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Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite
No Mercy for the Wicked by Ryan P. Shea is a fantasy novel that delves into the world of Arcanians, wielders of mysterious elemental powers. The story begins with the teachings of the arcane and the martial arts of combat, with both weapons and hand to hand. After killing his former master in front of his young apprentice, the self-proclaimed dark king, Gewalt, is the most powerful mystic on the planet. With the use of both the powers of illusion and the elements, he arrogantly taunts and mocks the only ones that dare to stand in the way of his grand designs - a handful of humans that are somehow drawn to each other via unique circumstances. Some of our heroes are able to use magic, while others have to rely on courage and every ounce of strength they possess to confront the dark king. As their adventures continue to test them, they become caught up in a race against time to a mythical forge.
Mr. Shea weaves a fantastical tale with the skill of a seasoned master of the English language. His characters are all believable, even the ones that appear to be created with the spice of old horror movies. The fight sequences are described with such picturesque accuracy that one cannot help but get caught up in his combination of storytelling and the characters’ sense of urgency. If this is the first work from Ryan P. Shea, then I look forward to his next book with anticipation.