The Waxing Moon

The Areekyan Chronicles Volume 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
417 Pages
Reviewed on 04/13/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

An English Language Teacher who graduated from The Open University in the UK with a BA (English) and MEd (Applied Linguistics).

I've taught in various countries around the world, and I've now found time to embark on my second passion - writing. My first novel, The Waxing Moon: Volume 1 of The Areekyan Chronicles Trilogy.

Creating the land of Areekya with its many compelling characters has been an enjoyable and rewarding labour of love. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I did telling their stories.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rose L. Geer-Robbins for Readers' Favorite

The Waxing Moon by Barry S. Markwick is the first installment in The Areekyan Chronicles epic fantasy series. The story follows Juk Thri, a captain of the 1st Regiment who has fought for peace in Areekya for years. After a particularly nasty battle, the ruthless and fearless captain seeks to determine the war's true objectives: peace, dominance, or wealth. Questioning everything he has fought for, Juk unexpectedly returns home to discover someone has brutally murdered his family. Juk vows vengeance on those behind the dark deeds. However, he soon becomes embroiled in a web of betrayal, intrigue, and an unexpected threat, magic. The race is on. Juk must discover and destroy the enemy lurking in Areekya before it destroys his country and everyone he loves.

Barry S. Markwick spins a thrilling tale of political and royal intrigue with hints of interpersonal drama, deadly secrets, and hidden agendas. There is a mystery surrounding the characters, which we must piece together as the story progresses. The plot is complex, as are the numerous players in the race to secure peace and prosperity. This story offers everything you expect and want from an epic fantasy adventure, with relatable characters, a complex and imaginative world, cunning side stories, and questionable motives. My curiosity was piqued by the shadowy figure of Rivan, with his seemingly sincere heart and silvery tongue that masterminds a rebellion for an unknown reason. With a building sense of intrigue, I kept turning the pages as I was invested in Juk's desire for a better world and the need for revenge. I highly recommend The Waxing Moon to epic fantasy fans and look forward to the next installment's release.

Asher Syed

The Waxing Moon by Barry S Markwick is a dark fantasy novel and the first volume in Markwick's new series The Areekyan Chronicles. The story is set in Areekya, a land with a linear series of fiefdoms and a history of magick that has for so long been unseen that it's relegated to “superstition and ceremony, nothing more.” As it turns out, the ceremony part is correct, but the superstition not so much. Sun Magick and Moon Magick exist, and the main character Juk Thri becomes acutely aware of this when everything he knows and loves is ravaged after unthinkable horrors are levied against him, and a mage named Rivan proves he has healing power by pulling Juk back from the brink after disaster befalls those he loves most. Rumblings of what is to come rip through the cities with devastating impacts on those who run them. Alliances are forged, betrayal is rampant, families are torn apart, the innocent are slaughtered, and power is opaquely sought through marriage...and the world crumbles around Juk at breakneck speed.

Fantasy fiction with alternating point-of-view characters is always my favorite, and Barry S Markwick does a great job of allowing different voices to provide perspectives from their own vantage points. Juk's losses come quite early, which is a refreshing change from a lot of other books in the genre which are less adept with pacing and are hindered by a lack of quick action. What transpires is that a connection between Juk and the reader is formed quickly, and it's no secret that when a reader connects to a character, they care about them, which is how we become engrossed in an epic. Other point-of-view characters, some more reliable than others, have their backstories withheld so that readers are provided a few good twists. Occasionally when the backstories do come through they are almost wholly narrative and can feel heavy-handed in the dropping of information. That said, as a first novel from a debut author there is absolutely no question in my mind that Markwick and his series show massive promise, and I look forward to what he delivers next.

Jamie Michele

Barry S Markwick throws his hat into the genre of fantasy epics with The Areekyan Chronicles, book one, The Waxing Moon. Juk Thri is a man with widely respected military acumen and no shortage of accomplishments on the battlefield, but none of this matters when he returns home to a scene that ends everything and crushes any hope. Not knowing who would strike out in such a way, Juk is inconsolable until Rivan, a mage who has ancient powers, takes the grieving ex-Magdil under his wing. Juk soon discovers that the tragedy is being blamed on him and determines that he's been fighting for the wrong side. This acknowledgment sets in motion the prospect of a battle against the very Lord, the very men, and the very peace he believed he'd been defending, but who he can truly trust, what their motives will be, and whether or not he can rally believers to his cause is yet to be seen.

From the outset, The Waxing Moon by Barry S Markwick appears to be an ambitious undertaking. There is a great deal of trust that a reader puts in an author when they pick up an epic fantasy. We must learn new landscapes, magic systems, new political and social structures, names that are usually impossible to pronounce, and sometimes even a new language. Having now read through Markwick's book I would categorize it as appropriate for readers who are wading into fantasy reading, and an easy diversion for more seasoned readers that are looking for a break with a simple and untaxing read. The magic system is spoken of but not really believed through the first half of the book but once Juk is apprised of the intended uses and abuses of Sun Magick and Moon Magick, the character arc starts to clear up and we can really see where Markwick wants the story to go. I characterize the storyline as male-dominant with one notable exception and even though Markwick sticks to a traditional hero's journey Juk is one-hundred percent worth following. Simple, satisfying, and recommended by this particular reader.