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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Last War is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy and adventure subgenres and forms the opening novel of The Cynnahu Saga. It is intended for the young adult reading audience and was penned by author Ian E.S. Adler. In a faraway fantasy land plagued by war, the threat of a new invasion sets events in motion for this to be the war to end all wars. Two youngsters and three talented mages set forth on a quest to save their land from the serpentine threat of the Naga, but the riddles they must solve to traverse dangerous lands and collect all the pieces of the Song are only the beginning of their challenges.
Author Ian E.S. Adler has found a superb balance between a fantasy adventure novel that is accessible and appealing to young adults, and one which is suitably complex and immersive enough to also grip adult readers from start to finish. I particularly enjoyed the ensemble cast of characters and the mixture of ages, which bridges the gap nicely between the young heroes who have much to learn and the older wise mages with echoes of the classic fantasy heroes that young readers will no doubt go on to enjoy in the future. The worldbuilding is also a highly engaging aspect of the work, with Adler putting a great amount of detail into the history and culture of Cynnahu, so much so that every battle-scarred vista becomes cinematically real in the reader’s mind. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Last War as a superbly engrossing series opener, and I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us next.