To Wield a Plague

Passage to Dawn

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
178 Pages
Reviewed on 05/06/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Nicholus Schroeder for Readers' Favorite

To Wield a Plague: Passage to Dawn is a thrilling fantasy by Derrick Smythe. In the harsh Northern Lands, a ritual must be carried out before a boy ascends to manhood. During the centuries-old tradition, Dwapek of the Danswa tribe broke a sacred vow of the tribesmen and was banished from the tribe. Alone and forsaken, Dwapek ventures deeper into lands teeming with all manner of feral beasts. The seven tribes of the south would kill him on sight, and the forsaken tribe in the Valley of Nar would redefine his understanding of the word “suffering” upon capture, so he pushes on into the unknown. His journey led to an ancient artifact of vast power. With the power to vanquish the fiercest of beasts, Dwapek returns to his fellow tribesmen's lands in pursuit of redemption. Will they accept him? And if they dare to refuse him what would an outcast with unfathomable power do?

Derrick Smythe wrote a wondrous book that provided a unique experience, unlike most fantasy books. The glorious lore was well thought out and original. Derrick didn't take shortcuts in his lore, no sir! All the lore on display originates from his impressive creativity. Be it a character, monster, landscape, or concept, it was all original and a fresh take on the fantasy genre. The world-building impressed and I appreciate the originality of this unique world. The plot had a lot of heart in it, great action scenes, and some interesting locales were visited. It was well-written and structured perfectly. The action scenes are definitely worth mentioning as they were a blast to envision. They had some nice complexity and the choreography was spectacular. The characters were great, both the main and supporting cast, and Dwapek was an excellent protagonist! He was a well-balanced and likable character. His humor and sarcasm were great qualities and made me like him even more. I recommend this gem to readers that love fantasy books. Readers familiar with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films are sure to love To Wield a Plague: Passage to Dawn.

Pikasho Deka

To Wield a Plague is a standalone novel in the Passage to Dawn series by Derrick Smythe. While trying to save his mother from a silvertip bear, Dwapek breaks the forbidden rule of speaking in the Veld, leading to his banishment from the Danswa tribe. Left alone to fend for himself in the dangerous Valley of Nar, Dwapek soon finds himself held captive by the Forsaken, a long-banished Renzik tribe. To his surprise, the Forsaken leader, Petregof, proclaims Dwapek to be a wielder adept and gives him an artifact of immense power. Petregof tells Dwapek to showcase his power in front of the Renzik leaders at the Naca Omin and make a case on behalf of the Forsaken. But things are not as they seem as betrayal trails Dwapek's every move.

If epic fantasy adventures featuring monstrous creatures, magical gems, and unlikely heroes tickle your fancy, To Wield a Plague is just the book for you. Author Derrick Smythe's standalone novel is an enticing book for all fantasy lovers, whether they are familiar with the author's other works or not. The fast-paced and action-packed narrative keeps your eyes glued to the pages as you find yourself rooting for Dwapek, the main protagonist, from start to finish. The characters are well-developed and believable. Dwapek's evolution from a well-meaning yet naive young man to someone who feels assured of his place in the world was fascinating to read. Recommended to fans of books by authors like Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, etc.

Jennifer Ibiam

Sixteen-year-old Dwapek, son of Sachem Aldrek, the leader of the Danswa tribe, was ready for initiation to manhood. The exercise began with sons out-throwing their fathers and maintaining silence. Anyone who broke the silence faced grave consequences. Unfortunately, Dwapek’s victory was short-lived when a Silvertip bear sneaked up on his mom. It was a dilemma to maintain silence and status while watching his mom die or break the oath and risk ostracism. He chose the latter, and banishment was easy because his father hated him. Dwapek left a world he knew and went into the unknown, fraught with varying degrees of danger. He trudged across the land of the Forsaken, through the kingdom of beasts, and the adventures in between. Would Dwapek survive his nightmare in exile? To Wield a Plague by Derrick Smythe has the details.

The second prequel in Passage to Dawn Companions by Derrick Smythe was captivating. To Wield a Plague was action-packed and attention-grabbing. This novel also boasted a brilliant plot, exceptional development, and the most beautiful storytelling. I saw manipulation, magic, deception, adventure, betrayal, sacrifice, and unusual friendship. The relationship between Maul and Dwapek was a thing of beauty. I wished beasts and humans communed so in reality. Maul also had a sense of humor, and Dwapek was a brave youngster. What did Dwapek do to earn his father’s contempt? Sometimes, we limit ourselves while seeking the approval of people we adore. But we understand that even those we love could make us underperform for fear of outgrowing them. Step out of the shadows, banish the naysayers, face the elements, and maximize potential. We won’t know the extent of our capabilities until we try. Great job!