Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Trial By Fear: Fallen Powers, Book 1 is an epic fantasy novel written by Bruce Arrington. Beon had been raised by goblins ever since he was an infant and they overran his village, but he was determined to never feel the results of their wrath again. Looking at his bandaged hands, he swore they’d never feast on his blood or take delight in tormenting him because he was leaving -- that night. It was cold at the watchtower of Tartan, the outpost where he waited, as the sun was about to rise. When the small goblin, Rezon, brought Beon’s horse to him, Beon wondered if he was making a mistake. His horse seemed to be limping slightly, but he decided to throw caution to the wind, and, after Rezon left, he mounted and was on his way. He could feel the sun on his back as it climbed into the sky, and, for a moment, he allowed himself a sense of triumph, of success at having finally escaped, of freedom. But just then he heard a shrill whistling, and his horse halted and threw him. Beon landed poorly, pain lancing through him, and he sighed as he watched his horse running off without him. They were coming of course, cackling with laughter, and he would be their next meal after they had toyed with him for a good long while.
Bruce Arrington’s epic fantasy novel, Trial By Fear: Fallen Powers, Book 1, follows Beon as he learns to live a life far different from that he experienced growing up in service to the goblins. His rescue by Calandria is wonderfully orchestrated, and his education, undertaken by Calandria and his tutor, Lisilsa, reveals to him his noble birth, the circumstances that led to his captivity by the goblins, and the new world that is now his by virtue of his becoming Agur. I particularly loved his lessons on shape-shifting as Lisilsa first has him experience life as a polvor, a burrowing creature, and then a tor-asvor, a cheetah-like being. These passages had me remembering the magic of reading T.H. White’s The Once and Future King for the first time as Merlin casts young Arthur’s consciousness into all manner of beasts, birds and fish as part of his training to be king. The bond Beon forges with his companion tor-asvor is a marvel to behold. Throughout the story, though, there’s the fear Beon still holds in his heart from the life he led with the goblins. Can he break through that mindset and believe in himself? There are lessons for each reader in this thought-provoking tale about the past and what it can do to one’s future. Trial By Fear: Fallen Powers, Book 1 is most highly recommended.