Beginning of Arrogance

Book 1 of a Paladin's Journey

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
435 Pages
Reviewed on 09/01/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Bryan is an avid reader, and has loved the fantasy genre since he was a child. His love of stories of mighty knights, terrible dragons, and noble steeds has inspired him for decades.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Beginning of Arrogance (Book 1 of a Paladin's Journey) by Bryan Cole is an epic fantasy novel that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who enjoy paladin stories and do not mind some explicit language, descriptions of sex, and violence. Paladins are seen as noble heroes who ride against terrible enemies to protect the people. Yet, paladins are also disliked by those who hold power and/or wealth due to their ability to upset the balance of power in a way that is often harmful to those who do not worship the paladin’s God. Those with power and wealth are left uneasy when the erratic ReckNor, god of the seas and the skies, calls stubborn and uneducated Krell into his service. How will Krell’s decisions change the balance of power and will he survive to see the results of his actions or will he perish in the service of ReckNor?

The beginning of Arrogance (Book 1 of a Paladin's Journey) by Bryan Cole was a very well-written book with an intriguing cover image that sparked my interest from the moment I saw it. I have read plenty of books with paladin characters, but this is the first that I found the be enjoyably unique. I liked how the author created his own deities instead of relying on the overused Greek or Roman gods. I liked how Krell managed to make sense of ReckNor’s teachings and use them to his advantage without gaining an arrogant belief of always being right due to his connection with ReckNor. I loved this book and I hope to read more of Krell and ReckNor in the future!

Stephanie Chapman

Bryan Cole's A Beginning of Arrogance focuses on Krell’s development as a paladin. Krell was an orphan who was brought to Olgar. Olgar raised him as a believer of ReckNor when Krell showed the ability to speak with the god. ReckNor controls the sea and sky, and gives Krell power to defeat his adversaries. They sent the young paladin on several missions where he learns there is more to things than meets the eye. He is sent on several missions with a group of fighters that Captain Gijwolf assembles. After Krell successfully resolves several mysteries, the council gives him the most dangerous mission he has ever faced. Krell hires more people to join his group when ReckNor compels him. However, Krell keeps in mind Olgar’s warning, “Paladins die young and for stupid reasons.”

Bryan Cole made Krell a paladin of questionable character. However, the added presence of ReckNor seems to be his saving grace. I found it admirable that Krell completed his missions without regard to the reward. He also had some issues with his comrades being defiant throughout. Tristan was fey-touched and looked down on everyone, believing he was superior. I would not have been as patient with Tristan, but Krell listened to ReckNor’s insistence on protecting him. I thought Olgar was a peculiar man, and his eccentric manners added humor mixed with wisdom to the plot. Several more supporting characters added to the intensity of the battle scenes. The details were clear and vivid in each scene, and the depictions of the characters made the story come alive on every page. The ending of the book kept me hanging on for more because so many loose ends could take A Beginning of Arrogance in any direction. Fantasy readers who like well-developed characters will love the series.

Foluso Falaye

ReckNor, the god of the seas and skies, picks Krell to be one of his paladins and ​to "work his will on the world". On the outside, Krell appears stubborn and arrogant, and being an uneducated orphan doesn't help his image either. However, deep down, he wonders if he has any family alive and resolves to make his own family as he engages in daunting battles against beasts and humans alongside some animated, chatty, and extremely tough fighters. With the use of powerful, godlike magic and a deadly command of swordsmanship, ReckNor and his wild companions engage in ferocious battles against sea devils, bat-like creatures, armed smugglers, and other menacing characters. Bryan Cole's Beginning of Arrogance immerses readers in an action-packed, fantastical narrative involving magic, deities, and spine-chilling creatures.

