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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Venators: Through the Arch is a supernatural/epic fantasy written by author Devri Walls. There's no such thing as vampires, and werewolves are a tale spun from the imaginations of authors. The supernatural does not exist. At least that is what Rune thought and hoped. Yet every time she saw something portraying this mystical nature, her body instinctively responded. She wanted to act. She knew something was missing in her life, but she just didn't know what. There was another person like her, an old school friend by the name of Grey. Unlike Rune, he didn't suppress his desire, his thirst for knowledge on all creatures thought myth. He poured tirelessly over books, his obsession forcing him to become an outcast. But he knew something the others didn't. The tales were true. The creatures were real. He had seen them with his own eyes. Years ago his path had crossed with Tate, someone from another realm, a person to whom he owed his life. Their meeting was anything but accidental.
Tate had been searching for someone just like him. But at the time he had been too young, and he had needed to choose wisely. The fate of his realm depended on the decision he made. The council, since separating their world from that the Venators resided in, had grown corrupt, wanting more power, more loyalty. But with the rising of a new and powerful nemesis, the only way they can keep the reins of control is to employ those their people most fear. The Venators. They must bend them to their will, display their talents as a fear stoking trophy of their supremacy. Tate could not let this be; his choice of which two Venators to return to his world could be catastrophic. He had to hope, pray, they would not fall to the councils' manipulation. The two he chose, Rune and Grey, face a hard decision - to work for the people, the innocents being victimised, or protect their own lives by conforming to the councils' desire.
I will hail Devri Walls' talent with four simple words. I loved this book. These words I do not utter lightly. This tale has everything that makes an epic fantasy great. I was hooked from the first paragraph. The manner in which the tale is spun is magic itself. I loved the characters, the hardships, the pressure, both real and imagined, and their own personal journeys through the tale's progression. Brilliantly written to evoke the perfect balance between descriptive writing and imagination as a new realm, thought only fable, is brought to life, everything from the magisterially pure to the hauntingly dark. There is much to this world, and Rune and Grey must learn to understand it and its ways quickly. As a huge fan of fantasy works, I highly recommend Venators: Through the Arch. It won't leave you wanting for anything, except the second book in the series. This book gets my highest possible praise; it is a masterpiece, well deserving of five stars.