I had no issue with catching up. I loved the fact that every character was given equal importance and you could choose your own protagonist to cheer for. Faolan was my favorite, but it could easily be Zauvek, Waremasu, and Razbijen. The action was intense from the very beginning and that is all thanks to these multi-dimensional characters who breathed life into this story. A powerful narrative, strong characters, and immense author talent! This is truly an epic fantasy that will give you an adrenaline rush the moment you start reading it!

Samantha Gregory

The First Seal by Jared A. Zakarian is the second book in the Verdunmull series. An ancient prophecy called the Iklareev prophecy foretold the end of the world, where angels and demons will battle it out in the world of men. Faolan was one of the angels who fell to earth before the fight began. He has been learning about his place in the prophecy and now that the fight is starting, what will he do? He is starting to remember his old life and if he does, will this make him change sides? He has found love and it will be a struggle to decide where he belongs. I did enjoy the way the author described this world and it kept me reading.

Jared A. Zakarian has written an exciting sequel with The First Seal: Book 2 in the Verdunmull series. It really has a biblical, end of days feel to it as the angels and demons clash. I thought there was more action in this book and the story seemed more fast-paced because of it. The characters were well written and I enjoyed reading the story. The mortals are facing a foe they cannot possibly vanquish, but they fight anyway to protect the people they love. An entertaining and exciting epic fantasy tale that I would definitely recommend to fantasy readers. Series like this one are very popular and could do very well on the market. I think it is different enough to stand out from other books while still having relatable situations.