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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.