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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
The Story of Evil by Tony Johnson is a heroic tale of epic proportions. Two gods preside over the world called Element. Element is populated by four races: humans, elves, giants, and dwarves. However, these races are not alone; they share their world with monster clans. The races and the monsters can never coexist; they battle for dominion of Element. A great warrior, Oliver Zoran, rises up from the races. The good god, Alazar, blesses Zoran with elemental powers, enabling him to overthrow the evil monster leader known as the Imperial Dragon. Zoran becomes king and establishes the kingdom’s capital city, Celestial. Every year the citizens gather in Celestial for a tournament of champions. It is a grand celebration, commemorating the skills of the kingdom’s warriors. In the year of 998, everything changes in a matter of minutes. The annual celebration turns into a massacre. The monsters invade, spreading fear and death. Three bold and skilled warriors make a stand against evil. Stephen Brightflame, Tyrus Canard, and Kari Quinn become heroes of the siege. This is their story.
Tony Johnson’s portrayal of good versus evil in The Story of Evil is gripping! The prologue is enticing and readily lays the foundation for the fantastical saga. The story has all the essential elements of a fictional fantasy. In Johnson’s make-believe world, the people and creatures have the ability to harness the power of the elements. I sensed a touch of Tolkien, a hint of the Benders of Avatar, and a tad amount of Stan Lee’s X-men in his writing. The story unfolds in a singular day, creating a fast-paced and action-packed adventure. The narrative’s tumultuous action is revealed through three main characters. Overcoming hardships early in life, the young characters are skilled, bold, and brave warriors, yet are kind, self-sacrificing and generous people. Their individual stories are told separately. However, they do intersect as the climactic narrative nears its end. Accompanying the characters' stories are many truths and moral lessons. To name a couple: “Sometimes it takes losing something to realize how important it truly was,” and “Friendships are easier forged with smiles and laughter than with gold.” As the story comes to its close, good and evil face off. The conclusion leaves you on the edge of your seat, waiting and anticipating a duel of a lifetime in the next volume of The Story of Evil.