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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Returning home should be a joyous occasion. But for Aibek, the thought alone filled him with dread. For twenty years he had written home, with silence his only answer. He wondered if the town had survived, and what became of his parents following that fateful night when he was smuggled away in a knapsack. Now, after all that time, he finally hears word. He learns of the responsibility those living there wish him to bear. He is the only living child of the mayor, and now, just as he was about to graduate his officer training at West Xona Military Academy, they ask for his return. The town has been freed of its oppressive ruler, but they fear it will soon be reclaimed. They look to him, to his training for guidance, hoping he can help them prepare. But not everyone was pleased to see Tavan overthrown, and not everyone believes one raised outside their village should so easily be given the role of leader.
A tale of friendship and loyalty, honour and deception. Leslie E. Heath's The Last Mayor's Son is an immersive read as you join Aibek as he returns home and tries to learn the history of his hometown, and prove himself worthy of the faith they have placed in him. The descriptive narrative serves to enhance the fantasy setting as we join those living in the beautiful treetop town of Nivaka. Everything they have, their homes, their clothes, is all thanks to the shadow trees, and they take only what nature offers freely - yet with such powerful trees at their disposal, there are those who would see them used for their own evil purposes. Leslie E. Heath creates a functioning world and ecosystem with care and attention to detail worthy of praise. The plight of Aibek and the tale of his allies was an enjoyable read, with more than one surprise in store for the reader.