The Three Warlocks

A Tragedy of Dust

Fiction - Fantasy - General
473 Pages
Reviewed on 08/12/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I started writing for fun in high school, also when I started my first novel The Three Warlocks. Lord of the Rings instilled an intense love of fantasy from a young age and A Tragedy of Dust has become my passion.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

The Three Warlocks: A Tragedy of Dust by Jacob Flowers-Olnowich is a compendium of three stories that are related, with a beautiful setting in the fantasy world of Rhydallia. The stories feature very powerful characters and creatures of magic, especially the elves, and these characters are thrust into challenging situations and must understand who they are and find their path amidst the chaos. Ruxel is a half-elf nearing manhood whose plans to seek his purpose in life are interrupted by a tragedy that strikes his town, and he finds himself defending his people — can his destiny be linked to fighting to keep his own people safe? Elise is saved from grave danger but ends up disfigured. Can her elven friends help her reconnect with a stronger purpose? Aethelius finds himself in a difficult situation, caught up in a civil war and surrounded by enemies. Can the elven commando and his unit find success against the mounting odds?

This is an interesting novel with great potential for entertainment and fans of fantasy will enjoy the ride. The characters are extraordinary — those seemingly ordinary people who are transformed by challenging and difficult situations. I loved the author’s exploration of the theme of purpose, of finding one’s destiny. There is a restlessness in the key characters that pushes them to look past their mundane experiences to seek something higher than themselves. The setting is an imaginary world that is well-defined and the author does an incredible job in filling it with strong imagery. Jacob Flowers-Olnowich writes with clarity and the crisp prose makes for an enjoyable reading experience. The Three Warlocks: A Tragedy of Dust features tales with deeper meanings and characters that will inspire readers to see the light hidden in their darkest moments.

K.C. Finn

The Three Warlocks: A Tragedy of Dust is a collection of fantasy fiction tales set in a faraway world, and was penned by author Jacob Flowers-Olnowich. Written for adults due to its mature violent content, this trilogy of separate but connected stories takes us across the magical realm of Rhydallia for some very different types of fantasy tale. We meet half-elf Ruxel as his hometown is shrouded by doom and gloom, then the aged Elise whose story is one of overcoming physical hardships and its mental repercussions. Then the elven warrior Aethelius narrates us through a devastating civil war that ends with a startling crescendo.

Tragic they may be, but boring they are never, as these superb tales from the mind of author Jacob Flowers-Olnowich attest. The fantasy landscaping of the magical continent, its politics and people is brilliantly done, with atmospheric language choices at every turn and fantastic dialogue which keeps the plot moving but also has its own unique style and parlance to Rhydallia itself. All of the tales have something very different to offer fantasy fans, but for me, the grim tale of Elise, who turns her life around, was by far the most meaningful and emotionally accomplished. Flowers-Olnowich has an innate sense of emotion and distress, bringing his characters to the brink of hopelessness before the plot twists off in a new direction. Overall, The Three Warlocks: A Tragedy of Dust is a highly recommended fantasy work for fans of the genre and those beyond.

Lit Amri

Set in the magical continent of Rhydallia, The Three Warlocks (A Tragedy of Dust) by Jacob Flowers-Olnowich is divided into three Acts. Act I: The Renstone is about a young half-elf Ruxel Vyrlann, who lives a peaceful life in the town of Tegalel. Everything changes when a group of murderous humans strikes his hometown. Under the guidance and help from an exiled elven princess, Ruxel’s quest to save his loved ones leads him to his destiny. This first act lays down the foundation that the story doesn’t unequivocally constitute heroes and villains, as both elves and humans are at fault in causing and worsening the conflict between them.

The character-driven Act II: The Hylstone takes place 1,000 years after Act I. Several other races are introduced; the dragon-like lakrale, dwarf, orc, the tree-like alderian, and the crystalline-skinned Vytral. Forty-nine-year-old human Elise is an aging mercenary who lost half her arm and leg. She and the surviving members of The Third Fang, elven twins Vaethyl and Aethen, were saved by elven nobles. Recuperating in peace, Elise is the centerpiece of the story, where adventure and action are provided through her memories of when The Third Fang was forced to join the expedition to the Isle of Letell by their captors. The protagonists’ anger, guilt, and sadness are affecting, and Elise’s ultimate fate made this second act my favorite.

Act III: The Vaelstone is 160 years after Elise’s tale. More beings are revealed to readers, mythical creatures such as the griffins. The story focuses on Aethelius Valentus Florentian, who’s part of the rebellion against the elven loyalists, a war that divides his country. When he's certain that his death is near, a deity intervenes and changes his fate. Overall, The Three Warlocks has an imaginative premise and a well-thought-out structure. The plot has a steady pace with well-described and suspenseful action scenes. The narrative and dialogue have more contemporary tone and expressions than I expected but, nonetheless, this is a solid, enjoyable read for fantasy fans.