Krell's strong opinions and confidence in his beliefs are seriously inspiring and encouraging. When I read about how he boldly storms caves and deserted locations to battle ferocious beasts that could eat him alive, I was motivated to face big challenges and accomplish more goals. Beginning of Arrogance will be fantastic as a video game or a movie! It includes a thrilling blend of action and fantasy, with magical darts, a blade "wreathed in lightning", spells that heal wounds, and more exciting elements. Bryan Cole's book is not for the fainthearted because of its various nightmarish creatures, like the sea devils that sneak up on ships at night to devour humans. Another noticeable feature is its well-developed world, which contains unique gods, political structures, and intricate magic. Aesthetically dark, tastefully humorous, and unapologetically gripping, Beginning of Arrogance will completely capture your attention from cover to cover. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!

Steven Robson

Beginning of Arrogance, Book 1 of A Paladin’s Journey by Bryan Cole takes you on a mythological ride steeped in incredible action laced with magic and terror, where Gods reach out to influence the fates of all the races inhabiting this foreign world. The setting for this adventure is Watford, which happens to be the place Krell, a chosen Paladin of the God ReckNor, arrives after being rescued from an island where he was shipwrecked for many years. Here he teams up with a mixed bag of independent warriors to take on the forces of evil, as tasked through various charters issued by the Watford ruling body. Make no mistake, this is a thrill-a-minute journey into dangers unimagined, and the only certainty is that not all will survive; will Krell be among those on the right side of this ledger? Only the heart-stopping climax will tell.

Bryan Cole’s Beginning of Arrogance, Book 1 of A Paladin’s Journey is very fast-paced with a lot of incredible combat content, which may seem a little pervasive to some readers not accustomed to this level of violence. I found that these scenes were, for the most part, in tune with the overall plot. The characters were all well molded, with appropriate distinctions between them, particularly Tristan who was a constant creator of banter and at times tension throughout. There were also moments of surprise, leaving threads of unresolved intrigue which may be explored in subsequent books; the departure of a key member of the team being one. If you are looking for an easy-to-read action adventure with a mythological background, Beginning of Arrogance is definitely the book for you.

Delene Vrey

Beginning of Arrogance: Book 1 of a Paladin's Journey by Bryan Cole, is a Sword and Sorcery style fantasy. Krell is a survivor, and possibly this is why ReckNor, the god of the sea and sky, likes him so much. After surviving two shipwrecks Krell was found by Olgar, the resident priest of ReckNor. Olgar trained him, and when the town was looking for able fighters to investigate a beast at the nearby Dwarf mine, Krell was eager to apply. Together with Orca and Kraven, two Orcs, Tristan, a sorcerer, and Gerrard, a Halfling, he sets out to help the Dwarfs. In true Sword and Sorcery fashion, they fight numerous battles, uncovering a smuggling ring and thwarting a deadly invasion. All the while the world holds its breath, waiting for what the newest Paladin will do next, as after all Paladins are nothing but trouble. Heroes to everyone, except those who already have everything. It is those that have reason to fear Krell because he is stubborn and loves to right the wrongs he sees.

Beginning of Arrogance by Bryan Cole is an action-packed and thrilling fantasy that reminded me somewhat of the RPG games such as Skyrim and The Witcher. There are more than enough sword fights, magical beasts, and the various denizens of a fantasy world, well built and thought through. Many heart-stopping moments and a good dose of humor keep you chuckling as another dire situation follows. The violence is part and parcel of this fantasy genre and is graphic but underscores the title, as Krell and his fellow warriors are all arrogant, although they do not see it. A great story and the makings of a great series. I simply loved it!

Don Jackson

I just finished reading The Beginning of Arrogance. It has been many years since I have so thoroughly enjoyed a book, especially the first book in (what I hope will be) a long series. The character development is engaging, but not rapacious. The mythos is intriguing, but not overly complicated as it is introduced. The interpersonal relationships are believable, yet entertaining. The stage is set for a long saga, but the story stands on it's own. Bryan Cole's mastery of storytelling is shocking for his first release, leading any reader looking forward to the next installment in the series. He also has established a new universe where there could be an endless supply of new characters, stories, and adventures with Krell, or completely separate, yet interwoven into the same overarching universe, but with completely different characters. I sincerely look forward to reading further installments of The Paladin's Journey. Thank you Bryan for reigniting my love for reading a great fantasy novel, with a new spin on the pantheon.