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Reviewed by Neil A White for Readers' Favorite
Facing impending exile, Modrad - a dwarf from the village of Vargrom – isn’t one to wait around pondering his fate, so he sets out on a mission to Coalfell - the land of the Chrogs. There he hopes to bring back a gem worthy of allowing him admittance back into his homeland. Along the way, he is befriended by a gnome named Farfiz, who proves a handy companion when the duo is attacked in the forest by a pack of vicious beasts. Once in Coalfell, Modrad meets up with an old friend from Vargrom and together the three adventurers set off in search of a worthy treasure. Of course, no fantasy story is complete without the prerequisite dragon. And just when their quest is about to bear fruit, the monster – who has a penchant for deal making – appears and is hell bent on ruining their plans.
Vargrom: Modrad's Exile is the latest offering in the fantasy genre from Canadian author Kevin Hopson. This forty-two-page short story is both a companion piece to one of his earlier works, The Fire King, and proved to be an entertaining read. Mr. Hopson spins a wonderful yarn, and his style of writing helps to build tension and keep the story moving along at a breakneck speed. My only concern is that at a mere forty-two pages, character development does tend to suffer and interesting encounters within the storyline are too quickly passed over. Overall, though, I really enjoyed Mr. Hopson’s storytelling technique, and I fully expect fans of the fantasy genre will be searching for more offerings of his after ingesting Vargrom: Modrad's Exile - which is infinitely more palatable than a Chrog stew.