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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.